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The 6 Most WTF Scientific Theories About Existence

#3. The Universe May Work Like a Giant Computer

backtasan/Photos.com

It's one thing to suggest that our universe is just a video game on some alien Xbox, but there's another theory that the universe is itself a computer. According to this view of reality, all those stars and planets and galaxies and black holes are just the circuits and processors on a giant motherboard that's going about its days calculating God only knows what.

sgame/Photos.com
Tetris? We always figured God was more into Minesweeper.

That's the theory put forward by Oxford professor of quantum information theory Vlatko Vedral. He argues that the most fundamental component of the universe is not a unit of matter, but a "bit," which is the same kind of bit that your computer uses (that is, the tiniest amount of information that can be conveyed). Fundamentally, one bit is just a yes-or-no answer to a question, and your computer uses tiny magnetic switches to make its calculations. But Vedral wants us to imagine subatomic particles as being the same mechanism -- trillions and trillions of yes-no answers swirling through the void.

marrakeshh/Photos.com
Is this theory a bit far-fetched? Yes! Will we ever know if it's true or not? No!

After all, every time a particle comes into contact with another particle, the two of them exchange bits of information. It can be as simple as a particle transmitting its direction of travel to another particle by smashing into it.

MIT professor Seth Lloyd agrees, and he knows something about it because he's the inventor of the first working quantum computer. That's a computer that uses tiny particles like atoms and electrons to work, instead of comparatively hulking great chunks of electronics like microchips. And that's basically what we're talking about here on a grander scale, leading Lloyd to literally state that the universe is a quantum computer.

Ng Choon Boon/Photos.com
It probably goes without saying, but nobody Ctrl-Alt-Delete the quantum universe computer. Thanks.

But if it's a computer, then what is it computing? Lloyd's answer is that it's computing "its own dynamical evolution," but we prefer to believe that reality up to this point is just the loading screen for the most kickass MMORPG of all time.

#2. We Might Be Living Inside a Black Hole

Wikimedia Commons

If you're anything like us, most of your knowledge of black holes comes from popular science fiction. You probably already know that black holes are objects so dense that not even light can escape them. But what you probably didn't know was that we may all be living inside one right now.

Tom Schmucker/Photos.com
Sure, everyone knows Florida exists inside a black hole, but the entire universe?

According to Dr. Nikodem Poplawski from Indiana University, all of the matter that gets sucked into a black hole might wind up turning into a new universe on the other end. After all, when you ask scientists what happens to the stuff a black hole swallows up, most will shrug their shoulders and admit that it's one of the great mysteries of the universe. Poplawski's calculations suggest that the matter flowing in one end as the black hole chews its way through the galaxy might be the equivalent of a new Big Bang in some other reality, which would effectively make a black hole a doorway to another universe.

NASA/Wikimedia Commons
A doorway that will tear you apart atom by atom, mind you.

Calculations show that the theoretical other end of a black hole, a "white hole," is a time-reversed version of the black hole. We did the math ourselves just to make sure. In other words, the black hole draws matter in and compresses it, while a white hole spews it forth. This compression and expansion of matter is mathematically equivalent to the creation of a universe.

The implication is that each black hole in our universe may contain its own universe inside it. Consequently, our own universe should itself be inside a black hole, which in turn would be inside its own universe as well. It's like a never-ending series of Russian nesting dolls. Or this:

#1. We'll Eventually Live in Bullet Time

Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Ever since the Big Bang occurred some 14 billion years ago, the universe has been expanding. What's weird is that the rate the universe is expanding seems to be increasing, in defiance of common sense. Until recently, it was considered pretty intuitive that everything should be slowing down as the force of gravity sucks all those galaxies back in toward each other. Most scientists theorize something called "dark energy" is the culprit, some kind of invisible anti-gravity that actually pushes distant galaxies away. But a new theory from researchers at two Spanish universities contends that the universe isn't really accelerating -- it's actually time that's slowing down.

Jeff Cleveland/Photos.com
It wasn't just math class.

If this is true, then it would explain why distant galaxies appear to be accelerating -- quite simply, their light takes a long time to reach us, so we're seeing them at a point in history when time was literally moving faster than it is today. It's also kind of really terrifying, because it implies that time is going to keep slowing down, until it ultimately stops and freezes us in place for eternity.

If the theory is correct, then at some point in the future, we'll all appear to move in slow motion to an outside observer. This will admittedly make everything we do seem more badass, since walking down the street will look like the opening sequence to Reservoir Dogs, and we'll all be dodging bullets like Neo. But that's not going to help our dignity since, statistically, at the moment time freezes once and for all, at least some of us will be masturbating.

George Doyle/Photos.com
Hey, if you have to do one thing for the rest of eternity ...



For more crazy things said by smart people, check out 7 Theories About Time That Would Make Doc Brown's Head Explode and 5 Mind-Blowing Scientific Answers to Life's 'Big Questions'.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 23 Jokes That Never Made It Into Our Best Videos .

And stop by LinkSTORM to bone up on some experiments likely to destroy the world.

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Related Reading: If you're full up with smart guy talk, these insane theories by U.S. politicians should get you back to baseline.

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