The field of scientific speculation is large and full of theories that you may never have heard of. Spending too much time in the weird parts of the internet and you will likely come across some of them, each trying to explain their often unusual attitude towards complex scientific topics.
Rarely do you come across something terrible. This is not only supported by actual scientists and other experts, but also makes scientific sense. Some of these scary scientific theories may sound far-fetched, but all of them have at least some backing in real science.
8. The "Upside Down" Parallel Universe
If you haven't seen the popular Netflix series Stranger Things this is probably the best because it has spent too many seasons doing essentially the same thing. Regardless, the show introduced a concept based on actual scientific theory: "upside down".
Just like it sounds, the "upside down" in the show is a kind of parallel universe with its own rules. Without giving out too many spoilers, it's essentially the same environment as the one we live in, but with its own timeline.
While is still far from being a reality, this is a recent discovery in  Antarctica provides tiny evidence that this parallel reality could actually exist. A group of researchers found a kind of high-energy particle that flows through the earth and contradicts all of our current laws of physics. Of course, we need a lot more data to be sure, but the existence of such a particle certainly points to a possible reality in which a completely different world – with its own laws and particle types – exists right next to ours.
7. Microbes may develop faster than we do
If you look at the past few decades, infectious diseases such as HIV, Ebola, the current Covid-19 pandemic and countless others have occurred at an alarming rate. We are more familiar than ever with the variety of microbes that the planet shares with us. As we found out along the way, some of them are pretty good at existentially threatening the existence of our species, even though they are microscopic.
It raises the question; why now? While our history was full of epidemics and virus pandemics – some to an extent greater than anything that came before – modern medicine should ensure that they were a thing of the past.
According to one theory there is a good explanation for this. Viruses are now developing much faster – even faster than ours – than ever before. With every new mutation, they also get better at their work, as there are far more human hosts who can mutate and improve their skills than ever before. The influenza virus is a great example of a rapidly mutating virus, even one that is known to develop and improve faster than most other branches of life.
6. The Darwinian Theory of Multiverses
Some scientific hypotheses have been proposed to explain the absolute craziness of the universe in which we live. Over the centuries, mankind has had a hard time explaining the existence of something so large and random, albeit with little success. What the old world priests explained with magical deities and prophecies has now developed into complex, modern scientific theories, even if none of them really have any idea.
A fascinating but frightening theory tries to explain it in Darwinian terms, even if it is just a thought experiment at this point. Accordingly, natural selection dictates the rules in multiverse just like life on earth. Some multiverses do it well and evolve to maintain a variety of flowering lives. This could explain why our universe does not appear to have any other signs of intelligent life than we do.
If this theory applies, our universe is only a weak offspring, in which not much happens, and which will soon be ended by a larger, stronger universe through natural selection. While there is a good chance that we – at least in our lives – will never be able to find out if this is actually the case, it is definitely a fascinating – and scary – scientific theory.
5. The Ghost Condensate
One of the biggest questions in physics is whether there is a theory that explains everything in the universe, from the smallest particles to the most massive clusters of galaxies. While there are many competitors – like string theory – none of them stand up to the expert-tested exam for which scientists are so famous.
However, a more recent theory has gained considerable ground in scientific circles as "The One". When you look at the universe, much of it consists of dark matter and dark energy – mysterious forces that don't behave like one of our scientific models. There is also the inexplicable expansion of the universe, which science could never explain.
According to the theory there is a plausible explanation for all these secrets: the "ghost condensate". Theoretically, all of the mysterious forces that we have observed in the universe – including dark matter and dark energy – are only a force that is exerted by a spiritual particle. In contrast to gravity, the ghost condensate exerts a repulsive force, but only if it exists, since everything is still in the area of scientific speculation.
4. Time may not really exist
For most of us, the course and direction of time is as real as the physical world we can see and touch around us. We know that there is a past, present and future, and the arrow of time always moves from the past to the future. So we assume that time works for most people and other animals, which sounds intuitive. Why shouldn't time be the same for everyone in the universe, whether it's tiny life forms like us or massive cosmic objects?
Simple answer; There is nothing called “absolute time”. One of the most valuable insights from Einstein was that time is nothing but waves in space-time caused by the attraction of massive objects. It is different for everyone depending on where they are in relation to this disorder. Nor was it just theory, as many recent experiments have shown, that it is correct. So much so that many modern devices – such as GPS – rely on its calculations to work properly. Because of him, we now know that time without an observer has no meaning – or possibly even existence.
3. The Participatory Anthropic Principle
Of all the big questions of life, the universe and everything, the biggest is why everything exists at all. While we may never know the exact circumstances that led to its beginning, we can – theoretically – still discuss the possible reasons for its existence.
Many theories exist, although one of the strangest states that the universe exists only because of the observer – we. Known as the participatory anthropic principle it takes up a concept that is well known in quantum physics and applies it to the universe. In a quantum experiment, it is impossible to acquire measured values without interfering in any way with the experiment. This has a huge impact because all of our observations are inaccurate. It is impossible to know what quantum particles are doing when no one is looking. In other words, if this theory is correct, all properties of physics, planets, galaxies and everything else only exist because we observe them.
2. The Single Electron Universe
Everything in the universe consists of suspiciously similar electrons, which has been a constant mystery to scientists for some time. Every electron that has ever been observed in the laboratory has the same charge, mass and shape, which makes no sense.
However, according to a quantum physicist, there is a good reason for this: every electron is actually the same electron that moves quickly through dimensions such as space and time to form everything in our reality. The antimatter counterpart of an electron – a positron – is the same electron that only goes backwards in time instead of forwards.
Of course, much of this remains speculative, since we have no equipment that can prove the existence of these only ones, all God of an electron. However, if this is true, it will explain many other secrets of the universe.
1. The Unreasonable Applicability of Mathematics
Even though most people tend to hate math, everyone can agree on one thing: it makes sense. You can come to a mathematical conclusion using completely different, unrelated methods, and the answer would be the same every time. This also applies to nature. Many old calculations – such as the size of the earth – were later confirmed with modern devices and probably with completely different, more advanced methods. Mathematicians in various fields have mistakenly confirmed each other for ages. Not only does it make sense, it also makes too much sense. Why does the entire universe follow the same mathematical rules – with completely different factors that should influence a mathematical result?
This is the universal and unreasonable applicability of mathematics and scientists and thinkers have been trying to explain it for some time. It is also not just limited to mathematics. The universe generally seems to consist of factors that are just right for a place like Earth. If any universal value – such as the mass of an electron, the speed of light, gravity – had even been a little different, the universe would have looked very different than it is now, and we might never have existed.
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