Anyone who ventures near a bog-standard black hole will probably be ‘spaghettified’ and turned into threads of tiny atoms.
But if you travel into the mysterious heart of a supermassive black hole, something remarkable could happen.
A physicist from Berkeley University has predicted that a human explorer could survive a journey into the huge black holes which lay at the centre of galaxies like the Milky Way.
What’s most, once these pioneers have crossed into the ‘black hole world’ their entire past would be erased and they would have the chance to live out an infinite variety of futures.
It sounds pretty whacked out, but Berkeley postdoctoral fellow Peter Hintz said plunging into a ‘relatively benign’ black hole would allow them to leave behind the rules of our universe, where physical laws only allow one possible future.
This suggestion has been made before, but scientists suggested ‘something catastrophic – typically a horrible death’ would get in the way.
Now Hintz has said that it’s possible to journey inside a galactic gobbler.
Once inside, a human would leave behind the rules of this universe and enter a world where their future is not preordained and decided by their past.
Instead, they could live through an infinite number of possible futures once they had passed the event horizon, which marks a point beyond which nothing can escape.
Sadly, anyone who made this journey would never be able to escape the black hole and report back on what it was like in there.
‘No physicist is going to travel into a black hole and measure it,’ Hintz said.
‘This is a question one can really only study mathematically, but it has physical, almost philosophical implications, which makes it very cool.’