Nothing is more unsettling for the human mind than to contemplate something it can’t explain. That is why astronomy and astrophysics are not for sane individuals. These people go to sleep at night not sure if what they had just discovered is a breakthrough or an impending danger for the entire planet.
Speeding black holes, galaxies made of booze, and aliens with the only purpose of driving us mad with their mind games – that’s a preview of a list that goes through the strangest things we ever came across while traveling or studying the outer space.
1. Rogue Planets
Astronomers usually don’t like the idea of alarming the population.
However, they had to break the silence about one of the strangest things they uncovered while gazing through their telescopes. Some planets escape the tutelage of their stars and turn into the hobos of the Universe.
Hippies are the only ones that adore the idea their lifestyle has a celestial equivalent. The rest of us are left to worry and ponder why planets escaping their stars exist in the first place.
Such rogue planets can wreak havoc if they breach into the solar system and mess around. The worst-case scenario would be an erratic visitor showing up on a collision course with our planet. We would be so screwed!
God doesn’t like to play dices for a good reason. Galactic billiard is much more exciting!
Coming up next is something stranger and more menacing than a traveling planet.
2. Wandering Black Holes
Let’s face it! When scientist first talked about black holes our minds went numb.
People tried in vain to picture the absurd laws of physics governing the mysterious objects. Just when we learned to accept them as they are, an update from the guys wearing thick glasses made it even more uncomfortable.
When they are bored consuming the nearby stars and galaxies, some black holes pack up their belongings and go on an unstoppable rampage. Nothing can stand in the way of the celestial objects that are the very top of the trophic food chain.
Do you still have a hard time figuring out how black holes digest matter, light, and all traces of what once existed? All you have to do is go to your bathroom and watch how the sink’s hole sucks everything through it.
We sense that plumbing offers a little inspiration in answering questions like “Who pulled the sink stopper out?”
Coming up next is something even more sinister than black holes. Yes, it can get even worse!
3. Dark Matter
An unlikely friendship between astronomers and accountants led to a startling conclusion.
Doing the math revealed that the visible matter was not enough to explain the gravitational forces shaping the Universe. Something was there, invisible to our eyes and instruments, yet influencing reality.
You can imagine how religious folks rubbed their hands in excitement while preparing the “We told you so!” lecture. However, scientists were not yet ready to accept defeat.
They gave the mysterious entity a name – dark matter and left it there to haunt the future generations. We still don’t know what to do with it and wait for the next Einstein to enlighten us!
Nevertheless, a small group of researchers proposed a radical approach. What lurks in the shadows of the space-time continuum is nothing but love. That makes “bringing people together” a fancy way of defying gravity.
It might shock you, but the universe is not done yet with the crazy stuff! Coming up next is something that shouldn’t exist!
4. Eridanus Supervoid
Astronomers rubbed their eyes until they bled when their telescopes picked up a patch of the night sky that was empty.
The inner perfectionist in you might adore how neat and tidy a piece of space can be without the messy matter and energy populating it chaotically. Even so, you can’t deny the so-called Eridanus Supervoid is as eerie and disturbing as it can get.
Maybe someone forgot to pay the electrical bill, or maybe the landlord enforced a full-scale eviction. Few facts are clear. The supervoid is huge (billions of light years across), and we have no means of knowing what lies there.
As far as we are aware, we are equal to children that populate with monsters the darkness under their bed. Even adults would have a hard time coping with such an anomaly.
An astronomer traveling right to the center of the Eridanus Supervoid would find itself in pitch black, unable to see the hands in front of him. Can you imagine yourself staring at nothing all the time? Your mind would implode in no time.
Make sure to put some clothes on you. The next page reveals another massive structure of the Universe, one that will give you the chills!
5. The Great Attractor
They call it the Great Attractor for a good reason.
Whether we like it or not, we are all traveling through the Universe, and the ticket is one way only. Our Milky Way is speeding towards a point in the night sky whose story remained a mystery until modern astronomy kicked in.
The formation known as the Great Attractor is pulling towards it all nearby galaxies, at a speed that doesn’t have to worry us (for now!). It would take billions of years before we reach the source of this incredible gravitational pull.
What waits for us there could be less glamorous than we expect. Maybe that’s only a junkyard for galaxies. Or maybe is hell!
Whatever your guess is on the Great Attractor, it would certainly enhance your vocabulary for the next romantic stargazing getaway. “Do you know, honey, there’s a huge magnet in the sky?”
Check out what they found when they looked through bigger lenses!
6. Shapley Supercluster
Forget about the Great Attractor and its catchy name!
The Shapley Supercluster is bigger, brighter, and even more mysterious. Everything that we see in the night’s sky is moving towards a behemoth millions of light years in diameter, and which shows no signs of ever getting satiated. Its breakfast of champions is based on galaxies.
The Big Bang Theory (not the show!) tells us that galaxies are destined to get farther from each other. Don’t keep your fingers crossed on that! Another sect of astrophysicists claims we are heading towards the Big Crunch.
Below, an artist tried to envision how the future might look. Flying your UFO would be a real nightmare in a crowded cosmic neighborhood and finding a free parking spot would be impossible.
The slow agonizing death of the Big Crunch lies billions of years away. Meanwhile, something else can wipe out our entire species effortless. Click next to see!
7. Gamma-Ray Burst
The Universe has a weapon of mass destruction – gamma-ray bursts.
Dying stars that are big enough afford to end their life cycle with an incredible display of power. They eject mass and energy from their two poles just before turning into neutron stars or black holes.
Now comes the creepy stuff. Emitting for a couple of seconds the same amount of energy as the sun would in its entire existence, gamma-ray burst are capable of frying the Earth and turning into a lifeless wasteland.
We suspect something like that happened in our planet’s past. Extinction events might have prevented the fish from building civilizations.
Gamma-ray bursts are still pretty much an enigma. We don’t know when will one hit us, neither what to do to protect ourselves.
Keep this in mind! If your TV suddenly turns into static, a distant star blew its kiss of death on us.
Starting with the next page, we focus on a whole new family of strange things found in outer space. Prepare your mind because it will be blown!
8. Wow! Signal
The “Wow!” signal of 1977 was for a long time the most solid piece of evidence we had on alien life.
Lasting for full 72-seconds, it made astronomers pop their champagne bottles in anticipation of the telegram asking us to join the Galactic Confederation. However, the skies remained silent, despite our efforts to spring up another “conversation.”
6EQUJ5 is quite cryptic for an icebreaker. What happened to “hey” or “how are you?”
We won’t bore you with technicalities, but we need to say this out loud. Chatting between galaxies is harder than it seems. It’s the equivalent of leaving an “I love you” written on a piece of napkin in the middle of the sea and expecting a gorgeous girl to call you back.
Interference with space junk or alien prank call, the “Wow!” signal will remain a rope to cling to, hoping we are not alone in this strange Universe.
Coming up next is another startling discovery. This one is still a mystery.
9. WTF Star
KIC 8462852 is the mysterious object that made scientists lose their mind and side up with ufologists.
Contrary to what you would expect following such a groundbreaking discovery, the WTF stands for “Where’s the flux?” To be more exact, the star located 1,200 light-years from us displayed unprecedented light fluctuations, which occurred outside any known pattern.
What could have caused such an anomaly? Answers vary from a cloud of comets to a massive alien structure orbiting the star.
You know things just got real when astrophysicist come upfront and say “Yeah, aliens probably did it.” Even so, the only way to accept it as evidence that we are not alone is by rejecting all other theories, one by one.
With all eyes and telescopes set on KIC 8462852, other tormenting questions come to mind. How advanced is that civilization to be able to toy with construction work at the grandest of scale?
Alien probing our digestive system is nothing compared to what others fear. The good thing is that they don’t know we are watching. Or do they?
Take a break from all those fear-inducing things found in outer space for something … well, more entertaining.
10. Outer Space Music
Astronauts of the Apollo 10 mission had something to cheer them while they were orbiting the dark side of the moon.
“Boy, that sure is weird music. We’re going to have to find out about that. Nobody will believe us.” The declassified transcript of their conversation aboard the lunar module puts it beyond doubt that they all picked up strange sounds coming from outer space.
Obviously, NASA did everything to dismiss wild theories and claimed there is a natural cause for the whistling the astronauts heard. However, all clues point out in a different direction.
It’s common knowledge that no earthly signal can reach the dark side of the moon. Even the lunar module halts its communication with Mission Control.
We are certainly anxious to greet the day when MTV Top 40 will have its first alien song featured. Star Wars showed us extraterrestrials have excellent saxophone players.
The next strange thing discovered in outer space is not bad at all.
11. Space Booze
Aliens distillers produced alcohol in such vast quantities that there’s an entire intergalactic cloud of conscious-altering delights left behind.
How much? Well, let just say that it is enough to produce 200 trillion trillion liters of beer out of it. If that isn’t a sign of civilization, we give up!
However, there is a downside to it. The incredible celestial body discovered in 1995 is “only” 10,000 light-years away, meaning that, at least for now, it is out of reach. But we are sure that’s enough of motivation for hoards of scientists to make a priority out of breaching the speed of light barrier.
What happened there must have been dramatic! Are we dealing with clumsy aliens that ended a keg party with a major spillage incident? Worse, we could be talking about alien bootleggers dumping their precious cargo after the Intergalactic Cops gained on them.
Astronomy suddenly becomes worth your time when there is free booze up there for grabs.
Check out the mysterious vehicle orbiting above our heads.
12. Black Knight
You don’t need to go too far out to come across the mysteries of space.
Sometimes it is enough to remain in Earth’s orbit, where you can get the rare chance to see the Black Knight satellite. Don’t believe all those telling it’s only a piece of space junk just to avoid causing mass panic.
Legend says that the mysterious flying vehicle has been in orbit for the past 13,000 years or so, keeping a close eye on us since the dawns of modern civilization. It remains to see whether it would ever choose to communicate.
Last time we checked, all alleged attempts to initiate contact ended with a defiant silence. Do we still have to learn until we can talk to this alien master race?
Check out a mystery of outer space NASA badly wants to keep it a secret.
13. UFO Parking Lot
“These babies are huge, sir … enormous…. Oh, God, you wouldn’t believe it! I’m telling you there are other spacecraft out there… lined up on the far side of the crater edge… they’re on the moon watching us.”
That’s what Mission Control heard from the Apollo 11 mission just before they made contact with the lunar surface. Yep, right before Neil Armstrong made that giant leap for mankind, his feet were probably shaking, and his space suit had most likely overflowed with sweat.
Someone or something had already “parked” on the Moon and was waiting for the terrestrials as if it was their living room. Can you imagine the pressure of having two sets of eyes on you?
As humanity watched the TV broadcast of Armstrong’s descent on the moon, bigger eyes witnessed the whole thing live.
Although both Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin later changed their official position regarding the events, their shocking conversation with Houston remains. The Moon was one huge parking lot for unidentified vehicles, and that’s by far one of the strangest discovery we made since venturing into outer space.
Let’s go beyond the Moon for something even more unsettling!
14. Human Face on Mars
A disturbing piece of evidence leaves little room for doubt whether life once existed on Mars.
Traces of an ancient civilization were accidentally revealed by NASA itself following the 1973 fly-by of Viking 1 Orbiter. Of all, the most famous is what seems to be a head formation facing up.
Located in the Cydonia region, the human figure became emblematic for the fascination the Red Planet attracted regarding its past. It is backed by pyramid-like structures, mysterious creatures roaming through the reddish desert, and even parked UFOs like the ones we saw on the moon.
Yeah, yeah, we know the “official” version – just an optical mirage facilitated by our desire to recognize a pattern in an otherwise lifeless landscape. Believers and skeptics will have to fight until a manned mission gets there to settle the debate.
Coming up next, another planet of the solar system displays odd signs of visitation. But it’s not what you think!
15. Mercury’s Mickey Mouse Crater
Just when you though the Universe couldn’t get any stranger, a formation on Mercury reminds you of a childhood favorite.
The Mickey Mouse head formation is disturbing from every angle. There is no way meteors could have crashed in the same area forming such a definite pattern!
Conspiracy theory enthusiasts have reasons to cheer. Their logic was correct. Below is the sketch that led to the project on Mercury.
The three closely packed craters defy all possible explanation and prove that the Disney Empire is already expanding beyond Earth. Buying the Star Wars franchise was just a warm up for what is going to happen.
A new civilization is dawning in our Galaxy, and mice with giant ears will rule it. Not the best time to be alive if you hate children cartoons!
We end the list with a question rather than an object.
16. Where is everyone?
It should be obvious by now that other beings inhabit our Universe. Whether signaling at us from light-years away or fooling around on our turf, they play a hide and seek game that is no longer funny.
Where is everyone? Where are the red carpet and the champagne? Or the Gray alien patting us on the back for inventing social media and not blowing our planet with nuclear weapons?
Like a kid, we feel neglected, ignored. It’s like the moment we are stepping in the playground the other children hide and laugh behind our back, calling us names, and confronting us face to face only trough traumatizing abductions.
Ok, we don’t want the key of the galaxy, but at least the birth certificate for our civilization. By far the strangest thing we found since we started exploring the outer space is that others seem to be hiding from us.
If our calculations are right, the Universe should be teaming with life. Where is everyone?