The world may or may not be quite all it seems. We still have a lot to learn about our world and the universe around us and these terrifying theories go some way to explaining where have come from as a species and where we are going. From artificial intelligence set on punishing us all to the possibility that our universe could cease to exist in an instance, here are the 10 scariest theories known to man.
The Great Filter
It’s a theory about why the universe seems so filled with potential for life and yet we haven’t found it. It states that somewhere between pre-life and an advanced civilization that is capable of colonizing the stars, there’s a Great Filter that stops them and ends life.
Higher Dimensional Beings
Imagine if there was a 2D person. If you stare at them a certain way, they can’t see you. All you have to do is look from a top view and they won’t know you are there, and they would never know. Now imagine a 4D person. They could be looking at you from a 4 dimensional angle, an angle that you will never understand. They could be right beside you, but you wouldn’t know, and you would never know.
So it’s not that we can’t pick up the signals from Planet X using our technology, it’s that we can’t even comprehend what the beings from Planet X are or what they’re trying to do. It’s so beyond us that even if they really wanted to enlighten us, it would be like trying to teach ants about the internet.
This is, in short, a scientific hypothesis that our universe is actually in a false phase state as part of a larger universe, like if it were a temporary thing. Eventually however that false vacuum has to pop, even after billions of years in this false state and we and everything we know in our visible universe will disappear in an instant with no warning whatsoever and there is nothing you can do about it.
Brain in a vat
The brain in a vat is an element used in a variety of thought experiments intended to draw out certain features of our ideas of knowledge, reality, truth, mind, and meaning.
The Sixth Mass Extinction
We are currently living through what many biologists consider to be the sixth mass extinction that the world has ever seen. This is going to be an interesting puzzle for the species that comes after us. Exponential growth has very large and long lasting negative effects on our planet, and will continue to do so until we reach carrying capacity or die off.
Quantum Suicide/Quantum Immortality
This theory is about splitting storylines of our lives every time we die or could die. It means that if we hypothetically survived an accident that could have been fatal, there would be a different universe in which we perished in that very accident or vice versa.
It is a proposition that says an all-powerful artificial intelligence from the future may retroactively punish those who did not assist in bringing about its existence. It resembles a futurist version of Pascal’s wager; an argument suggesting that people should take into account particular singularitarian ideas, or even donate money, by weighing up the prospect of punishment versus reward.
Terror Management Theory
Everything that humanity has ever accomplished beyond basic survival has been motivated by a fundamental and irreducible fear of non-existence. Our conception of self and self-esteem generally is simply a buffer against the anxiety that comes with recognizing that we will cease to be.
The hypothesis proposes that once civilizations saturate their local region of space with their intelligence, reach microscopic technological singularity, create a black hole and leave our visible, macroscopic universe in order to continue exponential growth of complexity and intelligence, and disappear from this universe, thus explaining the Fermi Paradox.
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