Astrophysicist Janna Levin recently released Black Hole Survival Guide, her latest book that takes a no-nonsense and comprehensible approach to what could happen to the human body should once ever manage to get close enough to the cosmic phenomenon known as a black hole. In an excerpt published from the book earlier this week, one that has since started to go viral, Levin details the horrific ways humans would be reduced to completely nothingness on approach to a black hole.
As Levin explains, mathematics and science tell us there's the likelihood material within a black hole simply seizes to exist — it's not only reduced to its smallest form, it's completely wiped from existence.
"As you fall toward the singularity, you are badly broken. The part of your body closest to the singularity is accelerated drastically faster than the part of your body farthest from the singularity, stretching you miserably," the cosmologist writes in the book's excerpt, first published by the BBC's Science Focus magazine. "Simultaneously, your overall anatomy is forced to converge toward that point, crushing you. In a microsecond, less time than it would take to blink your eye, you are simultaneously flayed, shredded, and pulverised to death."
Levin adds, "Your organic matter is then pummelled, tattered, and inevitably shattered into elementary constituents. Ultimately, your fundamental bits spray toward the cut in spacetime and cease to be."
Phew. What a way to go, right?
It should be noted the scientist also provides an explanation from an opposing angle as well, especially since — y'know — science has no definitive proof of what takes place within a black hole.
"It’s also conceivable that it’s nonsense. There aren’t all that many supporters for the remnant hypothesis," Levin writes. "As long as we’re succumbing to speculation, here’s a favourite: once inside of the black hole, maybe everything ruptures into a white hole, something like a new big bang into another part of the Universe, because black holes can be bigger on the inside than they are on the outside. Like Doctor Who’s TARDIS. There could be a whole other Universe inside that hole."
The excerpt concludes, "A black hole is a place, a location in spacetime, eerily dark and bare and empty. And yet, scientists have not been able to answer the seemingly simple question, ‘Where do we go if we fall in?’"0comments
Cover photo by Tobias Roetsch/Future Publishing via Getty Images