I Don’t Want to Go to There

The universe is terrifying.

This is a picture of a scary space cloud called Barnard 68, a dark nebula. Image credit ESO, used with permission.

This is part of a creative project, which you can read about here.

Prompt:

Where is somewhere you’d never want to travel to and why?

Response:

Dear humans. It’s me, the Lord. I figured now would be a good time to drop by and see how things are going and let you in on some tips and tricks for existing.

The universe is a pretty big place. There are a lot of shitty places you could go. I mean, do whatever you want, but I’m just saying…things could turn into a living nightmare pretty quick. For example, I really recommend staying away from the surface of the sun. That shit is really hot. I mean, you won’t even make it there before you get burned up in the sun’s corona. The surface is “only” about 5500 degrees Celsius. But that corona is about a million degrees. It’s weird. You’ll have to figure that out with some science. Just, don’t go there.

I also would recommend staying away from black holes, just in general. Actually, you’d be alright as long as you went into a big enough one. The black hole at the center of your galaxy is supermassive, but its so big that its density is only about equal to water, so you could actually pass the event horizon and still be alright. Just pack a lunch, because you’re not fucking coming out of that big boi.

But don’t even think about smaller, denser black holes. They’ll rip you to shreds. When the gravitational force differential between your feet and head becomes strong enough, you’ll be pulled apart atom by atom. I think your more metaphorically inclined scientists call this “spaghettification”. Gross.

Anyway, I’m tracking a small object that passed through your solar system a few years ago. A kind of interstellar object that I think you guys call ‘Oumuamua. It’s alien, by the way, and it got loose from its nearby star’s gravitational field when those ding dongs launched it into the void to try to communicate with another species well beyond the reaches of your solar system in a kind of interstellar postal service. That other species went extinct like four million years ago, so hopefully the ‘Oumuamua guys aren’t sitting around waiting. At least they don’t have to worry about read receipts though, am I right? LMAO!

Anyway, anyway. I was just following this thing and passed by, and I got to thinking about some of the places you don’t want to go after I was chilling in the middle of nowhere for a while. I mean, it’s super lonely out here.

What I would probably avoid, if I were of your constitution and had your human anxiety levels — which I don’t, because I’m God — are cosmic supervoids.

Supervoids are the giant regions of space in between the cosmic filaments. They have almost nothing in them. Actually, your galaxy, the Milky Path or whatever you guys call it, is pretty close to the middle of a supervoid right now. You’re so lucky its not in the middle. If it were, you guys wouldn’t have known about other galaxies until the 1960s.

That’s because supervoids are so big that light gets redshifted below the visible spectrum as it crosses the void to meet you. They are between 10 and 100 megaparsecs in diameter. Do you know how big that is? It would take light over three million years just to go one megaparsec.

Let’s say you had enough supplies to live out the rest of your natural days. You would basically be drifting through the middle of space so far away from anything that you wouldn’t even be able to see light from the distant stars. Oh, and it would be super cold. Like almost absolute zero. You would just drift. Forever. Tumbling through the vast expanse of nothing until you grew old and died, crazed and pissing yourself.

Plus, who knows what else might be there. I mean, even looking for an entire civilization in that region would be like hoping to see with the naked eye a rowboat full of people in the middle of the pacific ocean while viewing the earth from the moon. And that’s assuming the civilization even gave off visible light radiation. What if there was a whole colony of weird Lovecraftian space monsters? Or a crapload of those weird monolith things from 2001 A Space Odyssey?

Anyway, if you are going to try it, don’t go into the middle of one of these things alone, unless you want to live the rest of your days like the whining guy in that Death Cab For Cutie song. And if you do go, don’t pray to me, because I’m not following you into the dark. That shit is scary! I spent like sixty gazillion years alone before I created your universe, and I just don’t need that kind of energy in my life anymore.

All the best,

The Lord God Almighty

Sent from my iPhone

How would you have answered the prompt?

I’m a PhD Candidate in philosophy at Central European University. I want people to get excited about ideas.

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