Human beings love to think and talk about outer space. Speculations about the unknown vastness caters perfectly to our innate tendency to explore.
We love to imagine ourselves pushing outward. And space is as "out" as one could possible get.
Yet that tendency toward the furthest reaches of our utmost frontier is based on a paradox: the very speculations that beckon us also horrify us.
Truly, what is scarier than an unfathomably gigantic environment that does not provide the conditions for us to be alive?
Wolf_Echo asked, "What is possibly the most worrying thing about Space?"
The Nitty Gritty Details of a Very Simple Element
"how freaking big it is..."
"Our solar system's outskirts push within range of just under 1 light year. We can't travel remotely close to the speed of light...Our nearest neighbor star is proxima centauri and ~4.3 ly away."
"We are something like 25,000 ly away from the center of our galaxy...1 of billions. The closest galaxy to us (Andromeda) is several million light f'ing years away."
"Now go back a step...there are billions and billions (say it like Carl Sagan!!) of galaxies out there, each with at least 100s of millions of stars, many with billions of stars, some even with trillions (Andromeda has ~1t stars)..."
"...and we can't even get remotely close to out of our own solar system w/ a manned vessel and our understanding of physics makes it nearly impossible to do so."
"Realizing how much we don't understand." -- mihaidesigns
"We could literally be eliminated in an instant by some random space event we don't even know about" -- Alexallen21
"It's also scary to know we still don't know everything in our ocean's" -- Wolf_Echo
If Only the Other Life Forms Also Used Email
"There could be an entire social system that we aren't yet a part of."
"At some point, another species could show up, assuming that we saw the bulletin posted at the hub, and give us mere minutes to evacuate before wiping us out of existence."
Laying in Wait
"The Fermi Paradox and 'The Great Filter.'"
"Basically; given the age of the universe, the number of stars, the possibility of life arising on any given planet and the distances involved we should be seeing evidence of Alien life everywhere."
"Even one slightly advanced civilisation would only need 2 million years or so to fully colonise the Milky Way at speeds not much faster than we can currently attain. To put that in perspective; Earth has existed for 4.54 billion years, the galaxy 13.6 billion years."
"The best estimates, using the Drake equation, put the number of current, advanced civilisations in the Milky Way at 36."
"Again, we should be seeing evidence of life everywhere. We are not. Which leads us to the uncomfortable conclusion that 'something' is stopping intelligent life spreading across the stars."
"This something is called 'The Great Filter' and it is completely unknown. It could be that intelligent life is really, really improbable and therefore we have already overcome it just by being here. Or it could be in our future...waiting to swat us like insects."
Not For Humans
"How utterly inhospitable it is. Unlike the explorers of Earth's past, who, while not really knowing what they might find, could always depend on at least being able to breathe, space explorers can't."
"Outside of their small spacecrafts is an environment utterly hostile to any form of life that we know of."
"The lack of oxygen, the hard radiation, the radical changes in temperature from near absolute zero in the shadow to hundreds of degrees in full light of the sun, the vacuum trying to evaporate and disperse all gases and liquids in your body, etc."
"For the explorers to survive they have to bring everything with them. Food, water, even air, all have to be packed in with them in their tiny ships, and once it is gone, that's it, there's no way of getting more before you get back home."
"The smallest change in your flight trajectory could have you dying of starvation and thirst months or years before anyone could even begin to attempt a rescue or recovery."
Thinking Really Hard About Nothingness
"That space is made of nothing. It just boggles my mind. Everything is made of something. How can there really be nothing? What is nothing made out of?"
"If the universe was nothing and now something is there, like rocks, how can something be made of nothing?"
"That I am merely a Boltzmann Brain that spontaneously came into existence by mere chance of arrangement of a bunch of atoms. A brain floating in mostly empty space, with memories, and nothing that I perceive to exist actually does."
"And my entire existence is much shorter than the time required to type this, but the brain works fast whilst dreaming."
Ehh, I Give Aliens the Edge
"'Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.' - Arthur C. Clarke" -- maleorderbride
"Why would it be terrifying if we aren't alone? I don't understand why people keep repeating this quote." -- kidno
"Because we've had very hostile reactions with tribes of humans with vastly different technology bases."
"And they might see us as a potential threat in the future so better to just toss a few big rocks at our planet to stop us before we become a threat or rival." -- Tearakan
The Pragmatic Concerns
"Having to wear one of those space helmets. I always wonder what happens if your face starts itching, you get something in your eye or you sneeze." -- chewiemdp
"Personally, I'm terrified of the final front ear." -- DocSaysItsDainBramuj
"Chris Hadfield almost drowned in his EVA helmet. Think about how terrifying that is, for a second." -- MooseTetrino
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