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How often do you find yourself lying awake at night thinking of all the things that unsettle you or even creep you out? Once you start, it's difficult to stop, right?

A lot?

Phew.

Not just me, then.

After Redditor BiblicalBible asked the online community, “What's the scariest theory you know about?" people told us about the theories that keep their minds spinning long after they should have fallen asleep.


“Don’t some animals...”

If the human body senses trauma it is unable to combat, it will switch off metabolism, pump endorphins, and slip into a pain free dissociative state.

In essence, shutting down. Its been seen in air crashes and lots of places really.

Basically your body can switch itself off.

Iamnotarobot

“I suffer from PTSD...”

I suffer from PTSD from working in conflict zones. When you're continuously working in these regions, your body pushes past the pain and difficulties you encounter. It modifies your life to always expect danger and as such it normalises what you see to cope.

But what really hurts, is when you come home. The switch your brain makes from survival cannot be processed buying groceries or taking a gentle walk. It thinks that the changes it made in areas of fighting were permanent and that's why it's so difficult to go back to 'normal.’

So basically, when I was abroad, I felt no pain and the scary part is, I felt invincible. Being back home, I'm in a world of mental anguish and feel like a paper house.

Tyboyo

“During the Challenger accident...”

During the Challenger accident from 1986, whenever the shuttle exploded, the ground crews had the astronauts EKG's and vital scans....after the explosion, the astronauts were still alive. Theory has it that they were cognizant the entire time until they crashed in the ocean.

Seanh47

“I find numbers stations...”

I find numbers stations to be pretty creepy.

Their purpose is technically a theory, as the groups that broadcast them won't officially confirm even their existence for the most part.

Essentially, spying is still a very real thing for most world governments. One of the most foolproof ways of delivering a coded message is through a one-time code - a code used just once before being discarded. Your spy has the key, you have the message, and once the key is used it is discarded and the next message is sent using a different key. Additionally, shortwave radio is an extremely secure way of sending these messages.

It sounds weird, that a radio station anyone with a shortwave radio can listen to, would be considered 'secure'. But the beauty of the method is that shortwave radios are ubiquitous, cheap technology throughout most of the world. What looks more suspicious - a person traveling with a radio, or a person traveling with a sophisticated computer or satellite phone? While the signal can be received by anyone, it leaves no record of who received it and can't be intercepted and traced by a middleman. They don't care if you listen, because the stream of numbers is nothing without the code, and because you're using a one-time code, it can't be cracked as it's randomly generated and used once. The only time a one-time code has ever been broken was an instance where the code was re-used.

So your spy just tunes in to the radio at a specific time on a specific day, writes down the numbers. Decodes the message, discards the key, and no one is any the wiser. Most stations are identified by a call sign or little jingle, and these can range from kind of cute and cheerful to pretty eerie sounding. If you listen in frequently, you'll hear messages repeated over and over until one day they change up - it's believed they'll repeat the message until their spy can communicate they've received it. Essentially, if you have a shortwave radio, you can listen in on highly secret spy communications from countries all over the world. You can also listen in on countries jamming the communication, either by broadcasting state radio on the same signal, or trying to jam it with noise or static.

You'd think the frequency of these transmissions would have gone down after the Cold War, but they're still going strong! The very first numbers stations appeared in the very early days of radio, during World War I. I find it fascinating, but also super creepy, that all of this secret communication is happening right out in the open, for us to tune in to at any time, without any way of knowing who it is intended for or what is being transmitted.

Titinbulation

“If you die...”

If you die by being beheaded the last thing you might see is your decapitated body.

Groov99

“In the past...”

In the past when executions by beheading were still a thing, they would usually tie a piece of cloth around the condemned's eyes so that they couldn't see anything. They were also placed in a way that the neck faced upwards with a basket for the head to fall in face forward. So basically the last thing you'd see (if you'd see at all) would be the bottom of the basket.

Do-Vanci

The dark forest theory. This explains the Fremi paradox, why we haven't seen any other advanced life forms despite the vastness of the universe. Other advanced life forms don't send out signals into the rest of the universe because they're worried that something more advanced and dangerous is going to find them first. There's another idea that other civilizations know there's something out there but don't send any signals because it has no reason to not wipeout the entire planet.

There's a science fiction book based on this and I think this quote explains it better than I can:

"The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds another life—another hunter, angel, or a demon, a delicate infant to tottering old man, a fairy or demigod—there's only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them."

Iloveruby29

Cosmology can be disturbing.

For instance, I recently learned of dead end trips. There are some destinations that you shouldn't try for. It's possible to travel so far away from where you started, that the expansion of the universe will exceed the speed you were travelling at.

You can't return home, because home is receding faster than you can travel.

You can't reach your destination, because it too is receding faster than you can travel.

You can no longer get anywhere, only get further away from everything.

You cannot reach any destination, even if you travel forever.

Sexycoed1972

“A lot of comments...”

A lot of comments bringing up the Fermi paradox to explain the lack of evidence of extraterrestrial life, when by all accounts we should be seeing alien life all over the universe.

Here's another, unsettling, explanation: if you're scuba diving above a coral reef, and you know that there SHOULD be fish all around you, but you don't see any, it's most likely that they have learned that for some reason it's important not to be seen.

And since you're a newcomer to this environment, chances are it's not you they're hiding from.

AndysBrotherDan

"You will or have been..."

There is only one consciousness in this world. You are all of them. You are living the live of every living being. You are living your life, the lifes of your neighbors, your enemies, everyone you don't even know. You have also been living the lifes of everyone in the past and the future and you are me! Time is just to keep everything in a loose order. In every conversation you have, you are both participants. You will or have been perceiving it from the other point of view before youre birth or after your dead.

Ben_BenOnly

"Probably the scariest theory I know about..."

This one is pretty rough so use your imagination,

Probably the scariest theory I know about is that if someone ever truly finds out why we are here and all the questions of the universe and how it was made, the universe will instantly be wiped and everything and everyone in it will disappear and nobody will ever know what happened or if this has already happened and a completely new and even weirder universe will be created and life will restart from the beginning but many thongs will change.

There is also another theory that this has already happened and that we are one of many failed universes waiting to the wiped out when someone finds out what truly happens, pretty scary to me.

Happy_Floor11

"You see..."

I have often gotten creeped out by this thing. There is now a theory that there are universes away from us in a direction that is an extra dimension.

You see, the distance to someone in that extra dimension could be less than an inch. And you can't see them at all.

But THEY can not only see you, but they can see your heart and the insides of your rectum and the insides of every cell of your body.

tomtac

"In my youth..."

Okay, here's a theory I had waaay back when I used to be religious.

In my youth I often wondered why God created such a vast universe if humans were only confined to Earth. I'd ask this question to older believers and I'd get non-answers such as "It demonstrates the glory of God!' of "the human mind cannot fathom God's reasons" or other such bullshit. It was their way of saying "I don't know" without saying "I don't know."Eventually I formed my own theory. Bear in mind this theory assumes God exists and the Bible is literal so take it as you will.

Christianity teaches that man was originally immortal but sinned and God sentenced man to death. If man hadn't sinned, he would not have lost his immortality. If mankind was immortal and was told by God to "be fruitful and multiply" then it would only take a few centuries till the earth became overcrowded. So my theory was that God originally created the universe to be as large as it is to accommodate an ever expanding human population.

So, yeah, I formulated that one back when I was still brainwashed by religion and had yet to discover the importance of critical thought. Have fun dissecting it. I know it's not scary as a theory. What is scary is that I believed it.

BiterBlast

"I actually don't see how..."

The scariest/creepiest theory I know is the conclusion I've come to after having studied religion and spirituality, then philosophy, then psychology:

That all human activity, beliefs, feelings, wars, religions, relationships--everything humans ever do, think, or feel is a direct result of the perfect and complete "cognitive dissonance" (trauma) caused by the fact that we are biologically driven to survive at all cost, yet we know we will die no matter what; and that any truly "mentally healthy" human being who was consistently able to fully face that fact would live a life of total and constant terror.

I actually don't see how this theory could be false, even in the case of people who sacrifice their own lives for something. None of us has any reason to consider anything we do as being sane rather than insane, because all of us are in an absolutely unacceptable situation which we have no choice but to accept.

poverello78

"So how much control do we have?"

We live in a computer simulation.

Okay, this one isn't necessarily that bad, it's more about what it means.

Here's the lowdown: We invented computers and started working on things like artificial intelligence and video games. Now consider how many strides we've made in the last fifty years, let alone century; we've gone from simple executable code with repeated patterns to artificial intelligence that's sophisticated to hunt you down in a video game. The AI in Alien Isolation (Which I'm using as an example) is sophisticated enough to learn your patterns; use the flamethrower too many times, it'll hide out of reach. Hide in too many lockers? It'll learn to search them. Throw too many noisemakers? It'll learn to ignore them. Compare what it's capable of compared to the enemies even ten years prior. What will we achieve in another ten years? Twenty? Fifty?

Basically, it's likely that (barring extinction) we'll eventually create a simulated universe so sophisticated, its inhabitants are (for all intents and purposes) sapient. They evolve and develop rich cultures. They create art. They seek to learn more about the world they inhabit. Barring extinction, at least one (but more likely several) species across that artificial universe will eventually invent computers, artificial intelligence, and eventually create artificial universes of their own.

If you accept that to be true then, statistically, it's far, far more likely that we're artificial than not: there's only one original universe but on a long enough timeframe trillions of artificial universes contained within each other, like a nesting doll, each filled with sapient creatures eventually creating at least one artificial universe of their own.

So how much control do we have? Is global warming a mechanic in a video game? Are elections and wars special events? Have you ever intentionally killed a sim? Imagine that on a universal scale, where a player (or a group of them) decides to see what will happen if an Archduke gets assassinated, or if a deadly virus gets released?

If this is true (and statistically it's far more likely than the alternative) then there is a creator, but it's not some wise, all-knowing, benevolent deity, it's a sapient creature (or group of them) with all the fallibility that entails.

video_kid

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