Image by Quinn Kampschroer from Pixabay

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

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Can you see Harry Potter at a football game in the Midwest? Chowing on a corn dog, throwing back some good ole Pepsi-Cola? Or can you picture the Harry universe living and loving in the great U. S of A? What would casting look like against the backdrop of the great harvest plains? I have so many thoughts and ideas. The first thought, the change would never work. Keep the story alive on British soil.

But, for fun, let's chat about the idea.

Redditor u/Cuish wanted all the Potter heads out there to share what American tweeks would occur in the Potterverse within America, by asking:

If Harry Potter was set in the United States, how would the story change?
Keep reading... Show less
Luke van Zyl/Unsplash

Life isn't as simple as one may think. It's not always easy to take a step back and look at the big picture, but when there's over seven billion people on the planet, there's no way things are as cut and dry as they seem.

Everyone's experiences are different going through life. We may not be able to see the complexities it if we haven't lived it ourselves.

So we went to Reddit because we wanted to see what's not as simple as people think it is.

Keep reading... Show less
RobinHiggins/Pixabay

Double standards are something we all live with and, quite likely, find extremely annoying. Things like men being expected to hide their emotions—or not have them at all—or women being expected to stay home and support a couple's children, everyone is generally harmed by double standards.

This is especially true when the double standard isn't clear until someone violates it and then has to deal with anger, ridicule, or sometimes even violence as a result.

Content Note: this article mentions suicide and sexual assault, reader discretion advised.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!