The Lost Horizons within the Big Bad Universe, By Samantha Davis

The Lost Horizons within the Big Bad Universe

By Samantha Davis

I daydream that I’m lost in space. To many, it’s a scary thought, facing the vast unknown. But for me, it’s well worth the infinitive risks. The exploration of space is similar to the exploration of oneself. Contrary to what the fearful have comforted themselves with, every aspect of the human psyche is a vast mystery. So much so, other brave daydreamers and I scavenge for the winner of the debate: the mind or the body. The debate questions the literal makeup of a human. Are we more of a mind? Or are we more of a body? While pondering the infinite mystery that is the universe, I’ve realized that in order to maintain my sanity and actually land at viable conclusions, I must establish basic truths. Even with this method, astrophysicists have been able to decipher only a whopping small fraction of space’s daunting mysteries (“whopping” because I once considered any numerical amount of interstellar knowledge an achievement in itself). Then waltzed in Neil Degrasse's input, which I encountered while mindlessly consuming science videos on YouTube. Little did I know, I was encountering a mind-blowing proposal: black energy.

This mysterious force is said to reside in the endless vacuum of space. It’s “mysterious”, because no one knows what it actually is. Occasionally, as I’m pondering this along with the mysteries that it entails, someone rudely interrupts my splendid daydreaming to inquire of what exactly I’m thinking about. Once I introduce the mere plastic covering of my constant daydreams, they often ask as to why I’m so intrigued by merely one of the many mysteries of space. That’s when I explain to my curious listeners that this mysterious pressure found within the vacuum of space is forcing our notoriously big and bad universe to greatly accelerate in its expansion. At hearing this, the gathering of students look at me unaffected all with the same question “How is the expansion of the universe interesting even in the slightest?” Then I let them in on what I’ve deemed, “The Theory of the Lost Horizons”. Our “horizon”  marks the end of all that we are able to observe and see in space. In the lifetime of future human generations, this mysterious force will have rendered our big and bad universe so much more larger and vaster, that all of the galaxies that we’ve studied, all credible support of our knowledge of outer space, would disappear beyond our horizon.

As I daydream, I attempt to dream up a world in which cosmic explorers will only have the stars of the milky way to think about. There would have been a chapter of the universe ripped from their view. They will be trying to contemplate an understanding of the universe without a significant part of what its past was. I stay up at night, compulsively researching articles and videos on dark matter, I wonder…. “Was there some previous chapter ripped from the universe itself today?” And here we are, as Neil Degrasse implanted in my head, “touching the elephant, not knowing in fact there’s an elephant standing there?” Or maybe there’s an elephant’s shadow and the elephant has been moved from out of our view. We don’t know what we don’t know. The fact that there is a chance that there was some previous chapter ripped from the universe itself, keeps me up on hours on end. There is no definite way of knowing. So, I turn to my imagination attempting to visualize the previous chapters, attempting to dream up an Earth without outer space as we now know it. In turn, I attempt to visualize human nature outside the norms set by the deceivingly immortal universal society. Is there much more to human nature then we all know? I slow down my spiraling thoughts with one simple truth. We don’t know what we don't know. Back to square one: exploration.

Virginia ArcherComment