"I need to go to sleep but I can’t put my phone away because of this thread," someone commented in the now-viral Reddit thread. In it, hundreds of people are sharing their replies to "What is the scariest/creepiest theory you know about?" Ranging from theories about space travel to death, the answers are all sorts of intriguing.

"I came into this thread unafraid of death, I’m leaving petrified - thanks!" someone commented and we can't help but agree! More than 65k people liked the thread, prompting it to go viral on the social media platform. Therefore, as always, we encourage you to vote for the theories you found the most interesting! In addition to this, if you have a scary or creepy theory you know about, share in the comment section down below!

More info: Reddit

#1

May or not be a “theory”, but the first thing I thought of was that feeling you get when you’re on top of a building and think “what if I jumped?” Or when you’re driving and think “what if I just swerve into traffic.”

Well it’s actually got a name: L’appel du vide. French for “The call of the void.” I always thought the idea of some ethereal presence calling you towards darkness... creepy.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
11 months ago

I have those kind of thoughts “what if I walked in front of a train” and stuff like that when I have suicidal thoughts. I have no intent on doing it, I just think about what if?

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#2

We’ve all pretty much heard of Uncanny Valley (the creeped out anxious feeling when you look at something that’s humanoid but there’s something clearly wrong with it. Like the wax figures at Madame Tussaud’s or that AI robot Sophia)

But my favorite theory to come out of it is that we get that strange feeling because somewhere along human evolution we’ve learned to be wary of things that look human... but aren’t.

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Shelp
Community Member
11 months ago

That's very clever !... and it gives me goosebumps.

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#3

More of a story than a theory, but it correlates to some of these and makes me think some could be real. When I was younger I had this little stuffed animal dog I named rocky. One night, my younger sisters and I (who all slept in the same room so we could hangout together) were messing around, and I two handed over head tossed rocky into the wall directly in front of my bed. He hit the wall, slid down behind whatever was in front of my bed, and was NEVER seen again. I immediately went to go get him and he just wasn’t anywhere. We tore the whole entire small room apart. We all saw the event occur. Over time the room has been completely emptied out, everything in it rearranged, walls painted, everything- and no rocky. He just completely phased out of existence. Makes me think he glitched out of the system or something.

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Shelp
Community Member
11 months ago

I once had a passport that disappeared that way. The room I last saw it in was totally emptied several times, but I never found it back. Had to have a new one made.

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#4

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.

EDIT: the number of scuba divers saying they've experienced this and then noticed a shark nearby is alarming.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
11 months ago

Pretty much anytime your in the ocean there are sharks swimming nearby. We are no their food source so generally don’t bother coming near enough to do any harm. They are no out to get us, it’s just that sharks explore using their jaws which unfortunately has a lot of razor sharp teeth that will do a lot of damage. Very very rarely has a person been eaten by a shark, most of the time the person is let go once the shark realises we are not tasty and the person dies from drowning, shock or blood loss.

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#5

Our “world” is out perception of our surroundings in our 3 dimensional life. It’s possible that we are living amongst beings, things and events that we cannot experience because we are 3 dimensions and they are not.

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Tomas Holicka
Community Member
11 months ago

We cannot directly experience a majority of the electromagnetic spectrum, let alone other dimensions than space and time (which makes 4 dimensions in total, one of them one-way only).

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#6

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.

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Tomas Holicka
Community Member
11 months ago

Your body gives you a couple of minutes pain-free. I experienced this first-hand recently when I chopped off the tip of my finger. I suppose it is the same in the battlefield when you get seriously hurt. If you happen to die in that window, your death was essentially painless. The thought brings me some comfort in life.

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#7

The Gaian Bottleneck theory. Basically the reason we've never encountered or been contacted by aliens is because they're all dead. Every alien species that evolved to form advanced societies eventually outgrew their planet and destroyed themselves. Like we are.

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Francis
Community Member
11 months ago

even if they found us, they probably see the dinosaurs or nothing when th're looking at us right now. the light needs a looot of time to travel

Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
11 months ago

I still can't wrap my head around this. I get that light takes along time to travel, but dinosaurs aren't light. I can't explain how I see this...the light doesn't have a picture of the dinosaur traveling, it is just light. I know I'm wrong, but I still can't get it.

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Didi Wong
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

I sometimes wonder if there is another civilization out there that is wondering the same thing we are, 'Is there life out there?'. We always assume that these 'beings' are smarter, but what if they have the same mental capacity as us, so they are also waiting for aliens to contact them. Just wondering.

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
11 months ago

That's pretty pessimistic, how do we know they haven't overcome sustainability and are traveling the galaxy like trekkers? :D

Beatrice Multhaupt
Community Member
11 months ago

Definitely not. We haven't been contacted because we're too dumb to use their technology peacefully but smart enough to use it violently.

What's In Your Head?
Community Member
11 months ago

I wish I could upvote this a million times. Nail on the head!

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Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
11 months ago

kurzgesagt on youtube did a good video on that, calling it the stair step theory. Very good work, worth the watch.

Chich
Community Member
11 months ago

I think it is more due to the vast distances involved and the huge amount of nothing between stars. If you go online you can find depictions of the milky way with a bubble of how far our earliest radio signals have gone. It is a very very small bubble.

Makabert Abylons
Community Member
11 months ago

Yep most people dont seem to have an understanding about the size of the universe.. it would take 100.000 years just to cross our galaxy in lightspeed. So we can just forget the idea of exploring interstellar space. Probably never gonna happen. i hope im wrong tho

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Bacony Cakes
Community Member
11 months ago

Or they're just waiting for us to stop being assholes about other alien species. Betcha this "great filter" is just mitochondria or some sh*t.

Kim
Community Member
11 months ago

Now you’re on the right track.

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Amanda Hunter
Community Member
11 months ago

I humans do become extinct, we don't deserve this beautiful planet.

Leodavinci
Community Member
11 months ago

Just one of many theories attempting to answer the Fermi so-called "Paradox". Which really just ignores the most likely explanations. 1) Life is just not as common as they assume it might be. Likely due to very specific conditions required. I don't think we're alone in the universe, but we know of only world on which life (let alone intelligent life) has evolved... and we still don't know anywhere near all of the circumstances under which it did so. 2) Advanced life with an interplanetary civilization (never mind an interstellar one) is going to require instantaneous (or nearly so) advanced technology communications in order to maintain a civilization amongst several planets/colonies. We can't detect/contact them because, by analogy, they're using radio, we're using smoke signals.

Dave P
Community Member
11 months ago

However if you saw the news lately, allegedly we are in contact with Aliens, or so the 87 year old former director of a major space program and retired general said.

Tabitha L
Community Member
11 months ago

This has been my thought for awhile. Not necessarily the destroy themselves part, but rather that they existed millions or billions of years ago.

Kennedy Longworth
Community Member
11 months ago

I'm scared that by the time I'm grown up the Earth will be all messed up.

Reeses Pieces
Community Member
5 months ago

my theory is that when the Allied forces dropped the Atomic bomb in Hiroshima, it cause a shift in the universe, possibly tearing apart other planets, or perhaps something to attract aliens

XxxPotatoes_rockxxX
Community Member
7 months ago

.....................................................................................like if we destroy mars?

Jane_Doe
Community Member
11 months ago

What about the WOW signal?

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
11 months ago

Really?That seems hindsight to me..

Michael Ness
Community Member
11 months ago

Many species on our planet evolved to "see" their environment in ways other than the photonic mechanisms of our eyes. Sharks "see" electromagnetic disturbances with their brains. Our bodies use bio-chemical transfers between trillions of cells in order to identify, locate, and destroy an intruder, like an infection. Billions of species on our single planet... and only one of them has wondered about the stars. There is life in the universe, but its not looking for us. And it definitely isn't looking like us.

Sky Render
Community Member
11 months ago

I think the most likely explanation is probably the most disappointing as well: aliens haven't contacted us because faster-than-light communication and travel are impossible. On the off chance that intelligent life exists within a reasonable distance of us, the signal delay for our communications would be insane and would require serious signal amplification to even reach the intended destination. Just saying "hello" to one another could potentially take decades, if not centuries or several millennia.

Karolina Hofman
Community Member
11 months ago

I've been thinking of a little theory for a while now. What if we're not the only living organisms in the known universe, but we're too focused on searching for similar, carbon based organisms? Mendeleev created his little periodic table less than 200 years ago and it's still growing. For all we know, there could be thousands of elements unknown to humankind. Might as well be a few to base a living organism upon. In conclusion: what if the universe is full of living creatures but we're too limited to recognize them?

grey galah
Community Member
11 months ago

The Car Alarm theory states aliens don't contact us because of that annoying noise we make. They just hope we shut up

Octavia Hansen
Community Member
11 months ago

No one can actually comprehend the vast time scale of the universe. It could very well be we are the only evolved life form at this time. Even on our own planet, civilizations missed each other in time.

Kim
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

This is not true though. There are many different reasons, one is actually that humans are incredibly difficult to establish a relationship with. They trust nobody that’s not an earthling.

Pensive
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

There's an answer to the Fermi Paradox (if aliens exist, why haven't they ever contacted us?) that I find even creepier again. What if the reason no one responds to our transmissions is that there is an aggressive and dangerous alien civilisation out there among the stars, and everyone knows to stay quiet and avoid attracting their attention... except us? Edit: there's an entry further down on this thread which covers this in more detail!

I I
Community Member
11 months ago

NASA picked up a planet millions of light years away that has a structure almost as big as the planet it's self

NaruTheCollective
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

The Ferm Paradox.

Hugh Walter
Community Member
11 months ago

Not just advanced civilisation self-destruction, but most planets would go on having dinosaur phases (it volcanoes/meteors are smaller) or complete extinction (if volcanoes/meteors are larger - or the local sun goes pfutt), and advanced civilisation's are actually the exception to already rare life?

Gwen
Community Member
11 months ago

Aliens exist. They just realize that we are still in our toddler stage (2020, the election, etc.). And they don't want to have to deal with us! I think that once we get out of the moody teenage years, they will make their presence known!

Marek Yanchurak
Community Member
11 months ago

Also known as the Fermi Paradox.

Emily Kerkstra
Community Member
11 months ago

https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/israeli-general-said-aliens-are-real-avoiding-humanity-checks-out-n1250824?icid=msd_topgrid

Dodo
Community Member
11 months ago

Y'know that one person you always avoid when you see them? I feel like we are that person to aliens.

VeryDarkMatter
Community Member
11 months ago

No, it's because the Mass Effect Relays got destroyed when I chose red. I should go..

Cupcake Cloud
Community Member
11 months ago

Other theories regarding this are rather intersting too. E.g.: Other intelligent life exists, but have no interest in contacting us or making themselves known. Other life exist, but we are too far apart to ever be able to contact or discover each other. Or we are, against all statistical odds, the only planet with life, sentient or otherwise and therefore truly alone in the universe.

Vikram Bedi
Community Member
11 months ago

Or we are to dumb to understand them... aliens might be observing us and saying... ohh these ants/dolphins are smart...

Phunny Philosopher
Community Member
11 months ago

Haha mice/ dolphins. Loving the many Douglas Adams references in this thread!

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Cynthia Bonville
Community Member
11 months ago

Or, and I like this theory, by Iain Banks, is that advanced civilizations upload themselves into a hyperfunctional and low energy quantum computers as was used as a story arc in "Devs". I like it because it is less bleak and one has to by into Turing's assumption that if an artificial intelligence is indistinguishable from a living person then it is also a person.

Lärry
Community Member
11 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Well.... https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/donald-trump-knows-that-aliens-exist-says-former-israeli-space-chief-1747886-2020-12-09

Wolfstar
Community Member
11 months ago

Donald Trump is delusional.

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#8

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.

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Stimpy
Community Member
11 months ago

Woah!

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#9

Humans are scared of things that mimic them too perfectly, the theory is that we developed this because there was a super predator of some sort that would mimic us and kill us. But we never knew what happened to it

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TheHolyFatherOfToast
Community Member
11 months ago

It's ourselves

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#10

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." - Douglas Adams

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Verena Gitterle
Community Member
11 months ago

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

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#11

That there is no secret society controlling everything, and humans by themselves are destroying humanity and themselves. And it's just easier to think that it's someone else behind all the evil .

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Dynein
Community Member
11 months ago

Uh... that is what I actually believe...? It seems to me that current as well as historic events make the most sense if you assume that no one has control over everything. Sure, there's people who try, but even in tight dictatorships you get rebels and unforeseen random events. I definitely think that conspiracy theorists are overwhelmed with the unpredictability of the world and hang onto whichever theory puts their "preferred enemy" into the group of control... it implies a) everything bad that happens is due to the people I already think of as bad, b) I'm definitely and always one of the good people, c) I'm so special for catching on, d) even if I don't control events now, I might in the future if I fight my enemy. I definitely think of it as lazy, both in respect to self-awareness (you don't need to question yourself) and level of intellectual difficulty (it turns highly complex issues of the world into simple black-and-white problems).

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#12

The theory that we're all quantum immortals and when someone dies in our reality for them they just keep on going in a reality where they didn't

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Stimpy
Community Member
11 months ago

That's actually more a nice thought than creepy... I like it

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#13

That we have so little data about the deep dark parts of the ocean and don’t truly know what lurks there

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Phunny Philosopher
Community Member
11 months ago

It might be sunshine and rainbows and Narwhal parties! Jk, we know enough about physics to know that’s not possible. But still- why do the things in the deep ocean have to be bad? Because our imagination. That’s it.

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#14

It's scary that there are thousands of serial killers out there at any 1 given time who often just blend in with the rest of society and live normal lives. Many will never be caught.

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kasa alex
Community Member
11 months ago

well that was a good thought right before I go to bed

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#15

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

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
11 months ago

Eek, not something I ever wanted to picture.

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#16

That humans almost went extinct. 70,000 years ago a volcano in Indonesia erupted. There’s theories that we have a genetic bottleneck around that time. Took our population down to 10,000-3,000 (like the size of one small town). Lots of fresh genetic material died with those who were lost and the resulting inbreeding could have resulted in some genetic diseases that have made their way into humans today. Without this event, we may have advanced faster and be healthier people today.

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kasa alex
Community Member
11 months ago

interesting thing to think about

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#17

Not a theory but reality. Schizophrenia can happen to anyone, at any age, even to perfectly healthy people. Imagine being normal and then waking up one day and seeing and hearing things that aren't actually there. That is really scary and creepy.

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Lärry
Community Member
11 months ago

My brother (35) has paranoid Schizophrenia. He is awake the whole night and sleeps the whole day. I told him once, it would maybe be better if he's awake when we all are to spend more time together (my kids love him much), and that he maybe should try to change that. His answer was: yes, I know. But I'm too scared to sleep at night.... Broke my heart.

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#18

I had a professor in college who taught physics and he explained why we will likely never come across aliens. The universe is about 14 billion years old. Over the course of that time, it’s likely that intelligent life, besides life on earth, has existed. However, 14 billion years is an INSANELY long time. Other life forms have probably risen and fallen thousands of times over. Extreme dynasties with technology we can only dream of having have probably existed. Life forms could have lasted hundreds of thousands of years and still not even be close to our timeline. The chances of other intelligent life forms existing at the same time as humans, in the 14 billion years the universe has hosted a possibility for life, is really unlikely. Statistically, intelligent life to have formed, prospered, or even existed at the same time as humans is extremely small simply due to the absolute drop in a bucket that we are on terms of time. We may very well be completely alone in the universe.

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Nikki Sevven
Community Member
11 months ago

It's not merely time that is the issue, but also space, which is mindbogglingly huge.

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#19

Ok this one is rough so please bare with me,

So the common time travel question is would you go back and kill baby hitler?

Well imagine if that was you, to us in the current timeline you would be a hero that killed someone truly evil before they had chance to corrupt or endanger anyone but to the people of that time you are a monster, a baby killer.

They couldn’t exactly explain to people, I was sent from the future to kill this baby to save hundreds of millions of lives. No-one would believe him and would just assume he was some nutcase, or maybe they’re not allowed to tell anyone as per the agreement with the future government?

It makes you wonder all the people through time that have been called monsters for killing babies, what if they were just heroes from the future saving us all? They couldn’t tell anyone either?

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Truth Monster
Community Member
11 months ago

Hitler was just the lightning rod. Chances are, someone else would have become the lightning rod if you murdered baby Hitler. Hitler is still a terrible human, I'm not excusing him at all.

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#20

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”

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Just_A_Pansexual_Gal
Community Member
11 months ago

Ooh, this is dark.

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#21

That you might be aware of everything happening to you during surgery, the anesthesia keeps you from moving and causes you to forget.

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Stimpy
Community Member
11 months ago

Nice creepy theory! But just as a comfort for anybody who might be taking this too seriously: we know very well that this is not the case. We can clearly show which brain regions are active when people are in pain, and they are not active when people are anesthized. Don't worry!

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#22

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.

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The Dave
Community Member
11 months ago

It is a known fact that the astronauts were not killed by the explosion itself. The theory is that they died after cabin depressurization and oxygen depletion.

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#23

The theory that scented candles starting getting poor reviews at the same time COVID hit the US. Makes you wonder how many people have mild COVID before we even knew about it, pairing the lack of taste and/or smell as one of the main symptoms associated with mild COVID cases.

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Kirsten Kerkhof
Community Member
11 months ago

The other option is that, because people were at home much more, the scent was less noticable (you grow used to familiar scents) so people thought the candles smelled less. Though I think the OP has the more likely idea ...

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#24

Some people have had some strange NDEs (Near Death Experiences). Going through websites cataloging them can be a trip. I'm willing to attribute some of them to brain damage and some as "legit" though I'll never be able to tell which is which.

Death bed visions give me a warmer sense of security. I can't imagine how peaceful it must be to die and see your deceased loved ones there to ensure you make it safely to the other side.

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Too_gay_to_function_
Community Member
11 months ago

This one's quite nice actually

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#25

The universe could be dying, and we'd have no way to know until we just suddenly vanish from existence.

There could be a sort of quantum energy wave, can't remember what it's called because it's been so long since I read about it. Zero point collapse, maybe? Vacuum bubble burst? But whatever it is, it's an energy wave that starts at some point, and spreads outward at the speed of light, annihilating any matter, energy, and even spacetime in its path.

Because the wave travels at the speed of light, it is invisible. We would have no way of seeing it coming, because any light emitted by it would hit us at the exact same time that the wave itself hits us.

So, all of a sudden, the sun might just vanish from existence. We wouldn't notice because the sun's light from eight minutes ago would still be reaching us. Eight minutes later, the earth just vanishes from existence. No warning. No trace.

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Shelp
Community Member
11 months ago

Well, this is unsettling. But how can space and time be wiped out?

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#26

The theory that the last moments of consciousness before death can feel like a literal eternity, and where your mind can create entire realities from blissful to horrifying. So in a way the threat of enduring a hellscape of eternal suffering is very real no matter what you believe.

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Stimpy
Community Member
11 months ago

So long as you believe in this theory, that is...

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#27

Spontaneous combustion. I watched a strange but true episode about this as a child and was convinced I'd randomly burst into flames one day. I'm over it now but that was my top fear for a long time.

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Stimpy
Community Member
11 months ago

I was afraid of that too. About at the age where I also thought that quicksand was a much more common problem than it actually is. Maybe that was just also one of the common story tropes in the 80s, and we picked it up as real?

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#28

The theory that there is an infinite number of parallel universes branching out at each moment with all possible outcomes for each situation.

Let's say this is true and you play Russian roulette. Five out of six of possible "you" would live and one would die but no matter how many times you play there would always be versions of you that would survive. This would give those versions of "you" the illusion of immorality. This would mean that no matter the risks you would take, there would always be some version of you that would survive.

If this is true, it would mean that you could live your life completely free of the fear of death and take on any risk. But the only way to know if this is true is to expose yourself to high odds of deaths, repeatedly.

Also this would mean that as time passed there would always be a more decrepit and invalid version of you surviving, maybe forever...

Anyways that or lizard people.

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Too_gay_to_function_
Community Member
11 months ago

My new motto: That Or Lizard People

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#29

The first man in space (some Russian cosmonaut whose name I can't remember) was not the true first. The actual first was a cosmonaut whose mission was unsuccessful and he either died in orbit or on reentry. Once it became apparent that he was doomed the Russian authorities cut off communications, leaving him to die in isolation, and covered up the existence of the mission.

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Shelp
Community Member
11 months ago

Yuri Gagarin! How can you forget about Yuri Gagarin?

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#30

I saw a theory that we truly live through our entire again in the moments before death, but that it's a loop. When you reach your moment of death during your moment of death, you relive it again. And again. And again. Trapped in a loop with no difference, no awareness, forever.

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Luna
Community Member
11 months ago

The thing about this, is you don’t know if you are living through that right now

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