THE universe is set to be destroyed in a “big rip” which will suck the whole of reality into a dreadful nightmarish vortex of nothingness.
That’s the cheery prediction from scientists in Portugal, who fear everything in the cosmos is destined to meet this grim fate.
They claimed that a mysterious substance called dark matter could take on a “phantom” form as the universe expands, getting heavier and heavier until it eventually tears a great big hole in the fabric of space and time.
Mariam Bouhmadi-López of the Technical University of Lisbon said there were several version of this theory, ranging from “Little Sibling of the Big Rip” to the “big rip” itself.
“What they have in common is that our galaxy, and all galaxies, would be ripped apart,” she told New Scientist.
“Everything goes wrong.”
Scientists are locked in debate about the fate of the universe.
Some suggest it will continue to expand forever, eventually reaching a grim state where every star dies and all that’s left is black holes which then fade away to leave behind a massive (and utterly miserable) void.
Others fear the universe will stop growing and then begin to fall back it on itself to cause a “big crunch”.
Either way, it’s curtains for humanity and every other alien species that calls this reality home.
Before you start panicking though, we’ve got at least 100 billion years left until any of these grim eventualities befall our universe.
This story first appeared on The Sun.