Scientists recently postulated that our universe - our ENTIRE universe - is really contained within a single black hole that is part of a much, much larger universe. So if thinking of yourself as a single person on a single planet in an outer spiral arm of a single medium-sized galaxy that is one of 5 BILLION galaxies in the universe isn't enough to make you feel very small indeed, then imagine that whole universe as just a small part of a much broader "mother" universe.
The idea is being put forth to explain the singularity that scientists believe caused the Big Bang, the beginning of our universe 13-15 billion years ago. Our understanding of physics breaks down with these singularities, accoring to University of New Haven physicist Dr. Nikodem Poplawski in Connecticut. But if you imagine these singularities - the point at which matter in a black hole becomes infinitely dense - as having a finite level of acceptable mass, then if the mass goes beyond that limit - BOOM! The Big Bang, and the beginning of our universe.
Poplawski's idea is wild, even by cosmological physics standards. But because it explains so much that was don't understand about black holes, some scientists are beginning to give the notion serious consideration. Even though the hypothesis can't be proved, it gives physicists a framework to think about black holes in a different way. If Poplawski is right, then black holes could be exactly what science fiction writers have imagined for decades - gateways to other universes.
The bottom line is that, even with all our technology and scientific developments, we really don't know much about this huge universe of ours. There is still so much to learn. So the next time you're feeling like your problems are huge, think about Poplawski and his black hole universe. Suddenly, we are only stardust - and blessed to be a part of this amazing, infinite place.
If you want to read more about Poplawski's ideas, read the original article here in National Geographic, or the article on Mother Nature Network.
We come in peace. :)