Existence special: Cosmic mysteries, human questions

It’s lucky you’re here.

13.7 billion years ago, the universe was born in a cosmic fireball. Roughly 10 billion years later, the planet we call Earth gave birth to life, which eventually led to you. The probability of that sequence of events is absolutely minuscule, and yet it still happened.

Take a step back from the unlikeliness of your own personal existence and things get even more mind-boggling. Why does the universe exist at all? Why is it fine-tuned to human life? Why does it seem to be telling us that there are other universes out there, even other yous?

In these articles, we confront these mysteries of existence and others, from the possibility that the universe is a hologram to the near-certainty that you are a zombie.

ORIGINS

UNIVERSE

LIFE

HOLOGRAM

CONSCIOUSNESS

GOLDILOCKS ENIGMA

ZOMBIES

Existence: Am I a zombie?

Three-and-a-half centuries after “I think, therefore I am”, Michael Brooks wonders if he is a computer simulation – or something more sinister

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PLURALITY

EXTINCTION

TECHNOLOGY

SELF

THE END

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APERTURE

Bright lights of our galaxy's downtown

Welcome to the most intriguing location in our galaxy, one that makes our spot appear a quiet backwater by comparison
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EXPLANIMATOR

How did the universe arise from nothing?

Watch our animated explainer to find out how something can emerge from nothing

READ MORE: COSMOLOGY

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Dark matter blasted by star explosions may explain misfit galaxies

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Our understanding of the universe’s expansion is really wrong

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The way galaxies cluster is a window into the behaviour of the first neutrinos

We see neutrinos from the big bang in the way galaxies cluster

Just after the big bang, waves of neutrinos and other matter raced acr...
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Dark radiation may fix our broken understanding of the universe

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The universe may end in a collision with a bubble of nothingness

The most precise calculation of the lifetime of our universe finds tha...

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New Call of Duty trials no-helmet immersion – using superblack paint

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Naysayers rise to the top because we naturally treat them as leaders

Openly negative and critical people are often elected leaders, perhaps...
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Conquer your fear of public speaking by practising in virtual reality

Practising public speaking in virtual reality lets people confront the...
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Replacing your boss with a cruel robot could make you concentrate more

A mean robot watching over you increases your focus on the most import...