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Could the Unthinkable Be True?

Could we be unique? Will we ever be able to determine with certainty whether or not we are alone in that vast area we call the universe?

By Unravelling the UniversePublished about a month ago 3 min read
Could the Unthinkable Be True?
Photo by Chetan Menaria on Unsplash

British spelling.

I write easy-to-understand educational stories about the universe and life. You may find them interesting.


Due to all the scientific evidence we have gained, most scientists, astrophysicists, and astronomers agree on how the universe has evolved from its birth to the present day.

The universe is thought to have come into existence 13.8 billion years ago; that amazing event is sometimes called the Big Bang.

But if you were to ask any highly educated person, "What existed before the Big Bang?" Their truthful answer would be that they don't know.

As of now, there is no scientific way to find out. Could our universe be just one of countless universes out there in the unknown?

At this time, we have to be content with the many conflicting ideas and theories available on the subject.

As we don't know all the answers, it can be frustrating for those who take an avid interest in what has transpired in the past.

It can be encouraging to know that thousands of professionals, using highly advanced scientific equipment here on Earth and in outer space, continue to gain more factual information about how the universe has evolved over billions of years.

Considering my age, the answers I seek won't be answered, but given the speed at which science is advancing, I am confident that younger generations will find answers to many more profound questions throughout their lifetimes.

There must be other life forms somewhere in the universe. Surely the odds against there being no other life are just too big. But having said that, could it be possible that the Earth is so unique and special that it is the only world to harbour intelligent life?

There must have been a large number of perfect conditions that converged in the right way and at the right time for life to get started and flourish on our magical world.

If any of these forces, such as gravitational force, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, or weak nuclear force, had been slightly stronger or weaker, we as a species would not exist.


Our existence as a species is extremely short.

It is estimated that 117 billion humans have existed since our species arose.

Roughly 8 billion humans are alive today, and the universe is estimated to be 13.8 billion years old.

The universe is ancient. Therefore, to make the length of our time here on Earth more understandable, we can do this.

If we condense 13.8 billion years into one Earth year and call it the cosmic calendar, one day would equate to 37,800,000 years, and one hour would be 1,575,000 years.

In the cosmic calendar, time and space started on the first second of the first day of January.

At the beginning of September, our planet Earth was forming.

It was September 21st before the first primitive life appeared on our planet. That first life was a prokaryote, a single-celled organism.

Now life could start on its long evolutionary path.

On the 29th of December on our cosmic calendar, a large asteroid smashed into the earth, and that natural disaster wiped out 75% of the world's plant and animal species.

By NASA Hubble Space Telescope on Unsplash

That asteroid that devastated most of the life on Earth is estimated to have been over 10 kilometres wide. The impact site was centred on what is now the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, and left a crater 150 kilometres across.

Back to the cosmic calendar: about 3 minutes before midnight on the 31st of December, homo sapiens first appeared.


Yes, our time here as a species is minuscule compared to the universe's age.

Anatomically modern human remains have been discovered dating back 300,000 years.

The end.


You may find my easy-to-understand stories about the universe and life interesting and educational.

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About the Creator

Unravelling the Universe

We can only imagine what our early ancestors thought as they gazed up at the night sky—were they curious about what the heavens had to hide? 

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  • Mike Singleton - Mikeydredabout a month ago

    Some great observations in the excellent article

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