Black holes may not be the no-exit-ever spaces they're thought to be, according to famed physicist Stephen Hawking.
In a mind-bending theory proposed at a conference in Stockholm, Hawking proposes unfortunate space travelers could escape from black holes – though they won't be able to go home to their own universe.
The escape instead, Hawking proposes, could be a way of getting through to an alternative universe, The Independent reports.
"The existence of alternative histories with black holes suggests this might be possible," Hawking said, according to the Independent, which cites a report from Stockholm University.
"The hole would need to be large and if it was rotating it might have a passage to another universe. But you couldn’t come back to our universe. So although I’m keen on space flight, I’m not going to try that."
Current science suggests a black hole’s gravity is so strong that not even light can escape once inside, Quartz notes,
adding there's about 100 million of them in our galaxy alone.
Hawking’s proposal is an attempt to answer an age-old scientific question about what happens to things when they go beyond the boundary – known as the event horizon – where even light can’t get back, the Independent explains.
The information about the object has to be preserved, scientists believe, even if the thing itself is swallowed up.
Hawking's theory proposes the information is stored at boundary, never making its way into the black hole and never needing to make its way out either.
That would also mean that humans might not disappear if they fall into one.
"If you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up," he said, The Independent reports.
"There’s a way out."
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