The Most Astounding Fact About the Universe (Video)

Via Max Schlickenmeyer’s YouTube:

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine, “What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?” This is his answer:

  • Rlee322

    Tyson is legit my hero. Also, KONY 2012!

  • Redacted

    This video is excellent. Neil deGrasse Tyson really knows how to break things down for the layman without dumbing it down.

    • gwen jackson

       “without dumbing it down.”–err..we must not be thinking of the same guy….

      • Redacted

        Apparently we are. Did you watch the same video I did?

        • gwen jackson

           indeed. it just looked like pseudo-religious nonsense masquerading as science to me. but watch some old NOVA ScienceNow if you want to see tyson really go overboard with “fun” presentations of science with a definite subjective slant toward reassuring the audience as often as possible that humans are special. i understand it’s necessary due to our species-centric narcissism, but it always seemed condescending to me.

  • gwen jackson

    more reinforcement of the “we all need to be participants. we all need to feel connected.” mythos.
    More manufactured sentimentality about our specialness in the generic “great scheme”.
    This is how the Singularity myth will usurp the Religion myth, but it’s just going to be a propaganda upgrade; more of the same, in a shiny new packaging.
    Beautiful footage, but I wonder how much of it was actual footage and how much was ‘scientific simulations’.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      You dont have to feel connected if you dont want to. In fact, you can disconnect right now.

      • gwen jackson

        if i leave, who would inspire you to such delightful and consistently pissy responses? admit it, you need people like me as much as i don’t need people like you.

    • Daniel Kalne

      Who cares? The connectedness has to do with our actual physical matter, and concerns us as a result of a huge chain of events. At least whatever this “singularity myth” youre bringing up has roots in reality whereas religion was created to answer questions science couldn’t yet.

      • Chaorder Gradient

        To be fair, religion and science were answering the same questions in unison for the longest time… until finally science in fear of being mutilated let religion keep the realm of the mind and decided to be solely reductionists.

      • gwen jackson

         i think religion was created to keep us under control and socially dependent on one another, and now that we’ve gotten smart enough to see through it, it’s being replaced with a more believable mythology to serve the same purpose. just sayin’. i’m not trying to convince anyone else, because frankly i don’t care if anyone agrees with me or not.

    • Adamsshadow

      You don’t need to participate in anything; you participate simply by existing. And also after you exist; and before.  That’s the beauty of it. Your body and consciousness/mind are made of stuff that exists, somehow, in some sense, no matter how you philosophize it.  You can’t disconnect, your “stuff” will turn into other stuff, or not. It really makes no difference.  Whatever will be, will be; except no one knows what will be, not when we’re talking about billions upon billions of years (eternity), and billions and billions of light-years (infinity).  The universe could expand forever, or it could collapse again in a Big Crunch, or..who knows?  No one does. These ideas and the phenomena that underlie them reveal a reality far bigger and stranger than anyone has ever known, and may ever know, and are the closest things to “Truth” humanity has yet discovered. I personally find that so awe-inspiring it makes me weep with joy.

      • gwen jackson

        i bet christians weep when they think of baby jesus too. does their teary-eyed blubbering belief make him real?

        • Adamsshadow

          For them, it most definitely does.  Does that “blubbering” make it objectively real?  Depends on who you ask, but I would hazard a guess that you would say no, it does not.  And that’s fine: for the most part, I would agree with you.  But, that belief has power: it may not be very ethical or logical in basis, but it most certainly has a profound influence. 

          Also, this idea that the human race is being “groomed” for a new cosmological myth to promote social cohesion is not something I see a whole lot of evidence for, personally.  But it’s an interesting idea.

          I do think it’s sad that someone can be genuinely and sublimely touched by the inherent weirdness of the universe, and it instantly invites ridicule from you.  But hey, that’s cool: I’m constantly pissed off by people as well.  Including other paranoid misanthropes.

    • Simiantongue

      Extrovert mythos that is.

    • Gslick3

       It’s all actual footage. I know because my son was the videographer for this video.

      • gwen jackson

         even the bits that look like neurons and blood cells? how’d he get the camera in there? just kidding, the visuals are lovely.

    • Lightbeing

      I agree. I don’t care how big this universe is, it still sucks. It’s a predator world by design and there is a reason for that. I like the other universes, the ones that are designed by loving Minds, the ones that are actually fun, free and awsome. If you like this world, then you have never discovered who/what you really are. It’s a shock at first to discover what this world is really about, but when you get tired of crucifying your ” Self “, you will move on.

      • gwen jackson

         i agree with you up until the other loving universes part. i think you have a very astute grasp on what this universe is about, but i think the other universes might be something your mind created internally to make you feel better about what you know. nothing wrong with that, our ability to consistently convince ourselves of meaning where there is none is part of what makes us such a successful species. “manifest destiny” and all that. one universe or many, doesn’t matter, because i am human and therefore special, i know that all universes only exist for me to colonize and consume.

  • Tchoutoye

    Why the shitty music? It’s like the cosmic awesomeness had to be counterbalanced by the schmaltzy faux-vulnerability that passes for serious pop music these days.

    • John

       Troll hard…troll harder

      • Daniel Kalne

        I was gonna say the Cinematic Orchestra is about the only thing that fits this.

    • Nicci Bow

      …Cinematic Orchestra fits this perfectly and “Build me a Home” is one of their greatest songs…It’s not mainstream at all so..not pop.You sir, are musically challenged.

  • Little Buddy

    Yes, we are all products of horrific, cataclysmic violence!!  Hurrah!!!

  • Guk

    The most astounding truth about the Universe I found in the book of Necronomicon

  • Haystack

    Sometimes I look up at the sky, at all the distant stars and galaxies that are out there, and I think just how amazing it is that they all revolve around me. 

  • Rsun Yeti

    Beautiful Video. Thanks for sharing.

  • Dunzain

    “We are all made of stars.”


    • WhiteDwarfStain

       Every man and every woman is a star.
      -The Book of the Law

      • Earaches

        You beat me to it WhiteDwarfStain!

    • blahblahblacksheep

       “We are made of star stuff”

      – Carl Sagan

      • Oneloveinus

         I am made from the dust of the stars and the ocean’s flow in my veins. Here I hide in the heart of the city like a stranger coming out of the rain. – Neil Peart

    • Simiantongue

       Anyone coiuld be a star.
      -American Idol

  • LeadMeLogic

    Excellent job editing the video!!!  Music fit perfectly with the footage  
    Ignore the douchebags,  pessimistic trolls unfortunately lurk anywhere and everywhere…  

  • John Grunwell

    Amen, Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Preach a little bit of that Gospel of Objective Truth!

  • tristan eldritch

    Surely everybody’s heard that fact so many times by now that it’s not particularly that startling anymore?  Shit was in one place, got spewed up by an explosion, and wound up somewhere else.  Pretty astounding aright.  Wait a minute, what?  Took Yahwah just a week to make all this?  Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-it, now that’s impressive!

  • Apathesis

    His voice reminds me of Mitch Pileggi.

  • Adamsshadow

    The cosmos is incredibly huge and complex; there are black holes that are light years LIGHT YEARS in size.  The universe itself is…how big? And how old?  Our human mind can literally not conceive of such things, not really. Yet we continue to try, and I find that thirst for understanding the incomprehensible the noblest part of human existence. We live at the bottom of a gravity well on a smallish planet orbiting a small star on the outskirts of a medium-sized galaxy; the sheer immensity of the universe has always awakened a quasi-spiritual sense in me, and I have found that to be far more sublime and awe-inspiring than any codified religion.  Who knows what else is out there? 

  • DeepCough

    “My God! [We’re] full of stars!”