what in the universe

We’re Stuck in Our Universe, Where Time Runs Forward

Illustration: Arctic-Images/Getty Images

It seems a story about space has spread through a game of huh? telephone. The story? That NASA discovered a parallel universe in which time moves backward. This was exciting to some, as it suggested that if we could only somehow access this parallel universe, we could go back to 2019, when things were “good.”

I hate to ruin the expectations of those under the impression that going backward would be better than forward, but, in fact, NASA did not discover this backward parallel universe. I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you.

Some publications reported that they did, though. Alas, as Ibrahim Safa, lead author in the misinterpreted study, said on Twitter:

Indeed. So what did NASA discover, then? That’s a great question. Let’s go back to Safa on Twitter.

As CNET explains in a detailed rundown of the misguided media reporting, the aggregated pieces pulled their information from a paywalled report by New Scientist titled “We may have spotted a parallel universe going backwards in time.” The report details the discovery of particles (neutrinos) behaving abnormally, based on findings from the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA), which is maintained by NASA.

Essentially, it was misinterpreted by a few publications that, it seems, just read the headline. The real story is about neutrinos. I think let’s just rest easy knowing that there is not necessarily a parallel universe out there, and that, if there is, NASA will let us know.

Sorry, NASA Did Not Confirm a Parallel Universe