How Far Can We Go? Limits of Humanity.


Is there a border we will never cross? Are there places we will never reach,
no matter how hard we try? Turns out there are. Even with science fiction technology,
we are trapped in our pocket of the Universe. How can that be?
And, how far can we go? We live in a quiet arm of the Milky Way;
A spiral galaxy of average size, – about 100,000 light years across – consisting of billions of stars, gas clouds,
dark matter, black holes, neutron stars, and planets, with a supermassive
black hole in the galactic centre.>From afar, our galaxy seems dense, but
in reality, it consists, mostly, of empty space. With our current technology, sending a human
to the closest star, would take thousands of years. So, our galaxy is pretty big. The Milky Way is not alone, though. Along with the Andromeda galaxy,
and more than fifty dwarf galaxies, it’s a part of “The Local Group”; a region of space about ten million light years
in diameter. It is one of the hundreds of galaxy groups in
the “Laniakea Supercluster”, which, itself is only one of millions
of superclusters, that make up the observable universe. Now, let’s assume, for a moment, that
we have a glorious future; humanity becomes a type three civilisation, does not get wiped out by aliens, and develops interstellar travel based on
our current understanding of physics. In this best case scenario,
how far could we possibly go? Well; the local group. It’s the biggest structure that humanity
will ever be a part of. While it’s certainly huge, the local group
accounts for only 0.00000000001 % of the observable universe. Let this number sink in for a moment. We are limited to a hundred billionth of
a percent of the observable universe. The simple fact that there is actually
a limit for us, and that there is so much universe that we will never
be able to touch, is kind of frightening. Why can’t we go further? Well, it all has to do with
the nature of nothing. Nothing, or empty space, isn’t empty
but has energy intrinsic to itself; so-called “quantum fluctuations”. On the smaller scale, there is
constant action, particles and antiparticles appearing and annihilating themselves. You can imagine this quantum vacuum as
a bubbling part: with denser, and less dense regions. Now, let’s go back 13.8 billion years
when the fabric of space consisted of nothing at all. Right after the big bang, in an event known
as cosmic inflation, the observable universe expanded from the size of a marble to
trillions of kilometres, in fractions of a second. This sudden stretching of the universe was
so fast and extreme, that all those quantum fluctuations were
stretched as well, and subatomic distances became
galactic distances, with dense and less dense regions. After inflation, gravity began to pull
everything back together. At the largest scale, the expansion was
too quick and powerful to overcome but in smaller scales,
gravity emerged victorious. So, over time, the denser regions,
or pockets, of the universe, grew into groups of galaxies, like the one
we live in today. Only stuff inside our pocket – The Local Group –
is bound to us gravitationally. But wait, what is the problem then? Why can’t we travel from our pocket,
to the next one? Here, dark energy makes everything complicated. About six billion years ago,
dark energy took over. It’s basically an invisible force or effect,
that causes, and speeds up the expansion of the universe. We don’t know why, or what dark energy is,
but we can observe its effect clearly. In the early universe, there were larger,
cold spots around the local group, that grew into clusters with thousands
of galaxies. We are surrounded by a lot of stuff,
but none of those structures and galaxies outside of the local group are gravitationally
bound to us. So the more the universe expands,
the larger the distance between us and other gravitational pockets becomes. Over time, dark energy will push the rest
of the universe away from us, causing all the other clusters, galaxies, and
groups to eventually become unreachable. The next galaxy group is already millions
of light years away, but all of them are moving away from us,
at speeds we can’t, ever, hope to match. We could leave the local group, and then
fly through intergalactic space, into the darkness, but we would never
arrive anywhere. While we will become more and more stranded,
the local group will become more tightly bound, and merge together to form one giant elliptical galaxy,
with the unoriginal name “Milkdromeda” in a few billion years. But it becomes even more depressing: at some point, the galaxies outside
the local group, will be so far away, that they will be too faint to detect, and the few
photons that do make it to us, will be shifted to such long wavelengths,
that they will be undetectable. Once this happens, no information outside
of the local group will be able to reach us. The universe will recede from view. It will appear to be dark and empty
in all directions, forever. A being born in the far future in
Milkdromeda, will think there is nothing but its own
galaxy in the entire universe. When they look far into empty space, they
will only see more emptiness and darkness; they won’t be able to see the
cosmic background radiation, and they won’t be able to learn about
the Big Bang. They will have no way of knowing
what we know today; the nature of the expanding universe,
where it began, and how it will end. They will think the universe is static and eternal. Milkdromeda will be an island in the darkness,
slowly getting darker and darker. But still, with its trillions of stars,
the local group is certainly large enough for humanity. After all, we still haven’t figured out
how to leave our solar system, and we have billions of years
to explore our galaxy. We have the incredible luck to exist at
the perfect moment in time to see, not only our future but also our
most distant past. As isolated and remote as the local group is,
we can perceive the entire universe, grand and spectacular as it is right now. This video was sponsored by SquareSpace.com/nutshell Do you feel isolated in a humongous universe? Why not set up a website or blog
and share your thoughts with other humanoids around you? Squarespace lets you do that
with easy-to-understand tools very quickly and without any knowledge of web design. You can also use the code “NUTSHELL” to save
10 % and support Kurzgesagt in making more videoes about our place
in the universe. Thanks so much for the help with the video
to Ethan Siegel. Follow his astronomy blog here. You can support us directly at Patreon
or get Kurzgesagt merch here. It really helps. It is awesome that you watched this far,
so we have made a playlist for you about more universe stuff. Subtitles made by Sebastian Winkelmann Subtitles by the Amara.org community

100 Comments

  1. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

    February 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    There's brand new stuff in the Kurzgesagt Merch Shop. Check it out here: shop.kurzgesagt.org

  2. Arman Shahinyan

    September 9, 2019 at 12:27 am

    Watches Kurzgesagt video.
    Existential crisis kicks in.

  3. HowToGains

    September 9, 2019 at 1:14 am

    What about, if instead of super massive black holes at the centre of every large galaxy… they’re in fact wormholes. 🤔

    Fast travel: Enabled

    Sorry dark energy 😐

  4. Nilson Junior

    September 9, 2019 at 2:04 am

    But what about wormholes?

  5. Dakota Drone

    September 9, 2019 at 3:57 am

    Kind of a relief we dont have to work so hard

  6. Brien Sherman

    September 9, 2019 at 9:35 am

    We will never leave our local group? Even if we travel faster than light?

  7. Ashiqe Rasul

    September 9, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Pen or u see anything u see it can't exist by itself surely there must creator.

  8. Ashiqe Rasul

    September 9, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Everything is nothing why waste time

  9. Jon V.

    September 9, 2019 at 11:57 am

    the super galaxy should be named Andromeda Way

  10. FRANCESCO D''UBALDO

    September 9, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    What if we evolve and get smart enough to be able to leave the local group and reach the other groups?

  11. PVip VI

    September 9, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    If we r imagining the limit, it is limitless. The reason is that we cannot know. 30 years ago, the idea that we might be in a matrix Universe was not very present. The creation of computers has opened new concepts. The same goes for the Wright brothers' plane, electricity, every and any invention/discovery is a building block to another building block.

  12. Md. Hridoy

    September 9, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Mind is our Limit

  13. Ein Apfel

    September 9, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    And eventually there will be a new Columbus who discovers "america" in vast space

  14. Pikai Chui

    September 9, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Big bang is just a theory

  15. ZappBrannigan23

    September 9, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    I was hoping for a better answer. Given we rode horses around 100 years ago and now people are actively working on warp drive physics lets assume we can warp spacetime around us and travel faster than light like 9x faster. Then where is the edge. What do we see when we get there? Since time and space began with our universe bang there must be a defined edge where it does some funky loop back around infinite time space border right?

  16. theo9952

    September 9, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Ι think that our ''pocket'' of galaxies provides much more space, than we can possibly reach, explore and colonize. Much much more.

  17. Sachin R

    September 10, 2019 at 2:23 am

    We aren't trapped we just got to fl into a worm hole and get somewhere else.

  18. 평범한인간

    September 10, 2019 at 8:38 am

    We can go using teleport

  19. saucy yalam

    September 10, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    oi stop that

  20. shadowkixx

    September 10, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    I can't believe humanity is region locked from exploring the observable universe

  21. ISILENTNINJAI

    September 11, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Imagine getting a radio signal back from aliens to meet them halfway at 100,000,000 lightyears lol

  22. winter ramos

    September 11, 2019 at 1:30 am

    Universe: I need to communicate

    Joe Rogan Podcast: the big bang was Hitler's Vape Pen

  23. DOOM MARINE

    September 11, 2019 at 1:45 am

    (5:20) Deep inhale ARE YOU BEING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW
    edit :Telephone box in the top of the tree at 6:41

  24. Mpc

    September 11, 2019 at 2:40 am

    Maybe everything is eternal… If I can exist at all then maybe I can exist again

  25. DANTE Morales

    September 11, 2019 at 4:12 am

    yeah you lost me at "milkdromeda" lmao

  26. stu9000

    September 11, 2019 at 4:27 am

    What about with wormholes? I want to know what PBS Spacetime has to say on this.

  27. Isabella Young

    September 11, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Adventure Time horses at 3:31!

  28. Ethereal Darkling

    September 11, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    This is very depressing. We should bloody do something- create wormholes or whatever, because all those galaxies beyond our Local Group- we gotta observe and explore them! How many aliens must be out there!

  29. Chandir

    September 11, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Maybe once we understand how dark matter works, we can start to influence it or work with it idk and find a way to do things we consider impossible now?

  30. Chandir

    September 11, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Kinda crazy to think that if no species in our local group had come up with telescopes this early, some crucial information would have never been accessable to the future scientists. Also crazy that all this highly valuable information is stored on tiny chips and hard disks lol

  31. Deadly Tuxedo

    September 11, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    wormholes

  32. Ambush Tunes

    September 11, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Is it possible that our observable universe was a local group?

  33. Usman S.

    September 11, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    This only shows that we barely know anything about the universe

  34. gode totoro

    September 12, 2019 at 1:47 am

    this is some serious extrapolation fuck this into nothing bullshit we just dont know enough

  35. B Size Indian

    September 12, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Who is here in search of Chndrayaan 2 Lander?

  36. 629

    September 12, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    There goes my hopes and dreams

  37. fenrar36

    September 13, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Hate to break it to you but we've gone as far as we're going to go. We've already reached a cultural dead end. We're never getting off this planet let alone our solar system. It's pretty much over for us, Fermi wins.

  38. KasAg31

    September 13, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    A few thousand years ago we thought that the earth is the whole universe and gods live in the sky. Today we think we have some limitations about places we can reach in our universe, but it's possible that we will easily create universes in the future. In last 100 years technology improved more than in thousands of years before.

  39. shane dillon

    September 14, 2019 at 5:21 am

    Seems arrogant to think we really understand dark matter, and that we have more information now than we will be able to observe in the future. Also time is relative, so it stands to reason that perhaps we could develop technology that could help us travel beyond the local group.

  40. Legendoflaw21007 Whittle

    September 14, 2019 at 6:44 am

    That's most likely what has already happened to us. We have no idea what happened before it even started.

  41. Schmoogin

    September 14, 2019 at 6:54 am

    eh. humans have been wrong before. science changes all the time. maybe we really don't have limits. i mean, we'll be killed by climate change before we ever find out, but its a nice thought 🙂

  42. Mosca

    September 14, 2019 at 7:44 am

    Sky is the limit

  43. chno capili

    September 14, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    this video kinda makes me feel sad for humanity. Good thing im God

  44. Mein kampf cpt

    September 14, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    J usqua l atmosphere basse terresre, pas plus. C ca la limute de l humanitè. Il nont pas etè nulpart et ils n iront nulpart. L humanitè se reveille. L espace et l homme sur la lune et l iss hahaha que des connerie. L espace est de l eau.dossier clos

  45. pinkdarkrose

    September 14, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    These videos helped me get interested in the universe. At first, Kurzgesagt videos made me feel inspired but helpless with how small we are… But you also helped me realize that humanity has great potential. I am very lucky to be alive now in the midst of so much unknown and beauty.

  46. LemonZade

    September 14, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    This was so humbling

  47. Ritternkreis

    September 14, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Then, you forgot to mention parallel Universes younger than ours might be possible and there are no physical restrictions to move on to them. Touché!

  48. Louis Morrogh Bernard

    September 14, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Scariest video I’ve ever seen

  49. Timonpeter For life

    September 14, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    You know we’ll never know what we will be able to do with science in the future! Imagine someone from 200 years ago seeing how we have cars and phones and the space program of today! He will think it is witchcraft. Look how much progress humanity has made in the last 500 years! I think we as humans will always manage to come to new scientific break throughs! We simply must! Maybe there are ways to travel beyond the speed of light that our primitive minds today can’t understand but in a thousand years make perfect sense when we become smarter and smarter! Look how we went from almost nothing to where we are today in a meer 500 years. Imagine what we are capable off if in a few thousand years!! I’m getting goosebumps writing this, I’m sure mankind will find a way. That’s what’s humans do, what we’ve always done.

  50. Ryan Powell

    September 15, 2019 at 2:31 am

    Isn't our Laniakea Supercluster receding into itself? Along with all other superclusters? I guess this expansion circumvents this, relatively?

  51. Don

    September 15, 2019 at 3:55 am

    but surely when everything gets too far away to detect, wouldnt we by then have telescopes powerful enough to, well, detect stuff?

  52. -ĒlJulian-

    September 15, 2019 at 5:05 am

    Rip future milkdromedians

  53. Ophaganestopolis

    September 15, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Since science as we know it is only some centuries old, I like to think that with so much time ahead of us, we could eventually find a solution right now unimaginable.

  54. I seriously couldn't find a good username

    September 16, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Who else spotted the Alien at 1:00 ? gotta love the Kurzgesagt's Easter egg

  55. Gundamguyvince

    September 16, 2019 at 11:19 am

    The spiral nemesis lol

  56. Burrito Man Burritos

    September 16, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Isn’t Voyager 1 in interstellar space lol

  57. Mike P

    September 16, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    But…if we ever could utilize the concept of worm holes, wouldn’t we be able to still get out of our local group?

  58. Jamie Nathaniel

    September 16, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Since the local group becomes more tightly bound, what if it eventually compresses into a single point then sparks off a mini big bang? What if our universe was a mini big bang of a local group in an even bigger universe?

  59. Leonel Nuñez

    September 17, 2019 at 4:35 am

    Wait.. does this mean that when milkdromeda is a real thing they won't see any stars??just darkness??? I didn't understand that part, can someone explain me better?

  60. Al Anton

    September 17, 2019 at 6:12 am

    Caught him! At 2:54 he said, "Lets go back 13.8 billion years when there was nothing at all …" Oops. He just committed the same blunder all evolutionists commit: There was NEVER a time when there was nothing! "Ex nihilo, nihil fit." Out of nothing, nothing comes! That's obvious. It also proves the existence of God as an eternal Being and the Progenitor — The First or Prime Mover, as Aristotle referred to Him. You can't get something out of nothing — that's not science, it's magic. It doesn't happen.

  61. The Unboxing Experience

    September 17, 2019 at 8:16 am

    I love the animation. Keep up the good work!

  62. Kaden A

    September 17, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Turn to god he will help u

  63. Ethan Moll

    September 17, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Just set your shipping address to the next local group and Amazon Prime will get the order shipped for free within two days.

  64. forgotten choice

    September 17, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    ….we are in the stretch Mark's of the universe

  65. Al Delgado

    September 17, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Thats is if there was a big bang, i dont think so, its all done by the hands of GOD,

  66. Robert Šafář

    September 17, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    i think if we have warp drive or hyperspace drive we can get anywhere

  67. Roman Gaydayenko

    September 18, 2019 at 1:53 am

    There’s some kind of humor in this.

  68. Doug Butler

    September 18, 2019 at 1:57 am

    Um, no. So many assumptions based in the religion of science

  69. Grim Reaper

    September 18, 2019 at 3:45 am

    I had to cry at the end of this video. I fucking love the universe

  70. Nathan Lamberth

    September 18, 2019 at 6:24 am

    It’s so strange that my biological brain is worrying about such distance events when I’ll be lucky to make a few laps around the sun.

  71. Re: Zero

    September 18, 2019 at 9:59 am

    ربما نحن لانعرف شيئ عن الماضي ربما هناك مخلوقات ولدت قبلنا منذ ملايين السنين ويحزنون لاننا لن نستطيع معرفة ماضي ومستقبل الكون الحقيقي مثل المخلوقات التي ستولد بعد ملايين السنين لتعتقد ان الكون ثابت وازلي وانها ولدت في الوقت المناسب

  72. Caukri30

    September 18, 2019 at 11:00 am

    What about wormholes ???

  73. Vincent Aventurado

    September 18, 2019 at 11:53 am

    We have to evolve faster than the universe is.

  74. Ephraim Raj

    September 18, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    I've a doubt :
    If we can't go outside the local cluster because universe is expanding faster than light, how does light from there reach here?

  75. Marek W

    September 18, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    It's funny… Like mix of science and poetry. New sub

  76. KJV 예수쟁이

    September 18, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    (KJV)(Romans 1:19-20) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed

    it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood
    by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse
    (KJV)(John 1:3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made:

  77. A drunk Russian guy

    September 18, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Uh, even light speed need a lot of year to travel in space

    I WONDER WHAT IT WILL BE IN KM AND MILES

  78. Mormielo

    September 18, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    As Neil De Grasse Tyson more or less puts it, I wonder what we are born too late to know.

  79. jmart0169

    September 18, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    Have you nothong better to dp than live in make believe world. Dude get a job

  80. echelon anglo

    September 19, 2019 at 2:19 am

    Yeah and what about wormholes?

  81. Mohammed Al-Essae

    September 19, 2019 at 5:50 am

    this is my best channel in youtube

  82. Robert Eischen

    September 19, 2019 at 6:53 am

    There is one theory about the universe that says at some point the universe will stop expanding- and start contacting. And all collapse Into a marble sized ball again, just like before. Before the cycle repeats itself, like a pendulum.

    It makes you wonder what sort of civilizations were. What will be. And question how many times this has happened. And though it's a long way off it makes you worry about whatever a future civilization will have to go through before being totally crushed and meshed up together again.

    But if it's true the good news is those galaxies will be back again!

  83. True Leaf

    September 19, 2019 at 6:55 am

    Everything you said hinges on the phrase based on our current understanding of physics. I call BS. Its like telling someone in the 1500s "based on our current understanding the moon may be a block of cheese."

  84. Mike T

    September 19, 2019 at 7:58 am

    This is what makes you tube great, oh and reaction videos. U know watching people react to things. Actually thats way more popular, oh and Drake videos. Based on that human beings will not be around to see Milkdromeda.

  85. Vishnu B

    September 19, 2019 at 9:27 am

    no answers will ever be found! only inventing 100's of new theory(period).

  86. Sir Castic

    September 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    In the wise words of the bird at 2:11

    I am Nothing 😕

  87. Jabberwotchi *

    September 19, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Ahh my daily dose of existential crisis

  88. Elias Reddemann

    September 19, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    One of the best videos on YouTube

  89. Cesar Villegas

    September 19, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Buuuut what if we uploaded our minds to computers, became Android's and merged with computers!?

  90. Super Slovak

    September 19, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    So star trek got it wrong, waaay wrong lol

  91. Deco Rocha

    September 20, 2019 at 1:19 am

    But Dude, I mean, what about whormholes? If they really exist, and if someday we re capable of dominating them and using them to travel through time and space, couldn’t we go as far as we want?

  92. Steve D Crazy

    September 20, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Before all of these would happen, we all humans have already died

  93. Freja Marie

    September 20, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    the star trek references make me so happy

  94. PastafarianSkepticon

    September 20, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Wait till i invent the millennium falcon

  95. SneakiiSan

    September 20, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    Will we survive the fusion between andromeda and the milky way though? Thats a whole galaxy merging with ours

  96. TARTARIC

    September 21, 2019 at 2:43 am

    I disagree. You are evaluating the reach of future humans with the present technology. We might have developed proton emitters that could reach as far as we want them when the galaxies are moving farther. We might have also developed transportation at speeds which can match the speed of expanding of universe. This advancement in technology, to us now, seems impossible. But so it did to humans 1000 years ago that we can fly and go to moon.

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