Universal Pictures

No Evidence Of Time Travelers On The Internet, Study Says

Researchers at Michigan Technical University searched search engine sites and social media for Dr. Whos or Marty McFlys walking amongst us.

By Danny Matteson | January 10, 2014

​So, here’s a thought. If time travel has ever been, or ever will be possible, we should know about it, right? That, from time travelers visiting us from other eras. But is it possible they’re here and just laying low?

“Great Scott!” (Via Universal Pictures / ‘Back to the Future’)

Strange as that question sounds, it’s one thought researchers have recently looked into — scouring the internet for proof of visitors with knowledge of the future.

To determine if there were any Dr. Whos or Marty McFlys walking among us, researchers at Michigan Technological University looked at popular search engines and social media sites such as Google, Bing, Facebook, and Twitter. (Via BBC / ‘Doctor Who’, Universal Pictures / ‘Back to the Future’, Michigan Technological University)

Specifically, they were looking for any mention of Pope Francis’ election back in March of 2013, or the Comet ISON spotted in September of 2013 — well before those events had actually taken place. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Papa rock star, Wikimedia Commons / European Southern Observatory)

They also set up email and Twitter accounts, asking time travelers to shoot them an email or a tweet. The catch? It needed to come from one month prior to the date either of those accounts were actually set up. (Via Ars Technica)

So how many time travelers did the study turn up?

 

We’ll just let one of the researchers give it to you straight. "In our limited search we turned up nothing. I didn't really think we would. But I'm still not aware of anyone undertaking a search like this." (Via LiveScience)

Well, maybe not exactly like that, but others have sought out time travelers before.

Back in 2012 Stephen Hawking threw a party for time travelers — asking them to show up in their DeLoreans, telephone booths, or what have you — sadly, no one showed. (Via YouTube / WeAreStarStuff51)

In 2005, an MIT student used a similar tactic, holding a Time Traveler’s Convention. Again, no time travelers. (Via The New York Times)

There is other, so-called “evidence” of time travel, floating around the Internet though.

Some claim these videos from the 1920s and '30s show people using cell phones well before their creation — thus, they must be time travelers. Other’s have theorized they were using an old-time hearing aid, or perhaps just mimicking using a regular phone. (Via United Artists / 'The Circus', YouTube / wackyworldnews)

And then there’s a man who hit the Internet back in 2000. He claims to have traveled back in time from 2036 using a time machine installed on a 1987 Chevrolet. He’s predicting a world war in 2015, by the way. (Via News.com.au)

But, while those might be a stretch, there is some scientific basis for time travel — albeit into the future, and on a very small scale.

As Fox News writes, “Time travel into the future is physically possible: Einstein's theory of special relativity predicts that the time between two events is slower for faster-moving objects. This has been experimentally proven by measuring clocks on commercial planes. But time travel into the past is trickier.”

Still, others think, if say, time travelers were here, they might not want us to know. You know, so they don’t inadvertently undo their existence or something.

MediaBistro writes, “It might b[e] physically impossible for time travelers to leave information trails, or for us to see them. Or, maybe, time travelers simply don’t want to be found.”

The researchers presented their findings earlier this week at a conference in Washington D.C. You’ll be happy to know no grant money was used to fund the research. (Via ScienceNews)

Oh, and one more thing. If you happen to be a time traveler watching this video — drop us a comment. Make it from July of 2011, and maybe throw in some winning lottery numbers.

  TRENDING IN Sci/Health NEWS
A coniferous forest is shown on a mountainside.WATCHLIST
Giorgio Galeotti / CC BY 2.0

Some Trees Might Slow Climate Change Better Than Others

CocktailWATCHLIST
mariobonifacio / CC BY SA 2.0

People Who've Passed The Bar Are More Likely To Drink At The Bar

Various types of fentanyl patches are pictured.WATCHLIST
Alcibiades

Fentanyl Abuse, Overdoses On The Rise In New Hampshire

What Zika is — and what world health agencies are doing about it.WATCHLIST
Newsy / Evan Thomas

What Zika Virus Is — And Isn't

French grocery storeWATCHLIST
christine592 / CC BY ND 2.0

France Now Won't Let Its Grocery Stores Throw Away Unsold Food

LONDON - MARCH 05: A woman sits in her pod-bed dorm room at Piccadilly Backpackers on March 5, 2006 in London, England.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Scott Barbour

More Couples Aren't Sleeping Together, But Lost Love Isn't Always Why

Image of Johnny Cash and the tarantula species named after him.WATCHLIST
Joel Baldwin / Chris Hamilton et al.

There's A Tarantula Species Named After Johnny Cash

A scientist examines mosquitos.WATCHLIST
WFTX

Gulf Coast States React To Growing Cases Of Zika Virus

Medicine bottles charting the decline in new antibioticsWATCHLIST
Newsy / Andrew Lawler

Why Are There So Few New Antibiotics?

"El Jefe" is thought to be the only jaguar in the wild in the U.S.WATCHLIST
Conservation CATalyst and Center for Biological Diversity

The Only Known Wild Jaguar In The US Caught On Camera In Rare Video

Women walk their babies in the park.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Sean Gallup

Here's What People Are Saying About That New CDC Guideline

BearsWATCHLIST
Megan Coughlin / CC BY ND 2.0

New Deal Protects 85 Percent Of Canada's Massive Great Bear Rainforest

National Weather Service storm forecast.WATCHLIST
National Weather Service

Tornadoes Reported In Mississippi And Alabama

A mosquito is tested for Zika virus.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Mario Tama

First Case Of Sexually Transmitted Zika Virus Confirmed In US

Deodorant on display at a grocery store.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

Your Deodorant May Be Messing With Your Body's Microbes

Man wears a Fitbit Charge HRWATCHLIST
Fitbit

This University Now Requires New Students To Wear Fitbits

Three different species of owls sit on display at Tori-no Iru Cafe on February 23, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Keith Tsuji

When Owls Bob Their Heads, They're Not Trying To Be Creepy

Joe Biden applauds President Obama at the 2016 State of the UnionWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Evan Vucci

President Obama Announces $755 Million In Cancer Funding For 2017

Health care workers in Brazil fumigate mosquitoesWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Mario Tama

The Zika Outbreak Is Officially An International Health Emergency

A photo of the surface of the moon taken by China's Change'3 Yutu rover.WATCHLIST
China National Space Administration

Until You Can Go To The Moon, These Photos Are The Next Best Thing

Bed bug infestations are becoming more common and are extremely difficult to control.WATCHLIST
U.S. Department of Agriculture / CC BY 2.0

Bedbugs Are Developing A Strong Resistance To Most Common Insecticides

An illustration of the giant, flightless bird known as Genyornis newtoni.WATCHLIST
Monash University / Peter Trusler

50,000 Years Ago, Humans Ate A 500-Pound Bird Into Extinction

Sand tiger shark with a Banded hound shark in its mouth at COEX Aquarium.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / COEX Aquarium

Shark Gives Herself More Personal Space By Eating Tank-Mate

Oswaldo Cruz Hospital staff prepare to draw blood from baby Lorrany Emily da Silva (R), who has microcephaly, on January 26, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil.WATCHLIST
Getty Images/ Mario Tama

Zika Virus Prompts Brazilian Petition For More Legal Abortion Access

An artistic rendering of how the ESA's new satellite network would work.WATCHLIST
European Space Agency

Super-Fast Space Laser Satellites Could Help Save Lives On Earth

To be fair, the vulture did have tracking equipment on it that could make it look like a spy if one didn't know better.WATCHLIST
Greg Schechter / CC BY 2.0

United Nations Had To Help Israel Get Its Vulture Back From Lebanon

Babylon cuneiform tablet.WATCHLIST
Mathieu Ossendrijver (HU)

Ancient Babylonians Might Have Used Geometry To Track Jupiter

woman covers her face walking past health workers fumigating in an attempt to eradicate the mosquito which transmits the Zika virus on January 28, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Mario Tama

The Zika Virus Might Interrupt The 2016 Rio Olympics

Israeli mothers are seen taking part in a breast-feeding course on November 12, 2003 Moshav Udim, central Israel.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Uriel Sinai

Breastfeeding Could Save More Than 800,000 Children's Lives A Year

A photo of what looks like UFOs taken in England in 1962WATCHLIST
CIA

The Truth Is In Here: CIA Organizes UFO Files For 'The X-Files' Reboot