How One Tweet Led To A Collective Existential Crisis Among Newsy's StaffSeptember 6, 2016
It all started with a tweet. This tweet.
In 5-billion yrs the Sun will expand & engulf our orbit as the charred ember that was once Earth vaporizes. Have a nice day.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) September 6, 2016
This tweet had an immediate visceral effect on me when I read it: Hello, existential crisis.
I can't help it. This has so many things that freak me out. The casual tone while talking about the literal end of the world. The knowledge that when nature takes its course, there is nothing humanity can do to stop it. SPACE.
Honestly, just thinking about space in general gets to me. Space is SO big. We can't even comprehend how big it is, and it's still expanding. Every problem I've ever had has been contained within one country on one planet in that giant expanse. That's either comforting or horrifying to me, depending on the day.
So like any good employee, I have decided to drag the entire newsroom down into the abyss with me by asking what causes them to fall into existential crises of their own. Here's what they said.
*ET is on our science and tech team, so he has similar concerns about space, but they're much more knowledgeable and specific than mine.
"If the sun's entire visible light output was concentrated into a single beam and aimed at earth, you could stand on the other side of the planet and the sunlight wouldn't immediately kill you. The reflected moonlight would, though."
"If earth completed one full rotation in one second: 1. no more earth, and 2. the radiation from debris bouncing off the moon would sterilize the solar system."
*She's the Newsy social team's queen of existentialism.
"I have a tattoo that says, 'nothing is real.' I am in a constant state of existential crisis."
"Saying 'you too' when a customer service human wishes you anything other than a good day."
"The OCEAN. Because we'll never know about all the creepy s--- that's down there."
"Going into public and forgetting wipes, and then your child poops."
*To be fair, that sounds more like an actual crisis than an existential one.
"Just like what is life, really?"
"That cat parasite than can apparently alter your personality."
*He's talking about toxoplasma gondii, which I did not know about, and I am now a changed person.