Astrophysicist and cartoon aficionado Neil deGrasse Tyson will be spitting science and slurping spaghetti on the upcoming Halloween episode of the Regular Show. In the teaser released by Cartoon Network, problematic favorite Tyson is ready to dine on leads Mordecai and Rigby after they’ve tumbled into a black hole and are turned into spaghetti.
“Sorry guys, it’s nothing personal,” Tyson explains. “This is just how the Universe works. Spaghettification is real [he belches] and delicious.”
Much like his animated counterpart, the real-life Tyson believes in the reality of spaghettification, the vertical stretching and horizontal compression of objects. It all comes down to conflicting theories of what black holes are and what happens to objects when they enter one.
When it comes to black holes, Tyson follows the Albert Einstein school of thought that if an object goes into a black hole, it’s going to be wrecked by gravity. Tyson explains in a 2008 talk that if you were to fall into a black hole, the gravity at your feet would become rapidly greater than the gravity nearer your head. Your feet would fall faster than your head does, and the tidal forces and play would be so powerful that they would exceed the “intermolecular forces that bind your flesh.” You would then becomes snapped into a series of pieces, bifurcating your way down into the black hole “until you’re a stream of atoms descending into the abyss, stretched and squeezed. That’s spaghettification.
Whether that would actually happen is to be debated — Stephen Hawking, for example, thinks that objects would actually just get trapped in a black hole’s event horizon, meaning that they wouldn’t even get sucked in. Also to be debated: whether being torn to pieces via spaghettification is better or worse than falling into black hole only to be eaten by an awaiting Tyson at an Italian joint called Il Buco Nero (The Black Hole).