This is Indisputably the Coolest Way to Die in Space


Space is a beautiful, terrifying cornucopia of life and death. Stars are born; they supernova. Black holes form; people get spaghettified. Such is life in space, a flat circle of nightmares.

On an episode of Inverse’s upcoming podcast series I Need My Space, podcast hosts Rae Paoletta and Steve Ward talked with Dan Ryckert, producer at Giant Bomb, about the gnarliest way to die in space: spaghettification by a black hole.

A black hole.


“Let’s say a black hole opens up in this room right now and for some reason it doesn’t engulf the world and send everything into disarray,” Ryckert says. “It’s a self-contained black hole, the way we think of a portal. I walk into that. What’s the percent chance I’m not instantly dead?

“You’d be very dead,” I reply. After co-host Steve Ward does some quick calculations, he confirms Dan’s chances are survival are indeed zero percent. As Stephen Hawking describes in A Brief History of Time, this goes one terrifying step further: If a person were to enter a black hole’s event horizon — the place where nothing, not even light, can escape — the human body would be compressed into long, noodle-like shapes. So if Dan decided to jump into a black hole, he’d more closely resemble an Italian feast rather than a fully formed person, but either way, he’d be dead.

With all the ways that space can kill you, including galactic cosmic radiation, giant asteroids, spaghettification is definitely the most metal. All things considered, that’s a pretty triumphant way to go out in a blaze of … nothing. It’d make for a good story, but you wouldn’t live to tell the tale.

I Need My Space launches 4/3. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @INeedMySpacePod. Subscribe to us on iTunes here.