Neil deGrasse Tyson: 'Fortnite's Weirdest Science Actually Makes Sense
Fortnite: Battle Royale isn’t exactly known for realistic science — the free-to-play video game features a deadly purple storm and Boogie Bombs that force other players to dance — but it turns out that one of Fortnite’s most out-there ideas might actually be grounded in scientific fact according to Neil deGrasse Tyson.
For the past six months, Fortnite has featured glowing blue “rifts” capable of transporting players across the map while also moving objects within the game forward and backward in time. (Watch a rift swallow up an over-sized hamburger whole in the video above.) That might sound like science-fiction nonsense, but Tyson tells Inverse that the concept of a wormhole capable of transporting objects through space and time isn’t that far-out.
“This as an idea has precedent,” he says, citing both astrophysics and popular sci-fi like Dr. Who and Star Trek.
In fact, Tyson only has one issue with the rifts in Fortnite: their shape.
“It seems to me that if there was a portal through time, it would not be in the form of a crack,” he says. “It would be a spherical hole as was accurately represented in the movie Interstellar.”
So basically, this:
Otherwise, it turns out Fortnite’s representation of a space-time portals isn’t that farfetched. In the game, approaching a rift from any angle will immediately transport you across the map, usually dropping you hundreds of feet up in the air as well. The real-life version would function similarly.
“Imagine a three-dimensional hole,” Tyson says. “That means you could fall in no matter which direction you approach it. That’s kinda freaky, but that’s exactly what a black hole is. It’s a three-dimensional hole. And then you can imagine attaching a wormhole to that and then you’d travel through the space-time continuum. And you would have access to other parts of time if you did that.”
So Fortnite’s rifts mostly check out, but what about the Rift-To-Go? This in-game item lets you deploy one of those three-dimensional holes at a moments notice if you need to make a quick escape through space-time. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to ask Tyson about the physics behind that concept, but it turns out it might not be so farfetched either.
Related video: Neil deGrasse Tyson Shames the Media for Covering “Alien” Object