It's not "just a black hole," that's not how this works at all
Yesterday, the world saw an amazing first: a photo of a black hole, taken by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration. The image depicts a giant glowing ring with a dark circle at its center. The black hole is 26,000 light years away, in a galaxy called Messier 87. This new photo finally gives us a real, proper view of something that was, while widely accepted scientifically, still the stuff of theory and science fiction for quite a while.
Or maybe it's something else entirely.
The Internet's imagination has been running overtime, seeing all sorts of things in the glowing ring from M87. We have a few thoughts of our own as to what this might be. While we're pretty sure the scientists with the interconnected network of expensive telescopes are probably better informed than we are, that's not going to stop us from theorizing about other explanations for this terrifying natural wonder.
Noriko and Kazumi Getting Things Done
Gainax's 6-episode series Aim for the Top! Gunbuster would become the first of many over-the-top mecha series from the studio, equipping robots and their teen pilots with seemingly impossible powers. In the final episode of Gunbuster, ace pilots Noriko and Kazumi were in charge of detonating Buster Machine 3: a giant "black hole bomb" that would compress Jupiter (yes, as in the planet) down into a black hole 1/30,000th its original size.
Granted, Jupiter is in our galaxy, not M87. But as anyone who's seen Gunbuster and its follow-up Diebuster knows, lightspeed travel and long distances in space and time are sort of par for the coures with these ladies. Either way, you might want to start getting your lanterns ready for the welcome-home party: if that's what this black hole is, they did a good job.
Bluenote Making Planet-Sized Problems
Fairy Tail fans know gravity magic is no joke, especially in the hands of Bluenote Stinger. In particular, he can create an orb that acts as a point of infinite gravity, pulling everything toward it and crushing it... in other words, a literal Black Hole.
This begs the question: what would happen if one of his Black Holes went unchecked? Would it keep crushing everything in sight? Is it possible that the spell could become too powerful even for him to handle? His confrontation with Gildarts makes it pretty clear that, even against a capable opponent, this is powerful stuff.
To be fair, we have no idea what Bluenote would be doing out in the middle of M87. Maybe Gildarts just punched him that far.
That Drill Finally Pierced the Heavens
Speaking of crazy powerful Gainax robots, Gurren Lagann plays with its own share of interplanetary firepower. Forget crushing Jupiter into a black hole: the Tengen Toppa throws galaxies around like God's own game of Ultimate Frisbee.
It's not hard to imagine the Great Gurren Brigade charging into galactic battle and finally, finally making good on that whole "piercing the heavens" thing. As terrifying as a robot that size playing around in space is, it would also make for an awesome show in the sky.
Blackbeard Is Showing off His Skills
Who ate two Devil Fruits and is here to wreck everything?
Blackbeard (or his One Piece iteration, at least) dual-wields Devil Fruit powers, able to create both earthquakes and a destructive darkness with an irresistible gravitational pull. He's crushed entire villages and islands with his power, and then spat out the remains just to add insult to injury... or, rather, more injury to injury.
Could Edward D. Teach be wreaking more Devil Fruit-fueled havoc elsewhere in the universe now? If that's the case, we're relieved he's as far away as he is.
Space Hero Thirteen Is on a Trip
Honestly, if someone's out there creating black holes, we'd rather they be on our side.
A faculty member at U.A. High School, Thirteen is yet another anime character with the power to create a black hole... but, and this is key, isn't a baddie. Granted, the My Hero Academia star is creating small black holes at the tips of their fingers; but those little gravity sinks can cause tons of collateral damage. All things considered, we're kind of leaning on this one as our favorite. It means someone's out there fighting for justice instead of causing indiscriminate destruction.
It's the Eye of God
One thing we couldn't help noticing when we looked at the black hole photo was that it looks a lot like an eye. No, not the Eye of Sauron, as some have pointed out (though we see what you mean). No, there's something about the way it's shaped, the semicircle and bright spots underneath. It's familiar somehow...
Could it be? Our high school goddess is looking down on us from on high, deciding whether or not we're interesting enough to keep existing? Could we be just a blink away from all being recreated to be aliens and psychics? Or have we just been watching way too much anime?
What do you think? Does one of these theories click for you? Or do you have another idea? Battle it out in the comments!
(All wild theories aside, thank you and congratulations to the amazing scientists behind the capturing of this photo — especially Katie Bouman, who spearheaded the creation of the algorithm that made it possible!)
Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and interviewer with bylines at VRV, We Are Cult, Fanbyte, and many more. She is also the co-founder of Altrix Books and co-creator of the OEL light novel series Owl's Flower. Kara blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.