Ask Us Anything: What would happen if you fell into a black hole?

Two words: lethal spaghetti.
The Ask Us Anything logo with an illustrated black hole
If you've ever wanted to turn into pasta, black holes have just the thing for you. Katie Belloff/Popular Science

Is your head constantly spinning with outlandish, mind-burning questions? If you’ve ever wondered what the universe is made of, what would happen if you fell into a black hole, or even why not everyone can touch their toes, then you should be sure to listen and subscribe to Ask Us Anything, a brand new podcast from the editors of Popular Science. Ask Us Anything hits AppleAnchorSpotify, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts every Tuesday and Thursday. Each episode takes a deep dive into a single query we know you’ll want to stick around for.

This time on Ask Us Anything, we took a deep dive into a black hole. Well, not literally. In fact, if you listen to this week’s episode, you’ll learn that if a person somehow did find their way to the entrance of a black hole and tried to enter, scientists have a pretty good idea of what would happen—and it’s not great. 

If you somehow could survive entering a black hole, then scientists don’t really know what happens to you next. They do know that you’ll reach something called the singularity, but that’s where things get wonky. The singularity is an infinitely dense point where space and time warp and cease to exist as we know them. Physicists and mathematicians have numerous ideas for what could happen in that place, but at some point, they all seem to break the laws of math and physics. Tune in to this week’s episode of Ask Us Anything (and read the story that inspired it) to hear all these possibilities. And rest assured: The nearest black hole is roughly 1,000 light-years away.