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Creepy Facts About Outer Space You Can't Unlearn

Updated December 2, 2019 445.0k votes 79.4k voters 4.4m views25 items

List RulesVote up the most unsettling things about outer space that will haunt your dreams forever.

Prepare your psyche for some out-there space facts. Outer space can be considered an absolute horror show of unending blackness extraordinarily hostile to life. Simply put: there are a lot of weird things about space. If you're the sort of person who likes to be intrigued, all you have to do is look up at the night sky and think about the size of the Earth compared to the rest of the galaxy, or anything on this list full of high-octane nightmare fuel. Of all of the creepy things about space and the universe, these may be the most unsettling. Enjoy?

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    Astronauts Must Drink 730 Liters Of Recycled Sweat And Urine To Live In Space For A Year

    Photo: Andy / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0

    Water is a limited resource in space - because of this, astronauts must resort to recycling their own waste. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly consumed approximately 730 liters of recycled urine and sweat during his yearlong mission.

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  • 6

    Meteors Can Strike Earth With No Warning

    Photo: Tucker Hammerstrom / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0

    In 2013, a meteorite exploded over the Russian region of Chelyabinsk. About 400 people were injured, with most injuries caused by broken glass resulting from the explosion. Conflicting reports hypothesized that the missile was either part of a meteor shower or a single meteorite. 

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  • 7

    Extended Space Travel Can Change Your DNA

    Astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent a year at the International Space Station in 2016, returned to find that he was two inches taller than his departing height. The new physical differences between Kelly and his identical twin brother, Mike - also an astronaut - were startling. Scientists compared the DNA of the two and found that, besides, growing two inches, Kelly's gut bacteria were completely different and his gene expression had changed. 

    Scientists concluded that the changes were caused by "the stresses of space travel, which can cause changes in a cell’s biological pathways." Although Kelly eventually returned to his original height, his other genetic changes are seemingly irreversible, meaning Kelly and his brother are no longer identical twins. 

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  • 8

    Gamma-Ray Bursts Can Destroy Planets

    Photo: European Southern Observatory / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Gamma-ray bursts, giant explosions in distant galaxies that send out waves of gamma rays, are capable of destroying entire planets if their properties are pointed directly at the planet in question. Despite such a grandiose scenario, Earth is relatively safe.

    Estimates from 2018 project that, while a gamma-ray burst will occur in the Milky Way galaxy about once every five million years, the radiation will most likely be distant enough that life on Earth will not be affected.

     

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