Top 10 Strangest Things Found in the Known Universe

Script written by Michael Wynands.

There have been many fascinating objects found out in the galaxy; some are terrifying things found in space, some are just the most interesting things discovered in the known universe. Whether it’s the invisible dark matter, the pillars of creation, or a planet made of DIAMOND, these are some of the most amazing things found during space exploration. WatchMojo counts down ten of the strangest things found in the known universe.

Special thanks to our users Stine Pedersen, mac121mr0 and Skrizzy for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20most%20interesting%20things%20found%20in%20space

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Script written by Michael Wynands.

Top 10 COOLEST Things Discovered in Space


Some things in this universe are truly “out of this world.” Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Interesting Things Found In Space.

For this list we’re looking at the strangest, most wildly fascinating objects, forces or entities found in space. The only real stipulation is that these “things” need to be relatively verifiable or generally believed to exist according to the scientific community. Apart from that… the edge of the known universe is the only limit.

#10: A Hot Ice Planet

Have you ever had the misfortune of picking up a piece of dry ice with your hands? If you have, you know it buuuurns. Well, roughly 30 light years from the sun sits a unique exoplanet known as Gliese 436 b. Astronomers have been captivated by its seemingly contradictory “burning ice” surface. Due to its close proximity to its own star, the exoplanet’s temperatures exceed 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering water typically evaporates at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the presence of this ice is puzzling. The leading theory is that this remarkably dense form of water, possibly “Ice VII” or “Ice X,” is held together by a combination of extreme gravitational pressure and heat.

#9: A Diamond Planet

A “Hot Ice” planet is interesting and all, but a planet made largely of diamond is a significantly more tantalizing proposition. Welcome to 55 Cancri e, also known as planet Janssen. Situated over 40 light years away from Earth, it’s a bit of a trek, but with a mass roughly 8 times that of earth, it would be one hell of a payday. The value of the planet has been estimated at 26.9 nonillion dollars. That’s 30 zeroes. If you’ve got your diamond cutters ready though, just keep in mind that temperatures on the surface reach an estimated 3,100 Fahrenheit, so this coveted gem is likely untouchable.

#8: Dark Matter

Dark matter is proof that our universe is stranger than science fiction. What is “dark matter” exactly? Well, as the name suggests… it’s a kind of matter. But this is not something you can see to believe. Dark matter is invisible, since it doesn’t give off light or reflect it. Since we’re unable to perceive dark matter directly, we use gravitational effects to detect its presence. Basically, we know it exists because of its effect on regular, observable matter. Normal matter only accounts for between 4% and 5% of the known universe, while dark matter makes up 27% of its composition – the rest is dark energy. Trippy.

#7: Neutron Stars

While our local sun is awesome and all, it’s pretty standard as far as stars go. There are far more interesting variations out there, like neutron stars. Though neutron stars are small, they are incredibly dense, boasting a mass around 1.4 times that of our own sun. When they’re made, neutron stars rotate quickly, sometimes spinning as fast as 43,000 times per minute. They also exert a gravitational force 2 billion times what is felt on earth. But where do these space-Tasmanian devils come from? In short, they’re the remnant cores of huge stars after they go supernova and collapse.

#6: A Giant Water Cloud

Sure… after supernova-birthed Neutron stars, water seems a bit tame. But this isn't your typical cloud. This is the oldest and largest collection of H2O in the known universe, containing roughly 140 trillion times the amount of water than in Earth’s oceans. This astronomical mass of vapor is estimated to be 12 billion years old, is roughly 12 billion light years away from Earth, and encircles a supermassive black hole. It’s the energy spewing out of this black hole or “quasar” that heats the water cloud and allows it to take on a vapor form.

#5: Pillars of Creation

The name “pillars of creation” is actually the title of a photograph taken by the Hubble Telescope in 1995. This stunning photograph captures a colossal gas and dust cloud in an elephant trunk formation as it swirls about forming new stars, while simultaneously being destroyed by the shockwaves of a neighboring supernova. Though it’s a breathtaking snapshot of creation within our universe, the sad truth is that the pillars of creation are already gone. They likely ceased to exist some 6 or 7,000 years ago, but based on the speed of light, we have roughly 1,000 years left to enjoy the sight before it disappears for good.

#4: A Cold Star

We’ve seen a planet made of burning ice… but surely a star, which for all intents and purposes is a giant ball of fire, couldn’t possibly be cold. Well, our universe yet again does the seemingly impossible. These small stars, or “brown dwarfs,” aren’t large enough to ever achieve proper fusion and become full-fledged gas giants, but they can still captivate scientists. Since they’re so cold, brown dwarves are detected in infrared light, given their incandescence. In 2014, a small brown dwarf was discovered 7.2 light-years away; it holds the record as the coldest brown dwarf with temperatures falling between -54 and 9 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s chilly, even for these guys.

#3: Sagittarius B2

This is one seriously massive dust cloud. It covers 150 light years of space, but honestly, that’s far from the most remarkable thing about this odd space entity. Found 390 light years from the center of the Milky Way, this particularly dense molecular cloud’s real claim to fame is a chemical compound found there. The cloud has amounts of ethyl formate, which is actually the chemical compound that makes raspberries taste the way they do and makes rum smell soooo good. Dear Captain Jack Sparrow, there’s no actual rum there, but you can at least enjoy the aroma. The Milky Way sure is one delicious galaxy.

#2: Hypervelocity Stars

Just when it seemed like nothing could trump neutron stars in terms of “terrifying things in space,” the hypervelocity star knocks it out of the park. A group of four astrophysicists proved the existence of hypervelocity stars back in 2005. In 2013, six of these stars were moving at a clip of roughly 2 million MPH. Such speeds can only be explained by one thing: ejection from a black hole. Think of the black hole as a gun and these speedsters as a bullet. If you’re feeling a little nervous about one of them coming near Earth, don’t worry; astrophysicists hypothesize that one will blast off every 100,000 years.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Castor
- Gliese 581 g

#1: Black Holes

While mysterious, we do know a little about black holes. Their gravitational force is so powerful that even light is pulled in, and since light can’t escape from them, black holes can’t be seen. The outer edge of a black hole is called the “event horizon,” while its very center is known as the “singularity.” And not all black holes are created equal. Stellar black holes likely form when large stars collapse, while scientists are unsure as to how supermassive black holes form. And apparently, one of these puzzling objects can seemingly be found at the center of every galaxy. It’s a bit hard to figure out something that works outside of normal conceptions of space and time.
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