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The 'ultimate guide to black holes' will spaghettify your brain

YouTube science channel Kurzgesagt takes viewers on a journey into the heart of the universe's most extreme objects.

Jackson Ryan Science Editor
Jackson Ryan is CNET's award-winning science editor. He used to be a scientist but he realized he was not very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Now he has the best job in the world, telling stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters. Tweet him.
Jackson Ryan
2 min read

Kurzgesagt's Ultimate Guide to Black Holes is beautiful and informative. 


If you're a longtime reader of CNET Science, you know we're very, very interested in black holes. Last week, we were fascinated by the tiny "unicorn" black hole discovered close to Earth

One of the best and most visually impressive science channels on YouTube is Kurzgesagt, a Munich-based team of animators who consistently knock it out of the galaxy when it comes to explaining concepts like string theory or genetic engineering. For those unfamiliar with the channel, I can't recommend it more: The team's unique art style and clear, straightforward explanations are unmatched. They're also just pretty funny.

Kurzgesagt's latest video is dubbed the "ultimate guide to black holes" and it's an absolute must-watch. 

In the mind-bending, universe-breaking video uploaded on Tuesday, the Kurzgesagt team take viewers deep inside a black hole, explaining what happens if you fall in and the fate that awaits the hole -- in the inconceivably distant future -- when it begins to die.

You can watch the full video here:

The video also explains the concept of "spaghettification," which we've discussed in the past. When an object gets close to a black hole, the side that's closer to the behemoth is pulled more strongly by gravity than the side that's farther away. Fortunately, we don't have the capability to get close to a black hole quite yet, so humans don't need to worry about this. But stars do. Astronomers recently saw this happen to a star in real time, about 215 million light-years from Earth. 

Later in the piece, Kurzgesagt explains how long black holes live for. The biggest black holes likely live for a googol. 

10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

"There is no good concept to help our brains grasp these timescales," the trusty narrator says.

Perhaps, but Kurzgesagt's explainer certainly helps bring us a little closer. 

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