What is on the Other Side of a Black Hole?

Picture an entire star collapsed down into a gravitational singularity. An object with so much mass, compressed so tightly, that nothing, not even light itself can escape its grasp. It’s no surprise these objects have captured our imagination… and yet, I have a complaint.

The name “black hole” seems to have created something of a misunderstanding. And the images that show the gravitational well of a black hole don’t seem to help either.

From all the correspondence I get, I know many imagine these objects as magnificent portals to some other world or dimension. That they might be gateways which will take you off to adventures with beautiful glistening people in oddly tailored chainmail codpieces and bikinis.

So, if you were to jump into a black hole, where would you come out? What’s on the other side? Where do they take you to? Black holes don’t actually “go” anywhere. There isn’t an actual “hole” involved at all.

They’re massive black orbs in space with an incomprehensible gravitational field. We’re familiar with things that are black in color, like asphalt, or your favorite Cure shirt from the Wish tour that you’ve only ever hand-washed.

Black holes aren’t that sort of black. They’re black because even light, the fastest thing in the Universe, has given up trying to escape their immense gravity.

Let’s aim for a little context. Consider this. Imagine carrying an elephant around on your shoulders. Better yet, imagine wearing an entire elephant, like a suit. Now, let’s get off the couch and go for a walk. This what it would feel like if the gravity on Earth increased by a factor of 50. If we were to increase the force of gravity around your couch up to a level near the weakest possible black hole, it would be billions of times stronger than you would experience stuck under your elephant suit.

And so, if you jumped into a black hole, riding your space dragon, wearing maximus power gauntlets of punchiness and wielding some sort of ridiculous light-based melee weapon, you would then be instantly transformed … by those terrible tidal forces unravelling your body into streams of atoms… and then your mass would be added to the black hole.

Just so we’re clear on this, you don’t go anywhere. You just get added to the black hole.
It’s like wondering about the magical place you go if you jump into a trash compactor.
If you did jump into a black hole, your experience would be one great angular discomfort and then atomic disassembly. Here’s the truly nightmarish part. ..

As time distorts near the event horizon of a black hole, the outside Universe would watch you descend towards it more and more slowly. In theory, from their perspective it would take an infinite amount of time for you to become a part of the black hole. Even photons reflecting off your newly shaped body would be stretched out to the point that you would become redder and redder, and eventually, just fade away.

Artist concept of a view inside a black hole. Credit:  April Hobart, NASA, Chandra X-Ray Observatory
Artist concept of a view inside a black hole. Credit: April Hobart, NASA, Chandra X-Ray Observatory

Now that that is over with. Let’s clear up the matter of that diagram. Consider that image of a black hole’s gravity well. Anything with mass distorts space-time. The more mass you have, the more of a distortion you make….And black holes make bigger distortions than anything else in the Universe.

Light follows a straight line through space-time, even when space-time has been distorted into the maw of a black hole. When you get inside the black hole’s event horizon, all paths lead directly to the singularity, even if you’re a photon of light, moving directly away from it. It sounds just awful. The best news is that, from your perspective, it’s a quick and painful death for you and your space dragon.

So, if you had any plans to travel into a black hole, I urge you to reconsider. This isn’t a way to quickly travel to another spot in the Universe, or transcend to a higher form of consciousness. There’s nothing on the other side. Just disassembly and death.
If you’re looking for an escape to another dimension, might I suggest a good book instead?

Here’s an article I did about how to maximize your time while falling into a black hole.

21 Replies to “What is on the Other Side of a Black Hole?”

  1. A black hole singularity crushes everything out of existence even the history of what it was.

    Singularities with turbulence may siphon energy into a null region and produce new Universes. Thus a natural cycle of singularities to singularities would be a part of our reality.

  2. More interesting thing to ponder is what do you see when you fall into a black hole. Remember that the time slows down in huge gravity.

  3. We are always looking for some magical transport to take us to some better place. A black hole is simply a place where gravity is so powerful that all space has been squeezed out of the location. Black holes are certainly amazing but surely they are no more a pathway to some other place or dimension than death is.

  4. But aren’t black holes formed around space and time? Yet is it possible for there to be wormholes within there? *Gets book*
    Point A . . Point B
    “In theory, wormholes could allow you to travel between any two points in either time or space. Normally, two points in the vastness of spacetime would be much too far apart to travel between.
    Einstein thought that spacetime is curved. If thisis true, and most experts believe it is, the distance between the two points could be shorter than it seems. Shortcuts called wormholes would allow you to travel between the two points.Wormholes might exist in the heart of blackholes, but there’s no way of finding out yet.”
    from the book Mysteries & Marvels of Science.

  5. In Steve Hawkings “A brief history of Time” he sumarises black holes and gravity in laymen terms as follows :

    Imagine a sheet stretched out tight, now consider that this sheet is four dimensional (space and time); this represents the space time continuum.

    Now if you placed a marble on the sheet it would leave a very small indentation in which nearby less dense objects would fall into. If you placed a more dense object such as a bowling ball then the indentation in the sheet would allow more dense objects to fall into it and will also increase the distance an object needs to be in order to fall into it.

    This can represent the difference between the gravatational pull between planets and stars.

    Now if gravity really is like an indentation in the space time continuum then a black hole could be like something so dense that it rips a hole in the space time continuum. If this were true I still have no doubt that a black hole would cause death but the question would still remain “As tiny as it may be, what is through that hole?” Subspace?, another dimension?, a connecting white hole that spews matter back in to the universe?. Point is, we just don’t know.

  6. OR…
    A theory is that we have a fluctuating universe, where a black hole(s) compress all matter in the universe to a infinitly small, infinitly dense point and we have the big bang again!
    If there was another side (i don’t think there is)
    a victim would DIE anyways, due to heat, pressure AND radiation
    OR (yes once again)
    they don’t even exist!
    its just dark mater/energy

  7. we have not seen any black holes in our galaxy why ? because the sun is bigger than a back hole the sun uses its most powerful gravity to pus the black hole away if e dint have the sun the end of the universe will come

    some scientists belive that every solar sytem has a sun as the heart so imagine how important it is if the sun goes boom black holes will come the universe will be destroyed and nothing will be left!

  8. just to let you know the smallest black hole is 2 times the mass of the sun and the largest is a billion times the mass of the sun

  9. ur all mental ppl, who gives a shit where a blackhole leads, no one gives a shit about it, seriously, so just live a normal live and stop worriyng about things lika that, play call for duty 4, 5 or somthing, screw science, NO ONE GIVES A RATS ASS

  10. POPLE, no one cares where a god damn blk hole leads to….trust me, when you go to school, ask as many people as you can, the only htign they will say is ” i rilly dont give a crap wrea blackhole lads to, and i dont care either….

  11. tiago, I expect your the same person who keeps posting on this comments list, so the only person here with no-life is you,and YOU obviously give a rats ass about science becuase otherwise you would not be on this website!

  12. If there is so much gravity wouldn’t any matter entering the black hole be converted to energy (E=mc^2)? So if we entered the black hole we would be converted to energy and if forced into a singularity could we then find ourselves in between the fabric of space-time ultimately creating another big bang (if we could survive the experience)?

  13. The author apparently is trying to make a point, but it’s a little more complicated than the scope of this article.

    We actually don’t know if there is another side, and perhaps never will. For our purposes, anything we can produce would be annihilated shortly after it passed the event horizon, yes, but to say that it’s just ‘gone’ is an oversimplification. And it leads to a paradox.


    This is an entertaining possiblity, and it has a neat picture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormhole

    It is possible that when enough matter collapses into one place, it pushes out into another three dimensional universe, like a balloon. The initial explosion would create a very ‘big bang’. Some theorize that our universe is an example of this phenomenon.

  14. Wow thats pretty scary!!!
    We dont know if the person who wrote this article
    if he saying the truth because he havent go on it yet!!
    We dont know maybe its a timemachine or it will give you an extraordinary power. You’ll nver knew.
    That will be so cool!!!!

    So you want to know where black holes lead huh?
    try going in it and you will know!! ^_^ lol

  15. I heard that on the other side of a black whole there is a White whole That puts The matter back to gether in a different point in the Universe.Like in a different gallaxy or Solar system

  16. hey now, thing is we got all the answer bout the black holes that are million of miles away but yet can’t cure the sick in our planet. Now my question is once in the black hole does one turn to gas then float away??

  17. Actually, this article is incorrect. The general relativity equations predict that in a rapidly ROTATING black hole, the singularity is not a point, but is instead a ring (which has a radius dependent on the mass of the black hole and how fast it is spinning). There are trajectories that go through the center of this ring instead of getting sucked into the black hole’s singularity (the ring itself). These trajectories end up emerging “somewhere” which is not part of the local spacetime that is outside of the black hole from the perspective of the vehicle which entered it. Just where that “somewhere” is is unclear — it might be somewhere else in the same universe (exiting out another rotating black hole, in a fashion similar to a wormhole?) or even in a different universe.

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