“I need to go to sleep but I can’t put my phone away because of this thread,” someone commented in the now-viral Reddit thread. In it, hundreds of people are sharing their replies to “What is the scariest/creepiest theory you know about?” Ranging from theories about space travel to death, the answers are all sorts of intriguing.
“I came into this thread unafraid of death, I’m leaving petrified – thanks!” someone commented and we can’t help but agree! More than 65k people liked the thread, prompting it to go viral on the social media platform. Therefore, as always, we encourage you to vote for the theories you found the most interesting! In addition to this, if you have a scary or creepy theory you know about, share in the comment section down below!
More info: Reddit
We’ve all pretty much heard of Uncanny Valley (the creeped out anxious feeling when you look at something that’s humanoid but there’s something clearly wrong with it. Like the wax figures at Madame Tussaud’s or that AI robot Sophia)
But my favorite theory to come out of it is that we get that strange feeling because somewhere along human evolution we’ve learned to be wary of things that look human… but aren’t.
May or not be a “theory”, but the first thing I thought of was that feeling you get when you’re on top of a building and think “what if I jumped?” Or when you’re driving and think “what if I just swerve into traffic.”
Well it’s actually got a name: L’appel du vide. French for “The call of the void.” I always thought the idea of some ethereal presence calling you towards darkness… creepy.
If the human body senses trauma it is unable to combat, it will switch off metabolism, pump endorphins, and slip into a pain free dissociative state.
In essence, shutting down. Its been seen in air crashes and lots of places really.
Basically your body can switch itself off.
If you’re scuba diving above a coral reef, and you know that there SHOULD be fish all around you, but you don’t see any, it’s most likely that they have learned that for some reason it’s important not to be seen.
And since you’re a newcomer to this environment, chances are it’s not you they’re hiding from.
EDIT: the number of scuba divers saying they’ve experienced this and then noticed a shark nearby is alarming.
Our “world” is out perception of our surroundings in our 3 dimensional life. It’s possible that we are living amongst beings, things and events that we cannot experience because we are 3 dimensions and they are not.
That you might be aware of everything happening to you during surgery, the anesthesia keeps you from moving and causes you to forget.
That we have so little data about the deep dark parts of the ocean and don’t truly know what lurks there
That all intelligent life kills itself.
So the theory started out with the Fermi Paradox, basically there are so many planets in this galaxy, let alone the entire universe, that it is statistically impossible that we’re the only planet that developed intelligent life. So where is everybody?
Well the secondary theory is that every intelligent species reaches the point where they have a technology that can kill their entire species. And that the vast majority end up killing themselves at that point. Those who survive this time in their history are so rare that we haven’t found them and they haven’t found us. As a species we reached that point in our history with the discovery of nuclear weapons, and were at the height of risk during the Cold War (at least thus far in our collective history) but there are various technologies that could bring a species to this point in their history. This would mean that while so far we’ve survived that it’s statistically unlikely we will survive long term.
The Gaian Bottleneck theory. Basically the reason we’ve never encountered or been contacted by aliens is because they’re all dead. Every alien species that evolved to form advanced societies eventually outgrew their planet and destroyed themselves. Like we are.
That humans almost went extinct. 70,000 years ago a volcano in Indonesia erupted. There’s theories that we have a genetic bottleneck around that time. Took our population down to 10,000-3,000 (like the size of one small town). Lots of fresh genetic material died with those who were lost and the resulting inbreeding could have resulted in some genetic diseases that have made their way into humans today. Without this event, we may have advanced faster and be healthier people today.
The theory that the last moments of consciousness before death can feel like a literal eternity, and where your mind can create entire realities from blissful to horrifying. So in a way the threat of enduring a hellscape of eternal suffering is very real no matter what you believe.
More of a story than a theory, but it correlates to some of these and makes me think some could be real. When I was younger I had this little stuffed animal dog I named rocky. One night, my younger sisters and I (who all slept in the same room so we could hangout together) were messing around, and I two handed over head tossed rocky into the wall directly in front of my bed. He hit the wall, slid down behind whatever was in front of my bed, and was NEVER seen again. I immediately went to go get him and he just wasn’t anywhere. We tore the whole entire small room apart. We all saw the event occur. Over time the room has been completely emptied out, everything in it rearranged, walls painted, everything- and no rocky. He just completely phased out of existence. Makes me think he glitched out of the system or something.
Humans are scared of things that mimic them too perfectly, the theory is that we developed this because there was a super predator of some sort that would mimic us and kill us. But we never knew what happened to it
I saw a theory that we truly live through our entire again in the moments before death, but that it’s a loop. When you reach your moment of death during your moment of death, you relive it again. And again. And again. Trapped in a loop with no difference, no awareness, forever.
The first man in space (some Russian cosmonaut whose name I can’t remember) was not the true first. The actual first was a cosmonaut whose mission was unsuccessful and he either died in orbit or on reentry. Once it became apparent that he was doomed the Russian authorities cut off communications, leaving him to die in isolation, and covered up the existence of the mission.
Cosmology can be disturbing.
For instance, I recently learned of dead end trips. There are some destinations that you shouldn’t try for. It’s possible to travel so far away from where you started, that the expansion of the universe will exceed the speed you were travelling at.
You can’t return home, because home is receding faster than you can travel.
You can’t reach your destination, because it too is receding faster than you can travel.
You can no longer get anywhere, only get further away from everything.
You cannot reach any destination, even if you travel forever.
The Butterfly effect. It makes me feel like deciding whether to choose black shirts or white shirts would increase or decrease my chances of dying young.
Some people have had some strange NDEs (Near Death Experiences). Going through websites cataloging them can be a trip. I’m willing to attribute some of them to brain damage and some as “legit” though I’ll never be able to tell which is which.
Death bed visions give me a warmer sense of security. I can’t imagine how peaceful it must be to die and see your deceased loved ones there to ensure you make it safely to the other side.
During the Challenger accident from 1986, whenever the shuttle exploded, the ground crews had the astronauts EKG’s and vital scans….after the explosion, the astronauts were still alive. Theory has it that they were cognizant the entire time until they crashed in the ocean.
The theory that we’re all quantum immortals and when someone dies in our reality for them they just keep on going in a reality where they didn’t
Some time in the future, if we don’t disappear before, humans will probably be able to bio-engineer themselves to avoid death by old age. Most probably only the richest people would get this, founding an immortal elite of dynasties that will be able to rule nations by themselves, while common people simply keep dying as always.
Now almost everyone think of death as something normal and unevitable, as part of our nature. But then, in that hypotethical future, death will be seen like a disease which cure it’s kept away from common people by that ruling elite.
Not a theory but reality. Schizophrenia can happen to anyone, at any age, even to perfectly healthy people. Imagine being normal and then waking up one day and seeing and hearing things that aren’t actually there. That is really scary and creepy.
Spontaneous combustion. I watched a strange but true episode about this as a child and was convinced I’d randomly burst into flames one day. I’m over it now but that was my top fear for a long time.
The theory that scented candles starting getting poor reviews at the same time COVID hit the US. Makes you wonder how many people have mild COVID before we even knew about it, pairing the lack of taste and/or smell as one of the main symptoms associated with mild COVID cases.
The universe could be dying, and we’d have no way to know until we just suddenly vanish from existence.
There could be a sort of quantum energy wave, can’t remember what it’s called because it’s been so long since I read about it. Zero point collapse, maybe? Vacuum bubble burst? But whatever it is, it’s an energy wave that starts at some point, and spreads outward at the speed of light, annihilating any matter, energy, and even spacetime in its path.
Because the wave travels at the speed of light, it is invisible. We would have no way of seeing it coming, because any light emitted by it would hit us at the exact same time that the wave itself hits us.
So, all of a sudden, the sun might just vanish from existence. We wouldn’t notice because the sun’s light from eight minutes ago would still be reaching us. Eight minutes later, the earth just vanishes from existence. No warning. No trace.
“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.” – Douglas Adams
That there is no secret society controlling everything, and humans by themselves are destroying humanity and themselves. And it’s just easier to think that it’s someone else behind all the evil .
Ok this one is rough so please bare with me,
So the common time travel question is would you go back and kill baby hitler?
Well imagine if that was you, to us in the current timeline you would be a hero that killed someone truly evil before they had chance to corrupt or endanger anyone but to the people of that time you are a monster, a baby killer.
They couldn’t exactly explain to people, I was sent from the future to kill this baby to save hundreds of millions of lives. No-one would believe him and would just assume he was some nutcase, or maybe they’re not allowed to tell anyone as per the agreement with the future government?
It makes you wonder all the people through time that have been called monsters for killing babies, what if they were just heroes from the future saving us all? They couldn’t tell anyone either?
It’s scary that there are thousands of serial killers out there at any 1 given time who often just blend in with the rest of society and live normal lives. Many will never be caught.
If you die by being beheaded the last thing you might see is your decapitated body.
I had a professor in college who taught physics and he explained why we will likely never come across aliens. The universe is about 14 billion years old. Over the course of that time, it’s likely that intelligent life, besides life on earth, has existed. However, 14 billion years is an INSANELY long time. Other life forms have probably risen and fallen thousands of times over. Extreme dynasties with technology we can only dream of having have probably existed. Life forms could have lasted hundreds of thousands of years and still not even be close to our timeline. The chances of other intelligent life forms existing at the same time as humans, in the 14 billion years the universe has hosted a possibility for life, is really unlikely. Statistically, intelligent life to have formed, prospered, or even existed at the same time as humans is extremely small simply due to the absolute drop in a bucket that we are on terms of time. We may very well be completely alone in the universe.
That nobody has any free will and that everything in your future is actually already predetermined.
That mind control actually exists. It’s something that would never go public because whoever was able to perfect it first would be in the position to use it on whoever is aware of its existence.
That the universe is infinite and there could be billions of other living organisms that all know about us and have significantly better technology and could wipe us out at any moment but choose to leave us be because they know that we don’t know about them. Kinda like some indigenous tribes that live secluded and don’t know that we are this civilized and technologically advanced.
The dark forest theory. This explains the Fremi paradox, why we haven’t seen any other advanced life forms despite the vastness of the universe. Other advanced life forms don’t send out signals into the rest of the universe because they’re worried that something more advanced and dangerous is going to find them first. There’s another idea that other civilizations know there’s something out there but don’t send any signals because it has no reason to not wipeout the entire planet.
There’s a science fiction book based on this and I think this quote explains it better than I can:
“The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds another life—another hunter, angel, or a demon, a delicate infant to tottering old man, a fairy or demigod—there’s only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them”
Roswell was supposed to be a welcome mission. A trip to see if we were worth sharing technology with and incorporating into a galactic league.
We butchered the emissary and repurposed the technology to build horrifying weapons. So we were quarantined – and we will remain forever locked out of the galactic community. Time is long – the NEXT intelligent species will be approached with an invite, but not us.
That the numbers of people that go missing per year expressed as a percentage happens to be the same percentage as the amount of animals that get picked off from a herd in a year by predators. It implies we are being farmed.
You’re dying and just remembering everything in your final moment. Kind of an explanation for mandela effect. You remember something slightly different as the memories deteriorate in your dying brain.
The theory of Roko’s Basilisk
For those who do not know what this is:
Roko’s Basilisk is the idea of a future where an artificial intelligence is so advanced that it can determine which creatures did not try to bring the AI into existence sooner even though they knew about potentially bringing the AI into existence. Any creature that knew about it but didn’t help, is to be killed as they tried to halt scientific expansion.
The scary part about this is that if people make this, anyone reading this comment right now as well as anyone else who knows about Roko’s Basilisk will die. Although many people may say “well then no one should make it, problem solved” but someone may make it so they aren’t one of the people that didn’t assist.
more of a philosophical idea rather than a theory. but solipsism.
the idea that you are the only one that is real and that exists in this world. everyone else and everything else is fake or is an illusion.
edit: people seem to liken solipsism with imaginary worlds. They’re not the same. It’s not too much a matter of imagining things, therefore manifesting a better world for yourself isn’t a thing. It’s more of just questioning if anything outside of yourself is even real. It doesn’t mean you have the intelligence or power to consciously make everything up. It just means you can’t really prove any other’s consciousness except your own. You’re self-aware, but not world-aware. I should also clarify I do not adhere to this idea, but have definitely at some point entertained it.
There’s a high likelyhood that there’s far more serial killers out “practicing their craft” today than there were back in the 1970’s, the supposed “height” of serial killer activity. Content edit: one of you lovely people found an Atlantic article that talks about the possible increase of serial killers in todays days age.
If you read into Christian Gnosticism it gets weird. I’m only into it because I’ve been writing and it’s been interesting to use it as a basis for one of the cults.
Essentially, Gnosticism is a idea (not a religion) that incorporates many religions and non canonical texts to loosely map out what God is. I’ll tell you a couple of things I know, bear in mind I don’t believe it and this isn’t me preaching.
First is the idea of Aeons. You have the Father, the God that is everything and then you have Aeons. Aeons are like Aechangels, except they are also God. They are a part of Heaven which is known as Fullness. A while ago one of the Aeons, Sophia (Wisdom), [messed] up and had a son. This was an issue because that son was born into the material world.
That being became the Demiurge, and is what you think of as God. He decided he was alone in the world and declared himself God. This is were it gets creepy.
His name is legitimately Lovecraftian: Yaldabaoth. He is represented as a snake with thr head of a lion. He is everything good and evil. That’s why they think God is the way he is: he’ll flood the world and damn you to hell for saying the wrong thing, but will also create miracles and give people hope. He is a blind idiot, chaos and justice bundled together. That also makes him the devil.
They also believe that when you die you go to a lower form of Heaven before you are processed into the Fullness. That means the being that is you stops existing and you become apart of God, everyone who you love and hate.
It’s just really creepy to think the Abrahamic God is a selfish and morally inconsistent character. And that you essentially still go to the Atheist “afterlife,” despite heaven beig real.
Edit: apart, a part
Sometimes I’ll encounter random strangers that I get a strange vibe from, like they’re noticing me more. It’s made me think, “what if there are time traveling tourists just walking around, and I’m someone important and they want to meet me before I do whatever it is I’m going to do?”
The theory that there is an infinite number of parallel universes branching out at each moment with all possible outcomes for each situation.
Let’s say this is true and you play Russian roulette. Five out of six of possible “you” would live and one would die but no matter how many times you play there would always be versions of you that would survive. This would give those versions of “you” the illusion of immorality. This would mean that no matter the risks you would take, there would always be some version of you that would survive.
If this is true, it would mean that you could live your life completely free of the fear of death and take on any risk. But the only way to know if this is true is to expose yourself to high odds of deaths, repeatedly.
Also this would mean that as time passed there would always be a more decrepit and invalid version of you surviving, maybe forever…
Anyways that or lizard people.
There’s a theory that the universe is expanding and compacting again, repeated forever, and that which each expansion we relive history all over again but with slight differences.
Remember that time you had deja vu? Some people think you’re seeing a previous version of history play out… which means you’re stuck reliving your life… forever.
It’s a darker spin on the multiverse idea, I suppose.
This is pretty cliche but the theory that your whole known life you’ve been in a coma and have imagined everything. Your family isn’t really your family and everyone and everything doesn’t actually exist. Then when you wake up you’ll have to live through life all over again with connections you’ve made to fake people.
Philosophical zombies. Theory that a good portion of the human race lack conscious experience. If you’ve ever dissociated or done something and don’t recall(driven home but have no recollection, your brain acting on auto pilot) thats what they are like. They do everything required to be human, they ape emotions, go through life. They just lack sentience.
There’s a theory that once you die, you just dream forever. Sounds great until you realize that includes whatever nightmare your mind comes up with. Something you couldn’t wake up from.
Even the good dreams, none of it would be real. Surreal, weird, stuck “living” in a “world” with no continuity, everything changing on a whim – and you wouldn’t be awake enough to even recognize that.
The theory that basically asks “if there’s other intelligent life out there, why haven’t we seen them?”
This means that if there really are aliens out there and there have been for centuries, why have none been conclusively spotted? If you really think about it, there should be tons of alien evidence all around the visible universe if they have gotten to the point of interstellar travel. But there isn’t, so that means something is stopping any advancement before it can get to that point.
Essentially, there is a barrier that all other life has not been able to get passed, which lies somewhere on the path of evolution and advancement. That barrier is most likely extinction.
Humans are getting incredibly close to travelling beyond our home planet. With this theory in mind, the main concern is whether humans have not yet reached that barrier or if we are passed it. If we have not reached it yet, then we are doomed to the same fate of other theoretical intelligent life. But if we are passed it, we are lucky and may be able to travel the stars. In fact, we could very well be the first ones to make it.
But we just don’t know where the barrier is.
I saw a video about the theory of grey goop – in which one day we invent micro robots used to break down waste, but could somehow evolve to consume all carbon based organic matter. This would eventually lead to them consuming all life on earth. I was mildly freaked out by the idea of it. It’d be the most horrifying means of extinction.
That the world actually ended with the discovery of the Higgs Boson Particle. So essentially we’re living in a [crappy] simulation of reality because the world is actually destroyed. That all those Mandela Effect instances are because the creators of the simulation missed things. We’re in the matrix now!
But really, no, the world just reached a peak of humanity a while back and has been on the exponential downward slope ever since.
That we can sense when someone is watching us. So when we’re alone and we get that feeling, someone is probably watching you.
Quantum immortality is scary as [hell].
The theory stats that you will never really die. Any near death experience you’ve had in your life, is a point where you died in an alternate timeline, but your conciousness moved on to another timeline in your body, where you survived, however close it was.
If this theory is true, then that means you will never ever die, no matter what horrible things happen to you or how decrepit and tortured your body becomes, you will one day be nothing more than a tortured pile of flesh and organs with no escape.
Edit: I’d like to add that, this is a theory and obviously unproven, and there is going to be variance in the theory as people explore what they think is possible, probable, and otherwise.
That being said, the most frequent reply I’ve had has been along the lines of “What happens to you if one of the other “yous” died and moved into your timeline”
I see this occurance as creating a new timeline rather than taking over another; much like branches on a tree, they will grow outward as well as upward.
Basically heat exchange theory. That one day all of the heat we use in order to create energy will be expended and the universe will be stuck in a “heat lock”
The theory that Carson Wentz and Prince Harry switched lives in 2019 and that’s why Wentz sucks at football and Harry left the royal family