If you’re a fan of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you’re familiar with the Total Perspective Vortex. If you’re not, it’s this torture device in which one is subjected to see his/her significance — or insignificance, rather — within the entire expanse of the universe. Of course, “Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is” (says The Guide), and humankind is merely a microscopic speck in all of known existence when you look at the big picture — i.e. when you get the “total perspective.”
Perhaps this Total Perspective Vortex torture device could have been this video, “The Known Universe,” brought to our attention by The Adventure Blog, developed by the American Museum of Natural History in partnership with the Ruben Museum of Art, and posted on YouTube by StormeIndustries. It’s a six-minute animation of traveling from the earth to the cosmic horizons in space and time, and back again. It starts with the Himalayas, mountain range with the tallest peak of our planet, and even that seems insignificant in the big picture:
If you’re familiar with the soundtrack of this video, it’s a remix of Hans Zimmer’s score for the movie Inception. That’s fitting, because after watching the video, it feels like our human existence is merely a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream… a million levels down.