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 Beavis: Hey, Butthead. What is a black hole?

Butthead: So like, a black hole is like, this giant bunghole in outer space. It's like, it sucks up the whole universe, and then it's like, it grinds it up and sends it all to Hell or something.

Lieutenant Colonel (Dr.) Samantha Carter: "The singularity is about to explode"?

Martin Lloyd: Yes.

Carter: Everything about that statement is wrong.
SG1: "200"

Black holes. They're the most terrifying things in the known universe. They're the real Eldritch Abomination. They're huge masses of... well, nothing (but they do have a lot of mass); and nothing, not even light, can travel fast enough to escape them. Unfortunate items which do fall in are spaghettified (the official scientific term), stretched thin by tidal forces, the black hole ripping atom from atom, then ripping up the atoms. But that's only if you get too close. From a far enough, stable orbit, being near a black hole would just be the same as orbiting a massive star.

...Unless it's fiction. Sometimes they just suck in everything around them like giant space-vacuum-cleaners, seeing as Gravity Sucks. Also, commonly, a black hole will be represented as an actual hole in space, and it's perfectly possible to enter a black hole and leave it safely. Relativistic time dilation tends to be ignored; a character voyaging into a black hole can leave it without time warping, while those outside can see things enter a black hole without slowing to a crawl. Hovering black holes are often seen as weapons.

A subtrope of Space Is Magic. For a similar, more terrestrial example, see Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud. When the black hole is used as a method of travel, see Our Wormholes Are Different. For actual information on black holes, see the UsefulNotes article on Black Holes.

Examples of Unrealistic Black Hole include:


Anime & Manga Edit

  • Blackbeard's Devil Fruit abilities in One Piece is a perfect example.
  • In Diebuster a giant space monster managed to absorb the black hole he was trapped in and turn it into a weapon. When the heroes destroyed him, they accidentally split the black hole in half, almost causing a new Big Bang. They managed to save the day, in a way that even one of characters admitted is beyond human's understanding.
    • Hilariously enough, the original series, Gunbuster, was actually a lot better with this than most modern depictions: when the aforementioned black hole is spontaneously created in the midst of an enemy fleet, the animation depicting it is fairly accurate: the accretion disc is the only visible part of the thing, which otherwise looks like a giant spherical void, complete with particle discharges from the poles. And the gravitational effects of having a black hole only a few hundred AU's from Earth are touched upon. Of course, there's still the idea that an overloaded spaceship engine could create a black hole in the first place, but this series also has Inazuma Kicks, so...
  • Heroic Age: Black holes do not look like giant tornadoes in space! And you certainly cannot punch them out of existence, no matter how powerful you are. The effects were nonetheless very awesome.
  • Gildartz from Fairy Tail actually crushed a black hole out of existence.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn has Kozato Enma, who can create stars and black holes at will as part of his Earth Flames. Tsuna can still fly past the black holes and blow it up.


Comic Books Edit

  • In a 70s Green Lantern story, Oa was threatened by a black hole, apparently moving rather quickly, drawn like a two-dimensional object, and collapsed by an ancient alien, ending the threat.
  • In a modern DC comic, an alien drops a very small virtual (gravity but not mass) black hole before leaving the Earth. That would means the end of the whole planet, if not for Superman to grab it and keep it contained in his fist until the virtual gravity ceases and the black hole dissolve. If it doesn't make any sense to you, you are welcomed.
    • To be fair, they do specifically say it isn't a real black hole. Who knows how it works to create gravity without mass in the first place?
  • In an old Firestorm comic, a giant named Brimstone is trapped in the center of the sun, and his presence creates a black hole. Firestorm, at this point Dr. Martin Stein a lone fire elemental, closes the black hole by shoving Brimstone through it, but gets sucked up himself. He winds emerging from a White Hole in a parallel universe, and resolves to spend his time exploring the place. Comics, everybody!
  • The premise of Rogue Trooper depends on this - Nu Earth is situated next to a black hole through which both the Norts and Southers want to be able to send their ships.
  • In Final Crisis, Darkseid's fall to Earth causes it to drift toward a black hole. The Green Lantern Corps have to push their power to the limit to reach Earth in time, but manage to pull Earth away just in time. Also Darkseid apparently has a black hole where his heart should be. His very existence is actually dragging the entire Multiverse into the black hole. Fortunately for plausibility, the black hole in Darkseid's chest is justified due to him being a god and therefore above such pesky things as physics.
  • Towards the end of Shakara, the title character rigs the Museum of War to trap the Big Bad's soldiers that pursue him. The weapons he use are black hole bombs, each of which creates a black hole about the size of a basketball when it detonates, and immediately sucks up his pursuers.
  • There's a comic in Marvel Star Wars which involves the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Luke, playing chicken with a Star Destroyer and a black hole and managing, through the Force, to take subtle maneuvers at the very edge of their personal event horizon. The Star Destroyer tries to follow the maneuver and doesn't manage.
  • Xorn from the X-Men was very bad about this. Supposedly his head was a black hole, and the only thing keeping it in place was a strange metal helmet. The prospect of taking off his helmet was considered incredibly dangerous, nevermind the fact that it would only be dangerous to anything very close to his head. It's even worse in the Ultimate universe where he (or Zorn, it's hard to keep them apart) simply explodes into an unproportionately large black hole, that magically begins to suck up everything within a few dozen miles. It gets even worse when his brother supposedly turns into the opposite of a black hole: a star[1]. Jonathan Hickman, You Fail Physics Forever. Hard.


Film Edit

  • The film Godzilla VS Megaguirus features the Dimension Tide, an orbital satellite that fires a small black hole at the earth in order to send Godzilla into another dimension. It doesn't work.
    • Also somehow the three black holes they create just kinda disappear from existence without much fuss or well swallowing the entire planet. They also manage to create a wormhole that opens just in time to bring back an ancient bug for Godzilla to fight and then close up without any further mention.
  • The 2009 Star Trek. Not only do characters travel through a black hole to another universe and another time, they escape its pull after they cross the event horizon (though they do have faster-than-light technology). What the writers really wanted was a wormhole, especially if they were just going to make up the science. It's not as if Star Trek doesn't have plenty of swirly spacetime anomalies to pick and choose from anyway, so going with the relatively well-understood phenomenon of a black hole and getting every detail about them wrong was a little jarring.
    • This black hole is also 2D, or very flat, and surrounded by scary lightning. It is also created from a very tiny amount of mass.
    • Worse still, the planet Vulcan is consumed by a black hole... in minutes, not the near hour it would take at a minimum; completely, rather than forming an accretion disc; and without flooding the vicinity with enough X rays to vaporize every starship around, shields or no shields.
    • But let's not forget that this black hole was made with Red Matter, made by Vulcans for the purpose of creating a black hole. Forget about Accretion Disks, Event Horizons and General Relativity...things work differently when you have an intelligent alien race manufacturing black holes for their own purposes.
  • Disney's The Black Hole is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, including a notable accretion disk that gives it the appearance of a swirly purplish hurricane. At the end the heroes fall through the hole and emerge, evidently, in another universe. Meanwhile, the bad guys end up in Hell. Good ol' Nightmare Fuel for the kiddies.
    • It's actually implied that they all died. The heroes ended up in Heaven, the baddies in Hell. And apparently the robots were sentient enough to have a soul.
    • Granted that the robots in charge of the technical duties were not robots...
  • Disney's Treasure Planet deals momentarily with a super nova going black hole. It's part of how they kill off Mr. Arrow (sadly, not to return, like Sam the Eagle did). The RLS Legacy drifts partially into the emerging black hole, gets hit by the 'biggest magilla of them all', and rides the solar energy out of the black hole safely.
    • And then we see an awesome shot of the accretion disk in the following scene. Which is... blue?
  • In Galaxy Quest, black holes are regularly treated as wormholes, to the point interstellar travel (by starship or sheath) is done by diving into them and coming out... uh, the other side.
  • The Giant Spider Invasion has the eponymous beasties arrive through a black hole that landed in a farmer's field. Without anything being sucked into it, natch. At the climax of the movie the black hole is saturated with neutrons and apparently neutralized, which causes all the spiders to burst into flames and ooze ice cream. Yes, it's a very bad movie.
  • Event Horizon. The titular spacecraft featured both "normal-space" engines and the "Hell-Drive". The former was a (horrendously misnamed) "Ion Drive". The latter used an artificial black hole" to do a gravity-based spacewarp that apparently takes you straight through the Warp. Really, that whole movie is You Fail Science Forever.


Literature Edit

  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe New Jedi Order series, the Yuuzhan Vong ships actually created tiny black holes as shields (they exist just long enough to absorb incoming ordnance, then collapse). Of course even assuming you could do that, when you collapsed the singularity the destroyed ordnance would burst out as pure energy (which would be an enormously bigger explosion than whatever the weapon could have caused normally). The same creature/components that do this also propel the ships.
    • Also from the Star Wars Expanded Universe is the Maw, a massive cluster of black holes. Theories abound that it was constructed, like a number of other unlikely celestial objects in the galaxy, to have been built by Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
    • Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor has all kinds of interesting things happening with black holes, including a kind of Shapeshifter Showdown in which the Big Bad becomes a supermassive black hole and swallows Luke, who becomes a white fountain to defeat him. However, to be fair everything black hole-ish that happens in that book is some kind of metaphor, and Luke notes that it's a metaphor which his mind is maintaining so that he can make any sense of events.
  • Fred Saberhagen's Berserker short stories. In "Masque of the Red Shift" Johann Karlsen takes a lifeboat into a black hole to lure a berserker ship to its doom. In "The Temple of Mars" we learn that Karlsen went into orbit around the black hole within the event horizon, and in "The Face of the Deep" he's rescued from the black hole.
  • Joe Haldeman's novel The Forever War. Starships are able to travel hundreds of light years at a time by diving into collapsars (black holes).
    • This is Justified Trope due to the fact that Haldeman just made up the word "collapsars" to fit his book and then it suddenly became a real word to describe a type of black hole. Haldeman also has his characters suffer from time dilation due to traveling at relativistic speeds - the problems caused by this are part of why it's The Forever War.
  • Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series generally treats black holes seriously, but there's a rather odd bit of pseudoscience in The End of the Matter, where a galaxy-sized "collapsar" (term likely borrowed from Haldeman) is neutralized by juxtaposing it with a similarly massive "expandar", or white hole, composed entirely of antimatter. Their respective gravitational fields suck material out of each other and mutually annihilate it. How this works is anyone's guess.
  • The long-out-of-print novel Earth Ship and Star Song posits an FTL drive which involves creating a black hole around your ship to fling you into hyperspace (or whatever), then creating another black hole while you're inside the first one. The second black hole supposedly "eats" the first one and pops you back out into normal space. Um... yeah.
  • One of the Red Dwarf novels had an arc in which the crew encountered a black hole. Whether it's handled realistically or not is... really up to you: Its effect on time is addressed by the narrator (as well as causing numerous problems for ship computer Holly, what with his components being in different weeks), and the Talkie Toaster (really) describes the process of spaghettification. However, they then proceed to use the event horizon to slingshot out of the black hole. And find out quite quickly from Lister, who was left on a nearby planet, that the entire maneuver took decades.
    • Though the process of spaghettification was a tad off. According to the models that physicists use, objects that fall into a black hole are stretched to the point where they become an immensely long strand of matter one atom thick leading down to the singularity. Somehow Grant and Naylor managed to make spaghettification much more terrifying by instead having people aboard the ship turn into multiple strands of spaghetti that plopped on the floor and started mixing with each other.
  • In The Magicians, Josh can produce what he identifies as a black hole. Cartoonily, his target gazes stupidly at the hole for a second before getting sucked in. Of course, in the book's world, no wizard really understands how magic works...
  • Averted in The Planck Dive, by Greg Egan, which describes what it would be like to fall into a black hole (assuming you could survive).
  • Animorphs: The Ellimist Chronicles - Originally a winged alien who became the Last of His Kind, the Ellimist accidentally falls into a black hole and becomes one with the fabric of space and time, effectively becoming a god capable of bending the laws of reality such as changing the rotation of a prehistoric Earth to preserve future humanity from his alien enemy, Crayak. Then Crayak duplicates this feat and also becomes a god, battling the Ellimist for all eternity. In that case, that means ANYONE who ever falls into a black hole would become as powerful as the Ellimist and Crayak. In real life, while a person could break down and become one with the singularity (center) of a black hole, they would first be ripped apart by the gravitational forces of the event horizon. And even then, getting pulled apart and broken down to the point that even your atoms will be split apart would mean you would have no sentience to merge your consciousness with space and time as the Ellimist and Crayak did, due to a phenomenon currently known to science as dying horribly.
    • It's never made exactly clear how the Ellimist reacted in that way, and it is strongly insinuated to have something to do with the fact that he was practically a god already. If memory serves, Crayak was there when the Ellimist "died;" he later figured out what happened (again, we don't actually see it) and duplicates it. As the Ellimist put it "The chances of it happening once were astronomical. The chances of it happening twice were inevitable."
      • It should also be observed that only part of the Ellimist, who as mentioned above was already advanced to quasi-literal godhood, that was sucked into the black hole. It was the experience of being crushed into atoms and still sentient that helped him achieve the jump to the space-time fabric realm.
      • Its also worth noting that when he crossed into the black hole he also existed in z-space and normal space, between his advanced sensors and scientific knowledge it probably made it possible for him to realize enough about the universe to do what he did.
    • Interestingly, in The Andalite Chronicles also has the protagonist get sucked into a black hole, though he manages to escape using the Time Matrix.
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe novel Federation, both Kirk's and Picard's Enterprises enter something called a "subspace" black hole, which consists of three singularities orbiting each other at warp speed. Apparently, anything that enters it from any time period appears to exist there simultaneously, allowing the ships to meet. Kirk's Enterprise passes Zefram Cochrane's shuttle to Picard's ship, and both ships exit at their respective "time zones".
    • Lampshaded a bit in that Spock tells Kirk "I cannot pretend to understand how such a thing could possibly exist."
  • In the novelization of "E.T. the Extraterrestrial" by William Kotzwinkle, the eponymous alien is concerned that the higher gravity of Earth will cause his body to collapse into a black hole, which will then, in turn, swallow the earth and nearby planets.
    • E.T. can safely be assured this is impossible.
    • Justified in that, although E.T.'s species is probably advanced enough to know better, E.T. himself is a botanist. In any event, he is delirious and disoriented at the time.
  • Patrick Moore's Scott Saunders Space Adventure novels are generally on the harder side of the sci-fi scale. However, in the novel Secret of the Black Hole the eponymous artificial black hole was at one point described as being "at most an inch" in diameter. A black hole of such size would have mass several times that of the entire Earth, yet the hole was still orbiting the Earth, rather than vice versa. Of course, the novel was written in the 1970s, when black holes were even less well understood than now.
  • Timothy Zahn's Spinneret novel has an alien stardrive which is instantaneous, but made a lot less useful than one would think by the fact that it can only link together places in space where the gravitational fields from two nearby black holes cross. The ship flies right between the black holes and is somehow catapulted to its destination.
  • Christopher Stasheff's novel The Haunted Wizard has Matthew Mantrell order Maxwell's demon to create a quantum black hole (despite it having been proven impossible) and "drag it around the battlefield."

Live-Action TV Edit

  • Star Trek: Voyager has the eponymous vessel, in its second episode enter a hole's event horizon, get trapped there, and then use a photon torpedo to "rip" a hole in said horizon in order to escape. For those who don't know, the event horizon is not a physical barrier, it's just a mathematical distance from the center of the black hole, and thus rather impossible to rip a hole in.
  • Stargate SG-1 both uses and partially averts this trope on a couple of occasions. In one episode, the Stargate connects to a planet falling into a black hole; the fact that time slows down near a black hole is used both as a plot point and for dramatic effect (our heroes must watch an unfortunate SG team on the doomed planet try to reach the gate - they keep running, but can never reach safety as time slows to a crawl for them, and the 38 minutes the gate can stay open passes in under a second.). In another episode, the evil Replicators use a black hole's distortion of time and some Applied Phlebotinum to escape from its accretion disk (at least it was made clear they weren't trapped in the black hole itself!) Of course, as with everything in Stargate, moderately plausible science is liberally mixed with Rule of Cool, and black holes get to interact with Stargates (and nuclear weapons) in lots of interesting ways.
    • In another episode, the team combines a Stargate, Explodium, Technobabble, and a black hole to dial the Supergate and keep the Ori out of the Milky Way. Points for McKay telling Mitchell that it's not the black hole he's looking at, it's the accretion disk. Not that Mitchell cares.

  Mitchell: Which is cool.

  • Red Dwarf once featured a "White Hole," which supposedly spewed out all the matter black holes sucked up...and the time too, which doesn't make a lick of sense. At the very least, you'd think it'd be physically impossible to drift into one.
    • You actually cannot enter a white hole, just like you cannot leave a black hole.
    • As of this writing, physics would allow such a "White Hole" to continue to exist if it were to come into existence. That phrasing is very specific: it would be impossible for one to form in the first place.
  • The pilot episode of Andromeda did quite well in averting this trope until the very end, when they escaped using "Nova Bombs" to turn the black hole into a white hole.
  • On Heroes, a minor character named Stephen Canfield has the power to make Unrealistic Black Holes with his mind. He eventually kills himself by creating one and being sucked inside it.
  • The Doctor Who episode "The Impossible Planet" features a planet in a stable orbit around a black hole; in the show the orbit is only maintained due to the expenditure of great amounts of energy to cancel out the gravity of the black hole. In reality, objects can orbit black holes just as easily as they can orbit any other massive object.
    • Of course, considering the planet was a cage for Satan, and proceeds to lose its orbit once his cell is opened, killing the Beast...
    • If the planet was actually well inside the event horizon, and only protected by the gravity-cancelling tech, this would be closer to reality, including the narrow "funnel" of space allowing access to and from the planet.


Newspaper Comics Edit


Tabletop Games Edit


Video Games Edit

  • According to the plans shown in the Long-Fall Boot video, the dual portal device from Portal contains a miniature black hole.
  • In Go Beryllium, you have to dodge Hawking radiation until the thing evaporates. It's the size of an atom, but then again, so are you...
  • Mega Man gets the Black Hole Bomb in 9. If those were real black holes, then Earth would get destroyed.
    • As does Ratchet in Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal, and his black holes can suck each other up, making even bigger ones! But, of course, there's a limit. For bonus points, the Rift Inducer 5000 from Ratchet and Clank Future A Crack In Time contains an Eldritch Abomination with Combat Tentacles named "Fred", who "enjoys moonlight strolls along the beach, reading and mauling on suspecting enemies with brutal efficiency." When upcraded into the Rift Ripper 5000, the black hole explodes due to the manufacturers "removing the horetzion stabilizer". Keep in mind that Rule of Cool and Rule of Fun are in full effect here.
      • Actually, Black holes aren't objects of infinite gravity, otherwise we'd already be all dead, they have as much mass and therefore gravity as the object that was collapsed into singularity. SO, as long as Mega Man and Ratchet were using ammo will a small enough mass/density, the earth would just be fine. The unrealistic part is how long the black holes last, a black hole made from something as small, by astronomical scales, as the Statue of Liberty, would only last a fraction of nanosecond.
      • The fact that you're immune to your own black holes should tell you how much you are supposed to care in the first place.
    • Saturn in the Game Boy 5 provides the Black Hole weapon. It forms above Mega Man's head, sucks in weak enemies, and then spits out debris.
    • Mega Man X 8 has the Squeeze Bomb weapon, obtainable from Gravity Antonion, who has gravity itself at his command. It creates a slowly-moving black hole that pulls in smaller enemies and can break through crystals, especially those created by Earthrock Trilobite.
    • The Gravity Well weapon is obtained in X3 from Gravity Beetle. The normal shot makes a localized high-gravity area to crush enemies, while the charged version launches a more powerful version off the top of the screen and is strong enough to drag enemies away.
  • Super Mario Galaxy. Bowser's plans go bust, one of his stars collapses and turns into a black hole, universe gets sucked in? Disregarding the fact that it's actually possible to fight inside said star without dying painfully, black holes... just don't work that way. Of course, the reason no one thought of this while playing the game was the fact that it's completely freaking awesome.
    • And let's not forget the black holes that function as bottomless pits for each level. There are pretty much only two realistic things to them: they suck and they red-shift.
    • In the sequel, Bowser somehow manages to top himself by roaring a black hole to existence for the final battle. After taking enough punishment, he admits defeat and is swallowed by the black hole, closing it. Not to worry, though, Bowser shows up again in the credits, and he's tiny! (and mad!)
    • Before that, in Bowser Jr's third fortress he managed to build a structure with one in the center.
  • While we're on the subject, The Void is somewhat of a subversion: It eventually sucks up everything in the multiverse. Black holes aren't interdimensional, and they aren't cosmic vacuums; they just suck up anything that's too close.
    • Also, there's a castle in it.
  • The blackholes in Spore. They're covered in lightning, you can fly right up to them and, with the right upgrade, through them and out another black hole. Another wormhole confusion example.
  • Maria's Gravity Bullet.
  • You can create a black hole in Scribblenauts. It sucks in everything within a certain radius and destroys anything that touches it. And it evaporates after a few seconds.
    • That's actually fairly realistic, if you're willing to fudge the masses and timescales by several orders of magnitude. Although it really should evaporate in a very loud BANG, to be strictly accurate.
    • And in the sequel, spawning a black hole causes it to suck up any nearby objects for a few seconds. When the few seconds are up, it expands and consumes the entire stage, protagonist included. And it cannot be removed once spawned.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story has them in a few boss battles. In one, it's pretty much the result of the Dark Star's defeat and does huge damage if you don't mash A and B to make Mario and Luigi run away, while in the final Giant Bowser battle, the mech form of Princess Peach's Castle has a cannon that fires them, with you having to keep sliding the stylus across the touch screen to make Bowser launch himself back out of them when caught (and the final part of the battle has both sides stuck in black holes on different sides of the arena).
  • Bomberman 64: The Second Attack. Where to begin. The big bad uses one to suck in planets and store his army and sustains it with gravity generators located on captured planets INSIDE the black hole and his interstellar warship (also inside the black hole). Then there's Regulus Bulzeeb. He attacks with black hole bombs which are, as you may have guessed, bombs that create a large (compared to most explosions in the game) black hole upon detonation. Of course, the black hole only compresses anything in its blast radius that's not the ground. And apparently Regulus Bulzeeb's armor is black hole proof since he can enter the black hole without being compressed or harmed.
    • To give the game credit, at least they show death by compression into a singularity when it does hit you.
  • The instructions for Crystal Crazy describe black holes as "rifts in the space-time continuum that instantly transport you from one place to another. Actually the time bit isn't really correct. Neither is the continuum bit. Or the rift. But it sounded good."
  • Lampshaded in Star Wars: Empire at War - Forces of Corruption. The map description for the Maw - a black hole cluster which has no effect on in-game spacecraft - claims the following:

 Conjecture arose as to whether the Maw could have occurred naturally or was built by a vastly powerful ancient race.

  • The Geometry Wars games feature Gravity Wells, a semi-sentient enemy that drifts benignly towards you, doing absolutely nothing. If attacked, it burns brightly, and starts drawing in everything nearby (to add to their mass), sometimes allowing them to orbit it. The gravity increases with the size of the Well. The only way to end the Wells is to shoot them to chip their mass away. And the gravity multiplies if multiple Gravity Wells are allowed to try to engulf each other (they just dance around each other), to the point your craft cannot escape the pull. Oddly, Gravity Wells will split and repel your firepower, meaning you have to draw close, shoot, and use the gravity to slingshot yourself to safety.
  • In the Interactive Fiction game Gateway II: Homeworld, the Heechee have hidden away from the Assassins inside a black hole. The only way to get through it is with a specially-modified Heechee ship that can survive entering a singularity. The game even goes so far as to describe the devices that allow that to happen.
  • In Star Trek Armada, black holes are just background objects, unless a ship's engines are disabled. Then they start to fall in and can be destroyed. No time dilation though.
  • In Star Trek Starfleet Command, black holes are blue whirlpools that suck in your starship if its engines aren't strong enough to escape.
  • In Conquest Frontier Wars, black holes suck in ships that get too close and may either destroy them or throw them to the other edge of the map. Must be one big slingshot. Used as a plot point in the campaign.
  • In Haegemonia, black holes are giant shiny funnels in space that sound like a twister. Getting close to then is not recommended. They show up rarely though.
    • And when they do, they continuously damage every ship in a large radius (probably due to the fact that real-life black holes are major radiation hazards). In the only campaign mission where one shows up, the player's second in command warns that "our larger ships are already having trouble keeping themselves away from it". What is unrealistic is that there is a pair of nebulae barely a single AU away from the black hole; how they managed to avoid being sucked in is a mystery. Another unrealism is the fact that the accretion disc is VERY fast when it should be very slow due to relativistic time dilation.
  • The End of the World level of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 features black and purple spheres that suck everything towards them and kill you if you touch them. They also resemble the Eye of Sauron!
  • Star Fox has the black hole level which is the loop of wandering in a space junkyard filled with boxes and broken Arwings floating around until you find one of the three warp spots which sends you somewhere else.
  • One is created after the defeat of the final boss in Sonic Colors. The final level is Sonic trying to escape it. He fails around the 31 second mark.
  • Starcraft 2 has this as a protoss ability. It hovers above the ground, sucking in grid lines and mathematical formulae, and everything within range is stretched out and pulled in... until the black hole finally explodes and the units emerge unharmed. In fact, when one is used on your army, the correct strategy is to order all your other units into the black hole as well so the enemy cannot easily destroy them while your main force is gone.
    • As a bit of further explanation how this odd effect came about: The original revealed Black Hole ability did in fact destroy the units. However, it was probably changed for balance reasons, but the graphics were not changed.
  • In the Touhou fighting game Immaterial and Missing Power, boss Suika Ibuki creates black holes using her ability to manipulate density. They can draw in the player character but do not damage the terrain and are not instantly lethal.
  • In the Mass Effect series, the Adept class can use the Singularity power to apparently summon a black hole out of thin air that will float in place, cause enemies and objects to orbit around it, and can be "detonated" with the Warp power. ME 2 also adds the M-490 Blackstorm Singularity Projector, a pre-order bonus weapon that shoots exploding black holes that emit lightning. The rest of the game is quite well researched and almost believable, making these particular effects all the more jarring.
    • Both of the above examples aren't fair. The Adept's singularity power is not a black hole - it is a mass effect field that creates warp in the space-time continuum and thus a gravity well akin to a black hole. Similarly, the Blackstorm Projector is colloquially called the "black-hole gun" (and the nickname was Played for Laughs in the Gamestop advert for it, but it in fact fires a particle encased in a high-powered mass effect field, which elevates it to colossal mass - thus creating a gravitational singularity. The explosions are caused when the mass effect field destabilizes. Applied Phlebotinum, not Did Not Do the Research.
    • The final dungeon in ME 2 is a space station orbiting a black hole at the centre of the galaxy inside the accretion disc. It is possible to fly a spaceship around the place without getting burned or irradiated to death. The event horizon itself is visible in the distance, lacking gravitational redshift but having an unlikely size for something that would have a diameter of 10% of Earth's orbit in real life.
      • Mordin does speculate the area to be protected by powerful mass effect fields and radiation shields, which at least is an attempt to justify being able to pilot a ship within.
  • Final Fantasy V had the Void, an Unrealistic Black Hole sealed inside the Interdimensional Rift.
  • The Nazi Zombies mini-game of Black Ops has a small hand-held device[2] that when you press a few buttons and throw it the device generates a small black hole which sucks in all nearby zombies and which closes within a short period of time. Realistically the entire facility the character was on would have been sucked into the black hole if it were anything like a real one. What makes it even stranger is that the creator of the device notes that it was meant to be a portable teleporter which is proven if the player decides to jump into the black hole as it will teleport them to a random part of the map, so this makes you wonder why it acts as a destructive black hole on the zombies but only functions as if it were a worm hole if you touched it.
  • X-COM Interceptor has semi-realistic black holes that can adversely affect travel on the interstellar map. They can suck in probes (and do so from a surprising distance away) and ships traveling near them are slowed by a significant amount as they try to escape the event horizon. The plot itself is set off by the discovery of an intercepted alien message that shows massive fleets flying into a black hole. It's initially suspected this is some kind of bizarre disposal method, but eventually it's discovered that the aliens have figured out a way to turn black holes into wormholes to a Pocket Dimension where they are building a literally indestructible superweapon. The rest of the game turns into a race against time to find a way to counter the superweapon.
  • Star Ocean the Last Hope features a black hole that inexplicably appears directly in the path of the ship mid-warp, sucks it in and spits it out in an alternate universe, completely intact.
  • The Space Cadet pinball has a kickout called "Black Hole" (oddly enough, it's white). There's also a mission named "Black Hole Mission" where you've to lit all the engine lights and send the ball to the "black hole". When you accomplish it, you get the message "Black Hole eliminated".


Web Comics Edit


Web Original Edit


Western Animation Edit

  • In Transformers, there have been two major black hole occurrences, both falling squarely in this territory:
    • In Transformers Generation 1, a black hole sucks in two ships: one that the good guys and bad guys are on, and one to get sucked in before it just to show us the threat is real. That other ship went 'kaboom' before entering. There's plenty of "Oh, noes, we're gonna get squishificated!" talk. And then they go in and... wind up in a color-inverted universe. And rather easily escape.
    • In Transformers Cybertron, the entire plot revolves around the black hole created by the destruction of Unicron. It had many space and time-bending effects throughout the universe (and the multiverse, if we take All There in the Manual into account.) Of course, when you throw dark gods into the mix, you expect it to be a bit different from the mundane version...
      • And part of this is a dub induced fix. In Galaxy Force (the original Japanese version), the black hole sucked up Cybertron in the first episode. They later somehow get the planet back out, whole and undamaged. The implication being they landed on the surface and activated the MacGuffin du jour to do so, how did they not all die of horrible gravitational tearing and vaporization?
  • Averted in the Futurama episode A Flight to Remember. Bender still has some hope that his love interest, after falling through a black hole, may happen to just reappear safe somewhere else. Prof. Farnsworth, however, being both Genre Savvy and a brilliant scientist, after reassuring him by confirming his hypothesis, brutally explains to the others (with an eloquent gesture) that she's dead and gone.
    • And Played Straight with the black hole itself being depicted as a highly-visible, blue-ish vortex.
  • One episode of the Superfriends cartoon had Wonder Woman, Hawkman and Black Vulcan trapped on an artificial play world built by The Toyman in the center of a black hole (no, they don't explain how he was able to do this). Aside from not being able to escape the black hole the heroes walk, run, jump and otherwise move perfectly fine. At the end Superman and Green Lantern fuse into one being to tear a hole in the black hole and allow the others to escape.
  • The power of the main villain in LEGO's Hero Factory is creating black holes, using a staff. As if the writer was aiming to play this trope straight as best as she could, they are actual holes you can jump into, and... cling onto their inner "walls". Even though the wall was intangible and characters simply floated through them in the previous scene. Their sucking power is so immense, they pull the weapons out of the Heroes' hands, but inside, you can freely jump around from wall to wall without falling deeper into it. Another interesting thing is that if you jump upwards into it, you end up on its wall, but if you climb out of it upwards, you will fall out downwards through its "bottom". And how can these black holes be neutralized? By throwing anti-gravity flying devices into them, of course. A severe case of You Fail Physics Forever, or perhaps They Just Didn't Care?
  • Hero Factory's predecessor Bionicle also played with this. When Nuhvok-Kal, the Bohrok-Kal of Gravity got too powerful for its own good, it turned into a miniature black hole. It didn't suck in anything else, in fact it was never described further. We have to assume the black hole simply evaporated.
  • Megas XLR had Coop create a black hole once to defeat a villain, while still in New Jersey. How does Coop get rid of it? By creating another black hole and the two somehow cancel each other out.
    • This is slightly HandWaved by the fact that it was called a "matter-antimatter rift", though the intent was there. A more straight example was in the second episode, when Magnanimous threatened to throw Kiva and Jamie into a "Quantum Singularity", described as a "black hole, but portable and with a cooler name." It was roped off to prevent things from getting sucked in, and the only thing to be so unfortunate (Magnanimous himself) eventually escaped largely unharmed, save a scar he got fighting an Eldritch Abomination within it. Additionally, Magnanimous was only sucked in because he touched the Event Horizon, which made the whole space station blow up.
  • The Tick once battled a race of aliens who planned on destroying the universe by throwing a black hole into ANOTHER black hole. The Tick, being the Tick, ended up having to catch one and throw it away from the other.

 Tick: Must ... defy ... laws of ... physics!

Arthur: Fight it, Tick! Fight that black hole!

  • "John Blackstar, astronaut, is swept through a black hole, into an ancient, alien universe!"


Real Life Edit

  • A lot of fears about the Large Hadron Collider are really fears that Unrealistic Black Holes reflect reality. Two papers have been written which concern this issue.
  • Hawking radiation. It it's true -that seems likely-, black holes would emit radiation when their temperatures were higher than that of the environment (ie: the one of the cosmic microwave background), shrinking in size and mass and emitting more and more energetic radiation to the point that during their final moments, they'd seem to shine.
    • The final fate of the black hole is unclear, but most likely they'd disappear in a giant explosion, leaving perhaps a small remnant. Note, however, this process would take a very long time, much larger than the current age of the Universe, at least for stellar-mass black holes and above.
  • Given that modern physics have trouble to describe aspects of black holes like the existence of a singularity with infinite density and temperature in their centers, other alternatives like Fuzzballs have been suggested. In this case, a black hole would be a conglomerate of strings (no, not that ones) and everything fallen there would be disassembled into its component strings that would become part of the black hole.
  • Here's a cool video simulating the fall into a black hole followed by the pass through a wormhole to finally arrive to another universe.

Notes

  1. A black hole is the fate of any large star. The true opposite of a black hole would be a white hole, which would, theoretically, push away all mass.
  2. Named the Gersch Device