Time Travel

Ends Of The World: Time Traveling Tourists

There’s always a lot of speculation about what will happen when the first time machine is switched on.

Most physicists, if they believe time travel is possible, suggest that its user will only be able to travel as far back in time as when the machine was first created and initialized.

Like wormholes, or Kerr black holes — you can’t travel back to before your means of time travel was invented.

This raises an interesting possibility.

The First Time Machine

When the Large Hadron Collider at CERN was about to begin its strange voyage into the realm of quantum research, many theorized it would become the world’s first time machine.

Its unprecedented power would cause something to happen — something during one of however many particle collisions — to create a closed time-like curve, or wormhole, from which the first visitors from the future would arrive.

In February 2008, The Telegraph reported on the physicists who believed it could happen, that the year the Large Hadron Collider was powered up would effectively become “Year Zero” for temporal travel.

It was a curious possibility, one that was mostly disregarded and obviously has yet to occur.

But what if it did?

Refugees From The Future

Time Portal
Image: Flickr/Man & His Cam via CC by 2.0

Just imagine: A single portal stretching from now until the end of time.

The moment such a machine was switched on, we’d likely be inundated with visitors from the future, wishing to see the time when the portal first opened.

But how many would there be?

Would the number of visitors be few, just passing by out of curiosity? Or would we be swarmed by a near-infinite number of time traveling tourists?

Or maybe they wouldn’t be tourists.

If time travel is possible, what better way to escape the ultimate demise of humanity — or, indeed, the universe — than simply traveling to the past?

This would potentially create a cycle, an infinite loop of people constantly traveling to the past to escape their doom, as far back as they could possibly go — to the moment the machine was turned on, the moment the wormhole opened.

Depending on the nature of the machine, the present would become overwhelmed, and eventually the amount of refugees from the future would become unsustainable.

They would never stop.

How would the present cope with such a scenario? If the machine was man-made, it could simply be turned off. But if it were something more exotic — an actual wormhole in space, something we couldn’t control — the present time would be powerless to prevent an ever-increasing number of refugees from the future filling the solar system, the galaxy, the universe.

That’s just a weird sci-fi scenario, obviously, with its own plot holes and complications. But it’s something to consider.


Rob Schwarz

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.

One Comment

  1. yes, i believe time travel is possible both ways especially to before the time machine would be initialized why, because if you create a time machine you have to create to be able to reach beyond the physical limits of space and time, since space and time are continuous you would think the time machine would be able to reach into the past before it was created and initialized just saying, but in order for the time machine to reach to before it was created/invented/initialized, it would require huge amounts of energy by means of combining the entire worlds nuclear plants together plus a blot of lightning so it could reach into the past before the time machine would be created but without the bolt of lightning the time machine would stop at the year in which it was created/invented/initialized or unless you have some sort of time display like the time machine in back to the future, but there would be a catch about returning to the present in which you left, there would be a return device but if you forget the said return device you would be stuck where you are but if you travel to the future that wouldn’t be a bad thing all you have to do is find the time machine and where it would be located in that future year you traveled to. but if you traveled back to the past (farther and before the time machine was invented and forgot said return device, or you time machine blew up on you or something of the sort), you would be stuck in the past and couldn’t get back to your regular present so this is why i say save money then switch the money out for older years unless you got there before the united states of America discovered like 1492 for instance. and stuff like that. and i wouldn’t mind being stuck in the past but as long as you prepared for getting stuck in the past for example bring future stuff with you when you travel through time like battery chargers(for outlets) and stuff of the sort. and prepare to go through what your ancestors went through, same hardships of course or worse hardships if you get stuck in the past before the time machine would be initialized and like i said it would take a time display(destination time, present time, and time departed display) like the one in the back to the future movie to even get to the past before the time machine would be created. plus electricity from all of the earths nuclear plants plus a bolt of lightning to create a open wormhole(Not a closed one).