6 of the Best Scientific Paradoxes That Will Blow Your Mind

6 of the Best Scientific Paradoxes That Will Blow Your Mind

By Jamie Matthewman
October 5th, 2013

In the simplest of terms what I mean by a scientific paradox here, is a peculiarity in logic that demonstrate how sometimes our understanding about life, even with perfectly logical reasoning just doesn’t explain what’s actually happening.

It is only when new understanding’s about the universe are uncovered, that they dispel and also highlight the illusory nature of life.

They open the door to a new way of looking at the world we live in, which until relatively recently was unknown. So without further ado, here’s 6 of the best scientific paradoxes that will blow your mind:

1. You Are Never Standing Still

Although it seems that when you stop you become still, you are actually glued to a spinning ball that’s hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. So logically, you could presume, that in one hour you’ll be 67,000 miles from where you started.

However, the sun orbits around the centre of our galaxy. An orbit that takes 226,000,000 years, so actually the last time a living creature was where you are now, was prehistoric!

No person has ever been ‘here’ before.

Taking this a step further, Einstein’s theory of relativity, proved that space and time can never exist in the same place twice.

So when you leave for work in the morning, you might say I’ll be back later, inferring you’ll be coming home to the same place.

But actually you’ll be thousands of miles away from where you were that morning, in fact you’ve never been home to exactly the same place twice.

2. From Nothing to Everything

According to scientific understanding, the universe we continue to discover more about, began with the big bang 13 billion years ago, when the ‘singularity’ exploded and the universe came into existence.

This singularity however, rather than being big, was infinitesimally tiny and there was no sound because nothing existed to hear it.

This sudden appearance of oneness in nothingness, began the process of evolution responsible for the creation of everything.

So whilst it seems we’re very different, separate individuals, essentially we are all the singularity evolving into various forms.

We are the singularity observing itself, questioning itself, being curious about it’s self.

So from nothing, today we know within our galaxy there are 100 billion stars. We have subsequently discovered there are 100 billion galaxies, in a space that’s expanding at 2 million miles per second in to the nothingness from which it came.

All of this from the singularity that appeared from nowhere into nothingness. Considering we used to think the world was flat, our understanding has evolved enormously, but yet we still have no idea about how or where the singularity came from!

3. The World Doesn’t Exist

Physicists 150 years ago discovered a world beyond the cellular.

A smaller world made of atoms now known to be the building blocks of everything in the world of form; from water, to sand, to concrete, to you and me.

At one time this was thought to be the smallest elementary particle, but subsequently quantum physicists have discovered that atoms are far from solid matter.

Within atoms lies a vast emptiness, containing even smaller subatomic particles. The latest calculation is that the world you’re experiencing is actually 99.9999999999999 empty space. The remaining 0.000000000000001% non-space, is made of nothing we would call hard, or material. We actually don’t know what matter is.

So you could say that nothing is appearing as everything.

4. You Aren’t What You Seem

Scientist have proven that every atom in the body is replaced at least every ten years, so if you’ve been around for thirty years, whilst physically you may think you’re the same body, you’re not.

You are actually the third generation of you!

5. What You Think You See, Isn’t Actually As It Is

When you look up at the sky and see the cotton wool like clouds, bathing in a sea of blue, or when you affectionately observe your children playing, this of course seems completely real.

Yet scientist have discovered that the visible spectrum from violet to red we see with, is only a tiny part of a much bigger electromagnetic spectrum we don’t perceive.

To grasp the magnitude of this spectrum, imagine the spectrum as a piano keyboard. The spectrum however would need to be hundreds of thousands of miles long, and all we would see is one octave (approximately 12 keys).

So we think we see reality, but we hardly notice any of it.

Scientist theorise that only 5% of the universe is made of ordinary matter which is what’s visible to us. The remaining 95% consists of invisible dark matter and dark energy, which currently we have no idea what it’s made of!

6. Subjective Thoughts and The Objective World

Your experience of life is created via your thinking, which if you don’t realise is the biggest problem your up against.

Your thoughts create your subjective experience of an objective world. You try to make sense of objective reality, with subjective thoughts, which themselves don’t exist. This is how we get ourselves into so much trouble and suffering.

Trying to make sense of a world that more often than not doesn’t need making any sense of.

I remember reading a story in Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, where he told very honestly how he became angry with a man on a tube, who in his mind was letting his kids run riot and disturb the peace.

When Steven asked him to control his children, the guy who seemed unconscious to his children’s behavior, quietly raised his head and apologized; explaining that he was on his way back from hospital where his wife had just died.

He was clearly heartbroken and Steven was obviously mortified when he discovered this.

The universe is incomprehensibly big, but so is the power of our imagination. Science has measured the number of neural configurations in the brain and estimated the number of thoughts possible is 10 to the power of 70,000,000,000,000!

To grasp the magnitude of this number, there are only 10 to the power of 80 atoms in the entire universe!


What we perceive to be true today about life and world we inhabit will change as new scientific discoveries take a step closer to the truth about the universe.

The knowledge that’s now the foundation of our grasp on reality offers only a glimpse of the truth.

However most people, including me rarely question their idea of reality. This means that whilst there are so many possibilities and realities awaiting each and everyone of us, more often than not we get stuck in the kind of thinking that keeps life looking the same.

It is only when fresh thinking arises that life can change, paradoxically in a world where nothing, including thinking actually exists.

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Jamie Matthewman

About Jamie Matthewman

Jamie is the founder, main contributor and editor of The Inspired Man.

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