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String Your Christmas Lights, Adventurers! Scientists Have Found the Upside Down.

Halloween, 1984.

Dante called it The Inferno. Christians call it Hell. Norse mythology dropped an ‘l’ to make it Hel. Buddhists call it Naraka.

Stranger Things referred to it as The Upside Down and it appears that scientists have found it deep beneath Antarctica.

OK, you got me. A subterranean realm existing as the inverse to our known, natural realm that has a plot-dependent relationship with telekinetic powers certainly cannot exist and I am in no way a telepath trying to conceal my otherworldliness from you kids until it’s time to capture and torture you.

ANITA: The Basics

Peter Gorham is a professor of physics at the University of Hawaii who inexplicably joined a team of researchers in Antartica. Using ANITA – The Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna – Gorham and colleagues launched giant balloons that carrying a collection of antennas to float high above the ice.

ANITA scanned over a million square kilometres of the frozen landscape for evidence of high-energy particles arriving from space. Specifically, ANITA’s balloon payload flew into the stratosphere above the Antarctic in order to detect cosmic-ray air showers through radio-wave signals on their way down or back up after bouncing off the ice.

At first Gorham had nothing to show for the fancy experimentation outside of an odd flash of background noise. It was the same result the following year.

But the third time was the charm. Trying to understand the noise, Gorham and colleagues went over the data one more time, particularly at the signals they had dismissed as noise. Examined more carefully, one signal seemed to be the signature of a high-energy particle.

But that seemed impossible. Rather than bearing down from above, this particle was exploding out of the ground.

From New Scientist: “Explaining this signal requires the existence of a topsy-turvy universe created in the same big bang as our own and existing in parallel with it. In this mirror world, positive is negative, left is right and time runs backwards. It is perhaps the most mind-melting idea ever to have emerged from the Antarctic ice ­­– but it might just be true.”

Well, is it true?!?! I’ll never know because the rest of the article is behind a paywall and rather than exhibit the curiosity one would think that Bachelor of Science degree would warrant, I simply jumped to the logical conclusion: Gorham discovered the Upside Down!

One doesn’t need telepathy to know that particles emanating from below where positive is negative and left is right must be The Upside Down! There is no other conclusion than to conclude that, had I spent $2.20 to circumvent that paywall, I certainly would have found that the rest of the article concluded that this was indeed the case.

Surely Gorham and his team have attempted the testing method of using Christmas lights to communicate with this mirror realm. At least I certainly hope they are. Well, unless the Russians beat them to it.

Lessons Learned

  • Science is fun. Especially when it’s mashed-up with a little imagination. Whenever we think we have the mysteries of this universe buttoned up, we learn that there is only more to learn.
  • Jumping to conclusions is not good science. Case in point, it may not be The Upside Down and because cosmic rays are involved, we must first consult Reed Richards.
  • Stranger Things is wonderful.


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