The following information presented in this article is a mixture of personal observations and beliefs, and academic research. All unoriginal material and information will be referenced at the end of the article, with links to the sites. Please bear in mind that this article was written under extreme time constraints and is open to scrutiny from any readers.
The universe. It is quite a daunting topic to discuss however, let us not be afraid to delve into the horrors which the human mind produces. The universe as we know it is far bigger, and probably more significant than the impacts we humans make on each other daily; for in the grand scheme of existence, we are but a small reprise of something greater. Still, while the universe is already an intimidating topic to ponder on, another factor can further complicate this pondering: what lies beyond the universe. In fact, beyond the many galaxies, nebulas, and stars, more than likely something else exists. We just don’t know what it is yet. This will not intimidate our curious minds from debating and forming opinions on such a topic.
The universe and what lies beyond are two subjects which by themselves deserve separate and in depth analysis; today, though, I will focus on a question presented by the community about these topics: If all of existence, and therefore the universe and beyond, had a shape, what would that shape look like? To truly try and address this question, there are somethings we must first proclaim as (relative) truth. We must first know what a shape is; then we should address the current shapes that do exist that we have theorized or encountered as a species. Following, we should delve into the nature of the universe (defining it in the process) and lastly address exactly what “beyond” is (probably) composed of. After addressing all of these concerns, we can attempt to imagine what all of existence looks like.
Let’s start with the basics. What is (a) shape? According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a shape is the form or outline of an object and/or the condition of that object. While the definition is simple, let us analyze it a bit closer. By definition, a shape can have a form or outline so this means that shape must have dimension; if it is without dimension, it cannot have form or outline. Whether this dimension be limited to one or have n amounts is not the primary concern, as long as it has dimension at all.
With the definition set aside, let us quickly focus on the shapes we are already familiar with and have also theorized. Many shapes are already known to us: squares, circles, tetrahedrons, cones, prisms, etc. These shapes range from simple in form to complex; as more dimensions are added to these shapes, their complexity increases accordingly. This is why a square can become a cube and a circle can become a cylinder or sphere. Still, there remain many shapes that we can theorize to exist. The simplest reason for this is because we already know that as long as a shape has dimension, it can evolve. Even if we cannot physically map out the appearance of shapes past the 3rd dimension (or at least commonly produce them), we know based on logical deductions and mathematical formulas that these shapes can indeed exist.
Now, let us focus on a broader and even more complex aspect of this puzzling question, the nature of the universe. What is known about the universe? What exactly can we assuredly say about the functions and workings of it? According to scientific standards, nothing is set in stone. Science seeks to answer questions with tangible evidence for presentation but it also shifts its focus to more accurate representations of these answers as more evidence comes for and more hypotheses are created. In simpler terms, this means that all conclusions produce by science are true until proven wrong; therefore, nothing remains assured as it is liable to change (even if it’s not immediately apparent.)