Center of the Univers(e/ity)

When it comes to things that are difficult to wrap our minds around, the universe and its astronomical size often sits at the forefront of most people’s “Mind-boggling” lists. With scientists estimating that there could be anywhere from 200 to 500 billion galaxies swirling around out in the far reaches of space, and with each galaxy holding anywhere from 10 million to 10 trillion stars, it makes for an awful lot of “Twinkle, Twinkle.” Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming and disconcerting to think of such vast spaces and where exactly we fit into the big picture, but fortunately for all involved, I recently made an important discovery that might help us to better understand where exactly “here” is in the midst of this seemingly infinite space. I call it: The Center of the Universe. Its location: the exact center of the universe. First up, here’s a nice picture, courtesy of my good friend the Hubble Space Telescope, of what the universe looks like from deep space.

Now here is the same picture, but I took the liberty of zooming in a couple notches on that little speck of light smack dab in the center of the picture…and voila!

That’s right, folks. What you see before your eyes is the fruit of many hours of research, many minutes of laborious driving, and seconds upon seconds of walking up and down various streets, carefully dodging speeding cars and pedestrians alike, searching for the Holy Grail of astronomers everywhere.  And this is where I ended up. Downtown Tulsa. In the middle of a doubly inscribed circle, probably placed there about the same time as the Mayans. It turns out that some interesting things happen when you stand in the exact center of the universe: your voice echoes and reverberates in strange ways, people look at you with an odd look in their eyes, and you feel a slight increase in your sense of importance. Your voice is magnified inside the circle, but to anyone standing outside, it sounds perfectly normal, if not even somewhat diminished. The bizarre thing is that there are no nearby surrounding buildings as you would expect to find with such a loud echo.

Why would I tell you all this? Why let out my secret discovery for all the world to see? Is it because I’m such a selfless individual who thinks of naught but the betterment of the world around me? Well…not exactly. I have a confession to make: I didn’t actually discover it. In fact, I didn’t even help to discover it. I just looked up the directions on GoogleMaps and drove straight there. I know, I’m disappointed with myself as well, but the good news is: just because I didn’t discover it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still the center of the universe! And it can be yours to experience should you ever choose to attend the University of Tulsa, or if you happen to find yourself anywhere near downtown Tulsa! So. Look it up and check it out if you haven’t already; it’s well worth it. But for now I’m off to redeem myself by making a truly unique discovery this time: the center of the University of Tulsa!