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Karl Salmon | Journey to a parallel universe

Published:Tuesday | January 5, 2021 | 12:13 AMKarl Salmon/Contributor

Five years ago, I wrote the article ‘Time travel and the butterfly effect’. The premise of this theory was that we existed in a single universe played out in alternate realities – past, present and future – by travelling back and forth in time on earth. If we did not like our present state, or we saw where our future state required a better result, we could alter our past or present actions in an attempt at achieving perfection.

A parallel or alternate universe is a hypothetical theory that there are alternate earths self-contained in other universes, co-existing with our own universe. In each parallel earth, the reality is different from our earth; some earths are far advanced, while some are in a deteriorated state.

Time travel is separate from an alternate universe. Unlike time travel, where you can travel back and forth in a single universe, in a parallel (alternate) universe you travel through to the next universe. While multiple parallel universes can co-exist simultaneously, in time travel only one universe is factored, and history can only exist at any one moment as it involves, in essence, overriding the original timeline with a new one.


According to physicists, around 13.7 billion years ago, the origin of the universe was once an extremely small singularity. Then, according to the Big Bang Theory, some unknown trigger caused it to expand and inflate in three-dimensional space. As the immense energy of this initial expansion cooled, light began to shine through. Eventually, the small particles began to form into larger pieces of matter we know today as galaxies, stars and planets (universe).

Because particles can only be created in so many ways before they begin to duplicate themselves, this presented the possibility of many universes at some point repeating themselves.

Eventually, inquiring minds began to ask: are we the only universe out there?

Could there be another earth on which lives another you, far more advanced, or in a state of decline?


What would the alternate you look like in a parallel universe? Would you have the same personality traits, characteristics, parents, and genetics? What about the people you know, the places you live, your career, clothing styles, eating habits, your body type? Would you be the same sex?

I (fictitiously) travelled to a parallel universe and visited Earth 2. The city is immaculately clean. I am startled by the people’s appearance. They are not clothed and their bodies have the same anatomical outline – no genitalia or upper body distinctions. My inquiry came off as a bizarre and somewhat amusing one. Why should we be clothed? they scoffed. There is no need to cover ‘shame’ and no temptation for lust, sexual manipulation or abuse, they explained.

People are physically identified by their facial features that mature, just as ours do back on Earth1.

Intimacies can only occur by mutual consent. It is then that the complete anatomy evolves into their desired gender form and function.

Friendships and unions are granted three-year licence, after which they are renewed or cancelled upon agreement between both parties. If cancelled, memories of the friendship and union are erased, and you are alerted if you find yourself falling for the same person. If children or assets are involved, then it goes through mediation, then the court system, if required.

The government has an ideology that is practical and beneficial for all. They provide food, shelter, and healthcare. There is no poverty and no significant wealth or income disparities. Everyone can afford all types of goods and services. There is no theft, murders, or intentional physical harm to each other, and that’s a welcome relief to law- enforcement agencies. There is no religious ideology; families rely on their community and family resources through weekly congregations among themselves to reflect and comfort each other through heartwarming reflections.

Is this a better earth? Are you still with me?

As I promenade along a familiar waterfront, I

I must say, I took far better care of myself here. No adverse effects from late-night parties, excessive drinking, the stress from ill-advised adventures and pointless friendships. I seem to have achieved self-actualisation.


Earth 2 Karl showed me his Facebook page that had only 20 friends. Apparently, the platform had evolved to filter those who were actually genuine friends.

Some physicists claim that time travel actually creates multiple timelines instead of overriding the original one. They argue that by going back to the past, you leave the present still functioning, because only you alone took that journey. The past you have altered now becomes a separate timeline functioning alongside the present with two divergent outcomes.

Here is an example:

Let’s say your leg was amputated following a horrific accident. The surgeon and nurse carried out this procedure. Your family adjusted to this terrible tragedy.

Now, you go back to the past and avoided the accident. Your leg is saved.

But what happened to the doctor and nurse and relatives you left in the present? They did not travel with you to the past. Only you did. So, they remain in the present with you and this ordeal, while you created an alternate outcome.

Both situations now co-existing in separate timelines.

While the idea of a parallel universe may seem incredible, many scientists are buying into the idea of a multitude of universes coexisting somewhere out there. In fact, some scientists are now claiming that the Big Bang Theory we see as the origin of life could actually be the result of two universes colliding, thus generating a new one.

Regardless of the arguments for and against parallel universes, the conversation is a welcome frivolous time spent (or wasted) to take our mind away from this coronavirus pandemic.

Karl Salmon is a former Jamaican Foreign Service officer now living in Canada. He is an amateur and leisurely writer who seeks to push the boundaries to engage readers on various and sometimes uncomfortable topics.