How Memes Would Have Spread Across the Universe

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Information can only travel so fast—but even if it can travel at the speed of light, there would be a natural delay before memes could traverse the entire universe. So where across our neighbouring star systems might some of our favourite pop culture references have ended up by now?

Fortunately, that's exactly what today's XKCD explains. So, any life in the vicinity of Luhman 16, a brown dwarf 6.6 light years from the Sun, would now be loving "I can haz?", while sentient beings floating around near Tau Ceti would have "All your base are belong to us" ringing in their ears.

As for life near Castor, one of the brightest stars in the night sky? Well, it'd only just be experiencing Yogi Bear. Sadly, if we send out an apology now, it'll take years to arrive. [XKCD]