The idea of traveling through time has titillated mankind since the dawn of scientific discoveries, but so far there hasn’t been any evidence it will ever become part of reality. If time travelers do exist, they sure seem to keep their knowledge of the future to themselves.

At least, this is what an astrophysicist and his students at Michigan Technological University in Houghton would say. They carried out an extensive search on the Internet, particularly social media sites, looking for proof of time travellers.

“If someone went back in time and said something to hint about the future, it would prove the concept of time travel,” astrophysicist Robert Nemiroff said.

time travel

Together with his students they came up with some simple ideas during a Thursday poker night: If someone would mention people or events before they popped into reality, it could be from a messenger from the future.

They began searching sites like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs for mentions of Pope Francis and comet ISON in 2011. Francis was elected pope in March 2012 and ISON was first detected in September 2012. If anyone would have mentioned either of these two in 2011, they must somehow have access to special knowledge.

Alas, no one did.

The researchers decided to up the ante and started posting tweets only people from the future could possibly respond to, like, asking people in September to tweet “#Icanchangethepast2” – but do it before August, the previous month. Again, no results.

Nemiroff and his students presented their findings to three different physics journals but were rejected by all of them. He called the project a bit of summer fun that cost nothing to do.

“This wasn’t a major research push. This was typing things into search engines. Billions of dollars are spent on time travel movies and books and stuff like that. This probably cost less than a dollar to check on it,” Nemiroff said.

The astrophysicist joked and said that time traveling wasn’t his normal field and that he didn’t put much belief in it, even less after looking for proof online. “Unless I go back (in time) and publish lots of papers.”

Other scientists didn’t exactly take the project too seriously either. Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb said: “As anyone who uses online dating knows, the Internet is the last place to find the truth about the physical reality.”

Keep all of this in mind when BaDoink wins the XBIZ award for best Adult Site of the Year at the ceremony in Los Angeles on January 24, 2014. It’s time to go. My DeLorean is running low on gas.

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