Researchers hit the web to search for evidence of time travelers

By on January 4, 2014, 1:30 PM
google, twitter, social media, time travel, time travelers

Researchers from Michigan Technological University recently hit the web to search for any traces of time travelers that may have come from the future to join our present-day world. Their findings are presented in a paper fittingly titled “Searching the Internet for evidence of time travelers.”

After getting past the theoretical possibility of time travel, astrophysicist Robert Nemiroff and physics graduate student Teresa Wilson hit the web to find evidence of content posted before it should have been known. They specifically looked for key terms within a specific window of time before it became popular. Examples include Comet ISON and Pope Francis, just to name a few.

The team thought they found some solid evidence via Google as some sites contained seemingly prescient information but upon further inspection, they were wrong. One reason for this, the researchers said, was the appearance of recent advertisements on older news stories.

Moving forward, the two turned their attention to Twitter due to its inability to backdate tweets. But just like on Google, no solid evidence turned up. Either our future time travelers aren’t into social media or perhaps they were smart enough not to blab about it online (or maybe if they did, they’d just go back in time again and erase any evidence of it).

Although the study didn’t turn up any evidence of time travel, the researchers say it is by no means proof that those from the future don’t exist.

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