An alternative theory to the Big Bang has been proposed - and it's as mind-blowing as it is totally hypothetical.
The theory involves the universe being born out of the wreckage of a four-dimensional star, which collapsed into a black hole.
Needless to say, it's very complicated stuff. But it seeks to explain some lingering inconsistencies and problems with the Big Bang.
In that model, which is commonly used to explain how the universe came into being, all matter expanded out from an infinitely dense 'singularity', in an incredibly violent, strange and sudden expansion, about 13.8 billion years ago.
But that theory still struggles to explain what the singularity was like - and what was there before. Likewise, some scientists still think the current model fails to explain why our universe is such a relatively uniform temperature just 13.8 billion years later.
Niayesh Afshordi, an astrophysicist with the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada, who co-wrote the new study, says that the limitations are troubling for all cosmologists an theoretical physicists.
"For all physicists know, dragons could have come flying out of the singularity," he said in a statement, according to Phys.org.
His new model tries to get around some of those problems, by thinking about its earlier moments in a new way.
What he and his team propose is a three-dimensional universe, which is 'floating' as a membrane in an outer universe with four dimensions. In this universe, four-dimensional stars would be born and die, forming black holes in a similar way to the stars we know today.
Such a 4D black hole would have an event horizon - the point where even light is unable to escape from its gravitational pull. But while in our universe the event horizon on a 3D black hole appears two dimensional, in a 4D universe it would look 3D - a hypersphere.
The idea is essentially that these 3D leftovers would then expand - forming our universe.
Yes, it's tricky stuff to comprehend. And as expected, there are limitations - not least the latest evidence from the Planck survey of the early universe, which suggests there are temperature fluctuations in background radiation that you might expect to see after a big-bang style event.
But still, it's interesting and worthwhile to think about new ways in which we might have come to exist. It's all theoretical, but it's all worthwhile too.
Head over to Phys.org for more details about the theory. If you're prepared to tackle the paper itself - and have a PhD in theoretical physics - you can do that too.Suggest a correction