For fans of the hit Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’, reality is becoming stranger than fiction. At least according to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Speaking on the Netflix-only Chelsea Handler show yesterday, Moniz was asked about a range of issues, and one was about the parallel universe depicted in Stranger Things (Review).

(Spoilers ahead) Handler asked Moniz if the DOE was actively investigating whether parallel universes exist like they do on Stranger Things, and if so, what did he know about them.

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Surprisingly, Moniz answered that he believes a “fictional DOE laboratory was operating in the 1980s. You can draw any inference you need from that.” He went on to say the DOE does work in parallel universes but didn’t elaborate. He also said that while he hasn’t seen a parallel universe himself, he was aware of its existence.

DOE runs amok

Stranger Things features a fictionalized, government-run DOE laboratory that was operating on the fringes of science.

Millie Bobby Brown's character Eleven in Netflix's Stranger Things. YouTube (Screencap-Netflix)
Millie Bobby Brown's character Eleven in Netflix's Stranger Things. YouTube (Screencap-Netflix)

In the show, the lab inadvertently created a portal to another universe, one that parallels our own but is vastly different in its nature, structure, and inhabitants. In that universe, there’s a creature feeding on the local townsfolk as it moves seamlessly between both worlds through a tenuous fold in the universe.

The children in the television show call the beast the Demogorgon, a monster from the fantasy game Dungeons and Dragons, because of its reptilian body, Mandrill-like head, slithery tail, and razor-sharp talons.

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The children call the parallel world the Upside Down.

The show is an homage to the writings of Stephen King and other horror mavens, and the show’s creators make no bones about it being a tribute to their favorite writers. One of the protagonists, Eleven (played by the talented Millie Bobby Brown), is telepathic and responsible for accidentally creating the portal. Anyone familiar with King’s Gunslinger novels will recognize the Upside Down analogy.

Parallel universes exist

Moniz pointed out they do support the science that parallel universes exist, and that it may be possible the DOE is working on a portal leading to one of them, but he wouldn’t confirm it. But he did confirm the DOE may be doing those creepy Upside Down experiments.

Moniz said his department is a big supporter of “trying to understand the basic particles of nature and the structure of the universe.” He noted they look at things like “higher dimensions than three dimensions, and parallel universes.” In other words, there just might be a Demogorgon waiting to be discovered in an alternate universe.

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Or inside your lawn shed.

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