Scientists Reveal the Mind-Boggling Number of Black Holes That Exist in the Universe

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If by some chance, you believe that the Universe is a safe place, we’re here to disappoint you. If you’re at least a bit interested in astronomy, you are familiar with the basic traits of a black hole: such a cosmic object has such strong gravity that it will absorb even light.

You can easily understand that it would be a terrible idea to fly with a spaceship anywhere near a black hole. But the even worst news is that there are apparently countless other black holes in the Universe. You might even consider that these cosmic monsters are as numerous as stars. But yet the ultimate question arises: just how many black holes are there in the Universe?

Surely you want a precise number if you’re fascinated by black holes. That’s ok, it’s also our case. But the truth might be there to strike you harder than anything.

There are 40,000,000,000,000,000,000 black holes out there

According to, SISSA researchers have calculated, using a new computational approach, how many black holes are there in the entire Universe. There are about 40,000,000,000,000,000,000 black holes in the observable Universe!

SISSA Ph.D. student Alex Sicilia, who was supervised by Prof. Andrea Lapi and Dr. Lumen Boco, while collaborating with other SISSA members, are those who wanted to respond to what could be the ultimate question about black holes: how many of these cosmic monsters are there in the Universe?

Sicilia, the first author of the study, wrote as quoted by

The innovative character of this work is in the coupling of a detailed model of stellar and binary evolution with advanced recipes for star formation and metal enrichment in individual galaxies. This is one of the first, and one of the most robust, ab initio computation of the stellar black hole mass function across cosmic history.

Therefore, next time you’re thinking about engaging in space travel, you should be extra careful. Who knows when a black hole might be too close!