A black hole is a place in space where gravity is so strong that even light can’t escape. Black holes skirt the line between science fiction and science fact.

So what happens if you fall into one?

In short – you die.

On the one hand, scientists have seen real black holes in action, cosuming unsuspecting stars that pass too close. But where reality ends and fiction takes over, is at the edge of a black hole: a place called the event horizon where no spacecraft has ever gone.

To escape its pull you’d need to be travelling faster than the speed of light. If you found yourself in proximity to one, you would be sent into a free fall towards its center. The pulling force would increase as you moved closer, creating a “tidal force” on your body.

That means the gravity acting on the part of your body closer to the hole would be stronger than the gravity on the parts farthest away. The parts at the front would then accelerate faster than those at the rear, stretching your body until it snapped apart.

Essentially you’d become a bunch of disconnected atoms. No one knows what happens to these atoms once they reach the center of a black hole. But don’t worry all this would take place in a matter of billions of a second.