How would the universe appear?

If a being was as large or slightly larger than our universe, say he could hold it in his hand. How would it appear to him? A solid? Gas? or liquid?

If this being can interact with the universe, isn’t s/he by definition, part of the universe and therefore it must be larger than him/her?

Otherwise, I vote for a mercury-like quicksilver fluid.

As usual with these kinds of questions, while they seem logical to ask from a perspective of common sense, they have no meaning when applied.

To see the universe requires a mechanism for sight. It can’t be light, because that’s not only confined within the universe but has a finite speed. We see the farthest reaches of the universes based on light that is very, very old; we have and can have no idea what it looks like right now. An outside being would have to unconstrained by light’s limitations and have magic perceptive abilities. What does that mean? Who knows.

You cannot analogize our science within a universe governed by those laws to something outside governed by different laws or none at all. The universe is a nearly empty blob of space-time. It is mostly pure vacuum, shot through with virtual particles and dark energy, things we can’t see and whose shape has no meaning. Would that be seeable? What would it mean to see space-time itself? Would other things we’re not aware of be “visible”? How would light or anything else reach the outside being in the first place?

I understand why you would want to ask the question. It’s just that some questions, like what does the inside of an electron look like, have no answers in words.

If a being could hold the universe I would imagine his massive gravity would wreak havoc on it. Stay away from our universe!

I was kind of expecting an answer along these lines. Hard for me to comprehend something that couldn’t be held or viewed if large enough.

The question itself really has no meaning. By one of the most common definitions, the Universe (or at least the universe we find ourselves in) includes everything, and everything that interacts with it. It is possible to conceive of separate universes, but they don’t interact with our own. So it’s impossible to be “outside” the universe.

The observable universe has a boundary determined by the speed of light, but the Universe itself may be infinite. Since the Universe includes all of space, it doesn’t really have an “outside” from which it can be observed.

The misconception at the root of the question I think is due to thinking that the Universe is the same as the observable universe, and has some physical limits.

(Often rephrased as: The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.0