When I was about 8 years old, I was watching the sunset and I asked my dad: “What’s that bright star over there?”
And he said that it wasn’t really a star at all. It was actually a whole planet called Venus. He said, "You know why they called it Venus? Because they thought it was so beautiful and glowing. But what they didn’t know is that it’s filled with deadly gases and sulfuric acid rain.”
“Wow,” I thought, “This is it! I’m hooked.”
You know, there are four hundred billion stars out there just in our galaxy alone. If only one out of a million of those had planets, all right, and if just one out of a million of those had life and if just one out of a million of those had intelligent life there would be literally millions of civilizations out there.
I’ll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it’s just us… seems like an awful waste of space.
“You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.” -Contact (1997)
Okay so I’ve seen people talking about 1983 alternative universe but I haven’t seen anyone mention Night Vale’s Russian Sister City: Nulogosork.
Nulogosork got stuck in 1983, remember? Night Vale kept sending letters but Nulogosork’s replies were always in 1983 until they lost contact in 1997 (for NV anyway). Apart from the fact that according to a Night Vale Journal Article in a submarine that turned up, Nulogosork was destroyed by an atomic bomb in late September 1983. But Cecil found the article for the same date (Sept 24th) and it was a completely different headline.
There’s definitely an alternative universe that ended, or was at least partially destroyed, in 1983 and some of the wreckage is leaking through into Night Vale. I wanna analyse it more later with other episodes mentioning alternative universes, but I want to point out now that it has something to do with the sea. Ash Beach with a mysterious sea brings memories, a seafaring submarine arrives impossibly in the Sand Wastes. The sea is washing up bits of a world that ended in 1983.