In real life, dark matter is a kind of hypothetical matter that constitutes most of the matter of our universe. Its existence is only ever detected via its gravitational and radiation effects, and so far, no one is certain what a "dark matter" actually looks like. Perhaps owing to its hypothetical nature, in fiction, a dark matter is interpreted in various ways. As a phlebotinum mainly, a dark matter may be a Power Source, Toxic Phlebotinum, something behind Minovsky Physics, etc. Other times something may be named "dark matter" simply for Rule of Cool. May be related to Casting a Shadow when used as a superpower.
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Anime and Manga
- A Twelfth Doctor story in Doctor Who (Titan) has sentient dark matter that can possess people and is plotting to blot out the sun. Yeah, it's pretty silly.
Film — Live-Action
- Thor: The Dark World has Aether◊, one of the six Infinity Gems. Which, despite the name, is more of a wibbly-wobbly ebby-flowy fluid capable of converting regular matter into dark matter. Also despite the name, it's visible to the naked eye with a sinister red glow, and is if not sapient, intelligent enough to want to protect itself.
- In Transformers: Age of Extinction, dark matter is used to power Lockdown's ship.
- A Certain Magical Index: The Number 2 Level 5's power, is called Dark Matter, and it's the ability to generate material that has its own laws of physics.
- In His Dark Materials, dark matter (introduced as Dust in Lyra's world) is a central part of the trilogy, and is the substance that angels are made up of. In addition, some creatures (like the mulefa) can see it and use it to identify intelligent beings, as it gathers around them in large quantities.
- Aeon 14: Faster-Than-Light Travel is accomplished by transitioning to an alternate layer of spacetime called the dark layer where dark matter has physical form. Dark matter is depicted as pure unadulterated mass that drifts like icebergs according to gravity patterns and tends to be denser inside star systems. It's also fed on by Eldritch Abominations that live in the dark layer and have been known to eat ships as well. As such, it's very dangerous to transit into the dark layer inside a star system.
- The climax of Destiny Lost uses this for a justified case of Unrealistic Black Hole. The Bollam's World Federation is using graviton generators, which work by pulling gravitons from the dark layer, to artificially expand a brown dwarf so that it doesn't ignite normally and therefore acts as a helium-3 factory. Ships from the Hegemony of Worlds blow up the generators, which causes the planet to collapse all at once, setting off a titanic fusion explosion that compresses the lower layers below the black hole threshold. The explosion also provides energy to keep the generators' portals to the dark layer open, and the black hole begins to consume dark matter, resulting in a "dark matter black hole" that is much larger and more powerful than the object it originally formed from.
- Alexis Carew: Darkspace is an alternate layer of spacetime where dark matter and dark energy have physical form. This is used mainly to make space an ocean: dark matter forms "shoals" and "reefs" around star systems that can enmesh and destroy ships. Privateer in particular takes place in a region of space called the Barbary where dark matter formations are much denser. Space Pirates have set up a base inside a system that is all but blockaded by dark matter except for small difficult-to-navigate passages, and Alexis makes two attempts at penetrating it.
- The Flash uses dark matter as its go-to Applied Phlebotinum for Super Empowering. If there's a metahuman then chances are they were hit by dark matter at some point. Most notably the STAR Labs Particle Accelerator explosion was a Mass Super-Empowering Event that released dark matter all over Central City.
- In The Good Place, a throwaway line reveals the fifteen-dimensional architects who create afterlives for people drink antimatter during the workday like business people drink coffee.
- Star Trek: Typically used as part of technobabble, often in the form of dark matter nebulae.
- Star Trek: Enterprise: In "First Flight" Vulcan scientists are said to have excited dark matter in experiments, causing it to give off light, by bombarding it with metreon particles. The Enterprise crew do the same to a dark matter nebula encountered in the episode.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "In Theory" features the Enterprise exploring a dark matter nebula which caused bits of the ship to randomly vanish. This caused activity from Spot (Data's cat) exiting Data's room without using the doors to a crew member falling through the floor after it vanishes and then getting killed when it comes back.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In "Rocks and Shoals", Sisko et al. attempt to evade Jem'Hadar pursuit by flying into a dark matter nebula, but suffer damage and crash on a planet inside it.
- Star Trek: Voyager:
- "Cathexis": Chakotay and Tuvok pass a dark matter nebula in a shuttle and are attacked by energy beings living inside it, which becomes a Body Surfing/Demonic Possession plot.
- "Threshold": Neelix says he once lost a warp nacelle traveling through a dark matter nebula, which gives Paris and Kim inspiration on how to finish building their transwarp drive.
- "One Small Step..." featured a dark matter asteroid, which looked like the shape of an asteroid but was see-through.
- "Good Shepherd": Voyager encounters a species of dark matter lifeforms that again take over a Red Shirt's body and try to communicate. The guest star panics and kills one of them, and the aliens attack the ship.
- In the Dark Matter campaign setting, the Earth passes through a high concentration of dark matter. The total amount of magical and psionic energy increases and gates to other dimensions open up, allowing weird monsters to come through.
- Chrono Trigger: Magus' most powerful spell is of the Shadow element and called, you guessed it, Dark Matter.
- In the Final Fantasy games, dark matter is a powerful form of magic.
- Golden Sun: Dark Matter is a forgeable item, dropped by firebirds. The gear crafted from it is among the best there is, but it's all cursed (can't be unequipped without a priest, and occasionally stuns the wielder without a specific one-of-a-kind item).
- In Half-Life 2, dark matter is a power source used by the Combine.
- Recurring villain Dark Matter in the Kirby series is a living blob of darkness that flies through space, finding planets to be corrupted/consumed. There are multiple Dark Matters in the universe, all of them coming from their master/"core", Zero (another Cosmic Entity).
- In League of Legends, "Dark Matter" is the name of one of Veigar's spells, which causes a meteor to fall.
- In the LittleBigPlanet games, dark matter is an anti-gravity material used to make objects in levels float.
- In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Samus's Dark Beam fires blasts of dark matter.
- The Dark Matter Gun from Quake IV. It fires Unrealistic Black Holes.
- In Spiral Knights, dark matter is one of five forms of minerals used to level Battle Sprites.
- In Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, dark matter exists as a form of Grimy Water that causes Mario and Luigi to instantly disintegrate upon falling into it. It's also capable of warping reality, creating holes in space that will cause you to fall off platforms moving through the stuff if you don't jump over them.
- Schlock Mercenary has a whole story arc about a race of beings from another galaxy made of "dark matter", with which the Milky Way galaxy is currently at war.
- In Exosquad, dark matter is used as spaceship coating for Stealth in Space. It also makes humans who come in contact with it extra irritable and aggressive.
- In Futurama, dark matter exists as an oil-like substance and also in an extremely dense solid form (1 pound of it weighs over 10,000 pounds, according to Professor Farnsworth) defecated by Nibblonians, typically employed as starship fuel. The episode "The Bird-Bot of Ice-Catraz" revealed that the liquid form could induce hyperfertility in animals (in this case, penguins) and even induce fertility in males.
- In League of Super Evil, the most powerful dark matter in the universe is found in the shape of black licorice, of all things.
- In Ninjago, dark matter is a Psycho Serum found on the Island of Darkness that the Overlord describes as being able to "turn a man's heart as black as night". After using one of the heroes as a guinea pig, he uses bombs filled with the stuff to corrupt major portions of Ninjago.
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