Once you leave the surface of the Earth, all bets are off. What we think of as immutable laws of nature are merely local phenomena, and all manner of things unexplainable by anything we know are out there between the stars -- planets identical to Earth in every way, elements that no one has ever suspected existed, chemical compounds that don't behave the way "our" science says they should, and creatures with powers that seem paranormal. Why? Because [[TechnoBabble they're from]] ''[[TechnoBabble outer space]]''.

See: AppliedPhlebotinum, DeusExMachina, SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay.

Subtropes:
[[index]]
* NegativeSpaceWedgie
* PlanarShockwave
* SubspaceOrHyperspace
* UnknownPhenomenon
[[/index]]

In science fiction, space is rarely deliberately magical, but rather ends up that way due to insufficient research, the RuleOfCool, or excessive [[HandWave handwaving]]. Thus it's better described by its related tropes. However, when fantasy ventures into the final frontier, space is literally magical. Natural law isn't just ignored; it's shown the door and told not to come back. It's entirely replaced by a [[HereThereWereDragons Here be Dragons]] sign. This is typical for fantasy, but when it's applied to outer space, things can get...weird.

The changes in the laws of physics generally do not cause manned spacecraft or the humans aboard to malfunction, shut down, or fall apart. Such a spacecraft is usually contained in a bubble where earth science remains 99.9% reliable.
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!!Examples
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/HighlanderIITheQuickening'', perhaps in an inversion, aliens coming to Earth gain immortality (though they seem hugely long lived already) for as long as there's more than one of them.
* ''Disney/TreasurePlanet''. It's probably best if you just think of it as a film adaptation of the ''{{Spelljammer}}'' setting discussed below.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* An [[OrphanedSeries aborted]] trilogy from MargaretWeis and Tracy Hickman made this explicit, with the rules of the universe changing radically in different areas of space. This left a human exploration ship in rather bad shape, as while it could navigate well near earth, if it entered the zone where, for example, a circle of magical statues is required for safety there would be trouble.
* Pretty much everything Creator/HPLovecraft wrote relied on this trope. Lovecraft was writing at around the time of Edwin Hubble's discoveries, which cemented the idea of other galaxies as large as the known universe of the time and gave people for the first time an idea of how large the universe was. Lovecraft said that all his fiction was based on the idea that the laws of nature only apply locally, and so his horrors from the stars were literally impossible for us to imagine.
* The "Literature/ZonesOfThought" series by Creator/VernorVinge plays with this trope, even though it is (on some levels at least) moderately hard sci-fi. The basic idea is that the laws of physics become more lax at increasing distances from a galactic core. In the "Unthinking Depths" at the center of a galaxy, not even thought is possible. The "Slow Zone" further from the core (where Earth is located) uses MundaneDogmatic physics. In the "Beyond", still further away from the galactic core, more fantastic things like FTL and strong AI become possible, and in the "Transcend", beginning at the farthest edges of a galaxy and extending out into intergalactic space, SpaceIsMagic. The series basically uses the entire MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's novel ''Literature/TheGodsThemselves'' was written largely in response to this trope. Asimov once heard Robert Silverberg make up an isotope off the top of his head, Plutonium-186. When Asimov pointed out that said isotope does not and cannot exist, Silverberg responded "So what?" Asimov, who was never one to back down from a challenge (even a self-imposed one) decided to work out under what conditions Plutonium-186 could be possible. He concluded that it would have to be in an parallel universe where the laws of Physics behaved differently than they do here (such as the strong force being a lot stronger than it is in our universe). He went on to figure out how such a Universe would operate, and eventually developed his ideas into what he considered his most ambitious novel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* Many episodes of ''Franchise/StarTrek'', from each incarnation of the franchise, treat outer space in this manner. Why do species that evolved on other planets have telepathic or even godlike powers? Because they're from space! How does the NegativeSpaceWedgie take over the minds of the crew, and how do the waterfalls on the paradise planet run backwards? They're in space, that's how!
* Few sci-fi series better embody this trope then ''Farscape''.
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[[folder:TabletopGames]]
* In the {{Spelljammer}} ''DungeonsAndDragons'' setting, the Greek philosophers were right. Each solar system is enclosed in an enormous crystal sphere, which has the stars embedded in its inner surface. Spaceships are frequently modified [[SpaceSailing ocean faring vessels]]. Gravity is uniform; even the ships have an intrinsic gravitational field. The laws of reality within the spheres themselves are wildly variable, with some being geocentric, while others are Dyson Spheres populated by planet-sized megafauna. Space outside the spheres is a flammable substance called Phlogiston that allows for fast travel between the spheres.
** Likewise, the {{Ravenloft}} setting is situated in "the Demiplane of Dread", which is a pocket dimension that serves as a prison for various [[BigBad Big Bads]]. Looking up in the sky you'd see stars, but in reality the entire realm is surrounded by a thick, endless mist.
** In 4e, space is just the void between celestial bodies. However, the Astral Sea is basically a port over of the version of space from Spelljammer, but on a higher physical plane than the material universe.
* In the ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'', a spiritual analog to outer space is the Deep Umbra. It is home to spirits, monsters, insane mages, ''relatively'' sane mages (no guarantees), gods, [[DragonsAreDinosaurs weredragons]], and [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]]. Celestial bodies represent various metaphysical aspects, and you can visit their spirit-world mirrors. And because in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' reality is consensual, some books indicate that deep space (beyond the local solar system and its nearest neighbours) is really a part of the Umbra, because humans have only imagined it.
** And for this very same reason of ''Mage's'' consensual reality, this trope is ''literally true'' for the Void Engineers.
* ''{{GURPS}}'' Technomancer has this in a technobabbly way. Magic is caused by ''Oz'' particles, which were initially scarce on earth. (A nuclear test and a necromantic ritual later though...) However, it's been discovered that there ''are'' indeed oz particles in space, radiated by the sun, they just got blocked by the atmosphere along with the other harmful rays.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', space is definitely magical. This is [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace unfortunate]], given [[EldritchAbomination what it spawns]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* In the ''{{Warcraft}}'' franchise the space itself (thought it's called the Great Dark Beyond) is quite normal and unmagical, but it exists beside an alternate dimension called the Twisting Nether, a space filled with chaotic magics. Since distances are significantly shorter within the Nether, all teleportation and portal magic works by short-cutting through it. The bad thing is that [[DemonicInvaders demons]] originate from the Nether and the magics required to warp through it are addictive and slightly corrupting. Certain more mystical races such as the [[{{Precursors}} Titans]] choose to instead travel through space.
* In the StarCraft franchise, the Protoss are SufficientlyAdvancedAliens with psychic powers. The overwhelming majority of the Protoss derive their psychic powers from the Khala, a sort of mystical energy that connects all the Protoss together. A certain splinter sect of the Protoss, the Dark Templar, are not connected to the Khala. They draw their powers from "the void", which is explained as a sort of dark energy inherent to the emptiness of space itself.
* Cosmology in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' universe is a little weird. For example, the two moons of Nirn are actually the [[GodIsDead physical corpse of a dead god]]. And other planets are projections of {{AlternateDimension}}s owned by the [[EldritchAbomination Aedra and Daedra]] puncturing through a [[VoidBetweenTheWorlds murky region known as the Oblivion]] in which everything floats. Stars and the formal sun are other punctures in Oblivion but project into the [[TheLifestream Aetherius]]. Also, the Serpent constellation moves around the sky without rhyme or reason and is said to be made of "[[MagiBabble unstars]]." Yeah.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* A curious - and actually well explained - version appears in HeroInTraining; The Trainer takes the main character around TheMultiverse to show him that, outside the universe Earth is in, things just work ''differently''.
** Basically: Once you get outside our 'local' universe, all bets are off as to what the local laws of physics are.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RealLife]]
* This was essentially the main premise of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_spheres Celestial spheres]] theory of the universe. Before Newton, it was understood that objects in the air will fall to Earth, yet the stars and planets could be seen hovering in the sky in fixed positions. Early philosophers reasoned that the observed "rules" for earthbound objects must end at some unknown distance from earth -- the beginning of the "outer space" concept.
[[/folder]]
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