Blind Jump

"Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy. Without precise calculations you can fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?"

The limitation for a lot of forms of Faster-Than-Light Travel is the need to make calculations before discarding relativity in order to make the trip safely. Either you need a very precise idea of where you are and where you're going, or you need to plot a course around inconvenient obstructions like stars, either way the jump can't be rushed.

However there will inevitably come a time when such safety measures are impossible. The Empire's space fleet is closing in or the Doomsday Device is Sucking-In Lines, and if the Cool Ship doesn't move now it's doomed.

However there is one last chance: a Blind Jump, the Dangerous Forbidden Technique of celestial navigation. Skip the calculations, hit the button and pray. It may be a Million-to-One Chance you'll survive the trip, but if you stay you're dead anyway, right?

Naturally the heroes will make it. In fact, it's rare for even the most crimson of Redshirts to become a victim of the supposed hazards of a Blind Jump: the utter foolhardiness of even considering it is usually conveyed through grisly horror stories to the New Meat crew member, as ably demonstrated by Captain Solo there.

Probably never destined to be Truth in Television, at least not as presented in Star Wars. Almost any calculation should be nigh-instantaneous with future technology, and space is overwhelmingly empty anyway (but, maybe, that's the point: being stranded light-years away from anything at all with broken engines is a grisly fate)— who knows about Subspace or Hyperspace. Then again, considering the fact that the dangers of this trope seem to be complete myth even in its respective fiction, maybe it will be. Assuming of course, that breaking the light barrier will ever be possible.

A subtrope of the Hyperspeed Escape. Not to be confused with Leap of Faith, which is a video game trope. Compare Random Teleportation


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  • Macross:
    • Super Dimension Fortress Macross : When the Macross attempts to space fold towards lunar orbit to outflank the Zentradi, it instead ends up near Pluto's orbit, along with with South Ataria Island, two carriers, and some ocean water.
      • Macross: Do You Remember Love? has Hikaru and Misa blindly jump to Earth itself by accident when they attempt to escape the Zentradi at a beginning of a space fold.
    • Macross 7: City 7 through enemy infiltrator sabotage was severed from Battle 7 and the rest of the fleet and was made to jump towards an unknown location. In a later episode enemy vessels try to capture it using a special formation to force it to fold with them. Battle 7 disrupts the formation, making City 7 fold blind again.
  • Tenchi Muyo! GXP has Seina Yamada whenever the ship he is on jumps blindly there are always pirates. His stroke of bad luck makes Seto Kamiki Jurai recommend him his own ship to be used as bait in anti-piracy operations. This results in a overwhelming success rate against pirates.
  • The Leap Rail Shells in Lost Universe open a small warp portal, taking everything inside the blast into hyperspace. At one point, the crew of the Swordbreaker fire several shells and fly into the explosion as a way of quickly getting away from the Gorun Nova. It works, but the ship is severely damaged.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, espers with teleportation based powers often need to make extremely complex calculations to make sure their teleports go off without a hitch. Kuroko mentions offhand that she has to calculate movement through eleven dimensions in order to safely teleport. Another teleporter finds out the hard way why blind jumps are dangerous when she messes up a calculation and part of her body gets fused with a wall.
  • In The Irresponsible Captain Tylor an enemy salvo takes out the Soyakaze's navigation system in the first few seconds of the fight, but not the jump engines. Tylor orders a series of jumps in an attempt to escape despite the fact that the helmsman points out that they are incapable of plotting a course. Tylor responds "I don't care where we go, we just don't want to be HERE!" As an aversion of the dangers of a blind jump, they jump at least a dozen times only to safely appear in empty space... until the enemy ships show up in pursuit.

    Comic Books 
  • Nightcrawler is reluctant to teleport into any area he can't see and/or hasn't been to before for exactly this reason. This reluctance is actually justified at least once in the Excalibur series, when Nightcrawler teleports into solid rock due to interference with the local electromagnetic field. In theory, it could have killed him, but fortunately, he had his teammate Shadowcat with him, and her powers were able to get them out of the rock safely, in severe pain but with no lasting harm.
  • In the non-canon Star Wars comic book story "Into the Great Unknown", Han and Chewie make a blind jump to escape some Imperials and end up on Earth. Eventually Indiana Jones shows up.
  • The plot of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye kicks-off when a malfunction in the Lost Light's quantum engines causes the ship to make a blind quantum jump before the coordinates and ship systems were prepared. This launches the Lost Light to a random part of the galaxy and the crew spends part of the second issue going over maps to figure out where the hell they landed.
    • The blind jump later turns out to have had much worse consequences than previously thought; when the malfunction occurred the ship's computer had narrowed down two destinations. This meant the quantum engines were being told to go to two different locations, a problem they solved by creating a second Lost Light. This quantum duplicate appeared in one destination and was destroyed shortly after in an attack while the ship we were following ended up somewhere else.

    Fan Fic 
  • A variation of this occurs in Undocumented Features: The Delphinus makes a blind jump to escape GENOM's forces, but winds up stranded in non-space until Skuld pulls them out.
  • In the Harry Potter / Sailor Moon/Ranma crossover The Girl Who Loved, an emotionally-distraught and highly-desperate Harry managed to apparate to China despite never having even seen a picture of the area.
    • This actually happens in a few Harry Potter crossovers. Harry, usually as a child being abused by the Durselys, blindly apparates to either another country or another world entirely. Eg. The Wayward Plan; Lily and James fake their deaths and abandon 15-month old girl!Harry to the Dursleys on Dumbledore's request, but 6-year girl!Harry massively fucks up Dumbles' plans when she blindly apparates all the way to Konoha, where she promptly gets adopted by Tsunade, who was "just visiting".
    • In Make a Wish, many Death Eaters die because the Portkeys they use to reach Harry Potter during his world tour vacation were created by a guy who wants them to die and lack any of the safety charms that are placed on normal Portkeys. Highlights include teleporting into mid-air ten stories above the ground, teleporting into an elevator shaft, teleporting onto train tracks with an incoming train, and teleporting inside a vending machine. The Death Eaters are also just unlucky. At one point they teleport somewhere with no problems at first, only to realize that there's an angry Nundu right next to them. In the sequel The Hunt for Harry Potter, a bunch of would-be assassins teleport into Harry's fortress when they spot a weakness in the fortress' wards, not knowing that the unwarded section is the fortress' septic tank. Thanks to their water-breathing charms they survive being trapped for weeks in raw sewage, though they probably wish they hadn't.
  • Beyond the Outer Gate Lies...: Harry does this twice. The first time in the very beginning, to escape Great Red. Since he is already outside his universe, he doesn't see it as much of a risk. The second time involves escaping a pocket dimension.

  • Lost in Space established that without two "gates" to guide you (one at the departure, one at the destination), activating the hyperdrive could send you anywhere. Since they were about to careen into the sun anyway they chanced it, leading to them becoming, well...
  • In Lilo & Stitch, Stitch uses this to escape recapture. Fortunately, his jump took him to a habitable planet that just happened to be a mosquito preserve, which severely limited what the Grand Councilwoman could do in terms of recapturing him. Unfortunately, he landed on an island, and he can't swim.

  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe elaborates on the dangers of a blind hyperspace jump: it's insanely dangerous since you're moving at ridiculous speed with no idea what's in the way, but if you're really lucky (or a Jedi) you can maybe pull a few seconds in hyper to escape certain death.
    • Outbound Flight has a hyperdrive malfunction which sends a little Corellian vessel to the figurative doorstep of Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo, very far from the Republic, who has never found a source of information he wouldn't exploit.
    • On at least one occasion in the EU, a Force-user entered entirely random hyperspace coordinates when fleeing for their life, trusting that the Force would guide them safely. It tends to work.
    • Gavin Darklighter once escaped from a Star Destroyer trap this way, unfortunately highlighting a lesser-known danger of the whole process: now he has no clue where he is, and he's low on fuel.
    • The Katana fleet was a force of two hundred dreadnoughts slaved to its flagship, but when its crew fell victim to a hive virus and went insane, the navigator sent the fleet to a random corner of the galaxy, passing into legend. At least until some smugglers made a Blind Jump of their own and had the astronomical good fortune to blunder into a bunch of pre-Clone Wars capital ships.
      • At least it was good fortune later on—at the time, they assumed the ships were part of the fleet that had just chased them, and made another blind jump. That one didn't work out so well, hitting the mass shadow of a large comet, damaging the ship's FTL drive and killing most of the crew.
  • Arthur Dent activates the Infinite Improbability Drive without any probability settings in all versions of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to escape some incoming missiles. This is probably the worst idea on this page since it could result in anything at all happening. Fortunately it just redecorates the bridge and transforms the missiles into a bowl of petunias and a whale.
    • It does come back to haunt Arthur later on in Life, the Universe and Everything, when he once again encounters the petunias in reincarnated form. Apparently, the being keeps getting reborn as different beings which are soon to die because of Arthur.
    • It was dangerous and desperate, but they were already in desperate danger. This is why it was guaranteed to work; since it was infinitely improbable that it would save them from imminent destruction, the Infinite Improbability Drive made it a statistical certainty. Narrative Causality justified by the text.
      • They also use a teleporter without setting a destination, the alternative was crashing into a sun.
  • Andre Norton's Uncharted Stars. To escape pursuit by Jacks (space pirates), the protagonists must make a hyperspace jump using untested coordinates from a Forerunner artifact that they hope will take them where they want to go. A variant that crops up in some of her stories, especially in The Time Traders series, is that they have carefully plotted courses — on tapes. If you can't read the label on the tape, or somebody switched it, you have no idea where you're going ... but it will get you there flawlessly. Whether you've got any way to get back — if, for instance, you used up your fuel — is another matter.
  • Robert A. Heinlein.
    • Starman Jones. A starship gets lost during a hyperspace jump due to a miscalculation before the initial entry into hyperspace. The only way to return is to try to reverse the path they took the first time and hope it brings them home again.
    • The Star Beast. In the backstory to the novel, the starship Trailblazer made a blind hyperspace jump to other solar systems, and had to make another blind jump to get back to Earth.
  • In Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern, dragons are able to teleport through an interdimensional space called between. The original first book Dragonflight demonstrates the dangers by one of the characters relating a story of how, during excavations inside a mountain, they'd found one young dragon and his rider entombed in the rock after making an inaccurate jump. Additionally, when a dragon's rider dies, it causes such tremendous grief to their mount that invariably the dragon makes a blind jump between from which they never return (between being airless and cold, and if you don't find your way out, you suffocate/freeze).
  • In McCaffrey's Talent universe, when the Talents are 'pushing' ships, they are very careful to keep contact with the ship until the receiving Talent has hold, as there are stories of them being "lost".
  • Isaac Asimov's Foundation series:
    • The series has a pretty straight example in the form of a Jump drive where accurate travel requires calculating the specific circumstances of where you are before you jump.
    • In Foundation and Empire, while escaping the Mule after the fall of Haven, Toran desperately does hyperspace jumps without proper planning. One time the group almost ends up inside a red giant star.
    • A later book has Golan Trevize be surprised that a ship has plotted out a course involving twenty-eight hyper space jumps since this means they can't pause to fine-tune the calculations on the way.
      • This is most likely a case of Technology Marches On. The original trilogy was written in the '40s and '50s, when computers weren't really a thing. The later books in the trilogy were written in the '80s when excessively long calculation times for routine navigation were starting to seem a bit silly. It's made clear that Trevize is using a new, much more powerful computer that is no longer subject to the limitations of older technology.
    • Possibly to set up Toran and group's blind jumps in the second half of Foundation and Empire, the climax of the first half features a blind jump away from near-Trantor orbit. It isn't actually that risky, as the most likely destination if you vaguely target empty space is empty space... but since they don't know where they've ended up they then have to spend quite some time poring over starcharts until they get enough of an idea of their location to set a course for home. Also, the gravity field makes the jump very unpleasant - the pilot he gets a severe headache while his older companion passes out from pain. At least they get clear.
    • And in the second Foundation trilogy, a hypership is dragged out of hyperspace by a local supernova. This causes all of the ship's systems to fail, including the emergency distress beacon. And, all of the human crew members die due to neutrino poisoning. The captain explains that neutrinos, in huge amounts, have a small amount of chance interactions with proteins which kill people, painfully.
  • Asimov later averts this with Nemesis: the local FTL technobabble is set up in such a way that you can't kill yourself with a blind jump since on emergency, any obstacles are harmlessly pushed aside.
  • Asimov also wrote a short-short story in which a criminal makes his escape with a random jump, relying on the ship's computer to figure out where he ended up and how to get to a safe place to sell the loot. After noticing that the computer is taking much longer than it should, he discovers that he's close to a nova too recent to appear in the computer's star charts, and realizes that the computer will keep trying and failing to get a navigational fix until the ship's power runs out. Since he murdered the person who actually programmed the computer...
  • The Space Hawks Choose Your Own Adventure books feature an unusual example: the ability to Blind Jump in case of an emergency is a stated feature of the Phantom starfighters. It works without a hitch in most cases, dropping you safely away from danger, but in one book it drops you in the middle of nowhere, resulting in a Bad End.
  • BattleTech and its attendant fiction play this rather straight. In theory, anyplace with sufficiently low local gravity is safe to jump to and from, including virtually all of interstellar space. However, since the interesting planets are usually too deep inside their star's gravity well to jump to and from directly, a system's two main 'jump points' are as close as safely possible in the system's zenith and nadir (i.e., 'above' and 'below' the star itself, though still a respectable distance away). can try to use a 'pirate jump point' much closer to your target by taking advantage of the fact that at some points in a solar system, local gravitic influences cancel out just enough to allow the jump drive to work after all. The problem with this approach is that as the smaller celestial bodies in a system move, so do its pirate points move with them...and while actual misjumps in the fiction are relatively rare, they do generally take out the ship involved for good (sometimes in a quite horrific fashion), so this isn't a risk a sane commercial JumpShip captain is likely to ever take. (The military, and the pirates the points were named for, are a different matter.)
    • Another risk factor that sometimes comes up (such as in the novel Warrior: En Garde) is drive charge time. Normally, the jump drive is slowly recharged via a deployed Solar Sail, a process that tends to take a week or longer. It can be recharged faster via a ship's fusion power plant in an emergency, assuming the ship has the fuel to burn; but this risks potentially undetectable damage to the highly sensitive drive core and thus, again, a catastrophic jump accident.
    • There's a slightly more practical bit of advice, in that if you jump to a pirate point and your drive melts, no-one is going to be around to help you out. If you arrive at the standard local stellar zenith or nadir points, there'll be the equivalent of a service station and rest stop close enough to be of practical use. If you're somewhere relatively civilized.
  • In Bob Shaw's novel Night Walk, making a Null-Space jump outside of one of the few known portal routes is quite a bad idea, since there is no way to know where that jump point will lead to, and there is no way back. They get better.
  • In David Feintuch's Seafort Saga, the "Fusion" drive requires extremely precise calculations (out to 7 or 8 decimal places) involving the ship's mass, where you are, where you're going, etc. The drive also has an inherent error (reduced to 1% of the distance traveled by the end of the series, so the usual technique is to aim to a little short of the target and do a smaller corrective jump later. If your target coordinates aren't at least two light-minutes away, weird things happen, as indicated in Challenger's Hope.
  • In The Stars My Destination, anyone can teleport, but if they don't know exactly where they're going, they will invariably wind up inside a solid object and die horribly. Played straighter than most uses as people actually die of it once in a while.
  • In the StarCraft novel Queen of Blades, after Raynor warns Horner in the orbiting Battlecruiser Hyperion that the shuttles about to dock with his ship contain Zerg, and there's no other way to prevent their ship from being overrun, Horner initiates a blind warp jump (and so do the crew of the Norad III). This allows the Hyperion to be lost in space for just long enough that they can return to the abandoned crew as Big Damn Heroes.
  • The CoDominium Warworld series has the last ship full of Saurons, malevolent Super Soldiers, escape to a backwater Prison Planet by making a blind jump.
  • In Andrey Livadny's The History of the Galaxy series, nearly all early Hypersphere jumps were blind jumps due to the lack of understanding of the nature of the anomaly and the fact that no navigation systems existed for determining location. Even after the invention of mass-detectors, there were plenty of ships that never returned (to put it into perspective, there were 7023 ships launched during the 50-year Great Exodus; a thousand years later, only a few hundred inhabited worlds are known to humanity at large). That explains why most novels involve someone finding a Lost Colony or ruins of one even in remote systems.
    • Specifically, traveling through Hypersphere involves using "horizontal tension lines" that stretch between large celestial bodies (e.g. stars, planets) within a certain radius to guide ships traveling to another star. When arriving to a star system, the crew had to quickly initiate the "surfacing" procedure before the ship got caught by another "horizontal" and continued on its way. Without mass-detectors, early ship had no idea where they would end up and didn't know if there were any other objects at the location.
  • A definite possibility in Mikhail Akhmanov's Arrivals from the Dark series, although never actually done in the books. It is explained, though, that jump calculations need to be extremely precise with distance and gravity being major factors. While, theoretically, it is possible to instantaneously jump anywhere in the galaxy, nobody actually does this as they would not know where they would end up. As such, most jumps are relatively short-range (several parsecs). This is known to play havoc with any military plans, as each ship jumps individually, often causing them to end up spread out all over the system. On the other hand, in-system jumps are usually fairly precise.
  • A variant occurs in one of the Prelude to Dune prequels. Guild freighters can't perform hyperspace jumps with activated shields on board. Duke Leto escapes being attacked on one in transit after a False Flag Operation by switching his shields on and agreeing to stand trial. There was a chance that the entire freighter, carrying representatives of a dozen factions, could have ended up inside a sun.
    • In the even-earlier prequels concerning the Butlerian Jihad, such jumps do go wrong - often. FTL has just been invented and a large proportion of the early Guild ships are never seen again. This is because navigators haven't yet corrupted themselves into spice-drugged monsters.
      • Not just Guild (which hadn't been created yet at that point) but any Armada ship equipped with the Holtzman drive. Even Space Fighters were sometimes equipped with those. During the Great Purge, all fold-capable ships were used in a massive strike against all machine worlds before Omnius could launch an all-out offensive against the League of Nobles weakened by a plague. The hazards of jumping without proper calculations (even with Norma Cenva secretly installing calculating machines on some flagships) meant that, at the end, only 300 capital ships remained out of 1080. For reference, each Ballista-class battleship had a crew of 1500, and each Javelin-class destroyer probably had at least 500.
  • In Harry Turtledove's Herbig-Haro (the sequel to The Road Not Taken), the protagonist drops out of FTL travel at a point he considered safe according to hopelessly outdated starmaps. He was just barely right.
  • In David Weber's Honor Harrington series hyperspace travel generally requires scrupulous calculations to leave the hyperspace at a desired point, but the hyperspace itself is more like a shortcut than Blind Jump. The wormholes, however, have fixed nodes, which means that newly-discovered ones can only be mapped by jumping through and matching the neighbourhood with known maps. It, however, is not a risk to anyone's life as the nodes are always on the outskirts of a star system.
    • You can still be destroyed if you don't take the wormhole jump just right. Also, with known wormhole jumps, there's a chance of colliding with another ship after coming out. This is why the known jumps have "Astro Control" services at each end: Following their directions will greatly reduce the chances of getting your ship destroyed, but will not totally eliminate them.
  • In Francis Cascac's novel Fleeing Earth (Terre En Fuite), humans get their hands on advanced methods of propulsion hundreds of thousands of years in the future (after another Ice Age and rebirth of civilization) from a race of invaders known as Drums. After a bioweapon forces the Drums off the planet, humans start building ships propelled by "space magnets" that utilize natural attraction between stellar bodies to accelerate to close to 80% of the speed of light. A later discovery of hyperspace allows them to build FTL colony ships. Unfortunately, all but one are lost, and the only ship to return reveals that interstellar travel using hyperspace is inherently unpredictable. Apparently, there is a "magnetic barrier" of sorts between any two nearby stars that is impossible to penetrate using "space magnets" in normal space and which causes the ship to go wildly off course in hyperspace. The colonists that return reveal that the first jump put them outside the galaxy, and they had to try several more before somehow making it back. The only way to penetrate the barrier in normal space is by flying something at least Moon-sized, which is fine because they end up flying Earth and Venus to another star to escape the Sun going nova. The secret of safe hyperspace travel is revealed at the end, when an archaeological dig on Mars finds ancient ruins and an intact starship not of human or Drum design. They find out that it avoids the barrier by using Time Travel to go to a point before or after the barrier was there.
    • Interestingly, most of the story is read by the Decoy Protagonist from the diary of the true protagonist who accidentally ends up in the 20th century when experimenting with the above-mentioned temporal drive. In the diary, the protagonist also reveals the secret of "space magnetism", only to realize it could change the past and tear up the page.
  • In Walter Jon Williams's Angel Station, FTL travel is achieved by using captured black holes (contained within each ship) to open a tear in space-time. Proper calculations are necessary to "ride out the wave" to the proper destination. The protagonists, Ubu Roy and Beautiful Maria, make a random jump, hoping to find a system that will have "catchable" black holes to sell. A similar jump puts a Living Ship (also looking to capture and sell singularities) in the same system, resulting in the events of the book.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: The first jump through a newly discovered wormhole is always blind. You have no idea where your ship is going to come out. Doing this used to be Cordelia Naismith's job.
  • Time Scout features blind jumps across time rather than space, with results no less potentially fatal. Jump through a Time Portal into a time in which you already exist and *poof*, you're dead. And there's no way to know what time it is without going through.
  • Averted in The Emperor's Finest. As the ship Cain is on is tracking a space hulk, they need to pop out into realspace at the same place the hulk did, run the calculations, and then go back in the warp. Even when the sector of realspace is occupied by half an ork Waaaggh!.
  • In Literature Ancillary Justice , ships usually exit gate-space well distant from stations and planets, in order to avoid colliding with other ships. In the third book, Anaander Mianaai gates a ship up to Athoek Station and strikes a chronically misscheduled passenger shuttle, killing hundreds and leaving the populace more uncooperative.
  • Usually averted in Perry Rhodan, as sensors make hypertravel relatively safe. Original hyperjump technology could be used for it, but never was on screen. When they switched from jumpships to hypertravel, though, the sensors weren't yet developed that allowed looking 'out' from hyperspace. As a result, on one of the first test rides of the new technology, they crashed into the shields around the Akon system (not the Arkon system!) as they didn't know of it.
  • In the Liaden Universe series, there is a move colloquially called the "Smuggler's Ace", which is a blind hyperspace jump a short distance (generally from somewhere within a solar system to somewhere within the same solar system) — just enough to shake a pursuer or avoid being pinned down in a firefight, while minimizing the risks of jumping blind.
  • At the climax of The Time of Contempt Ciri makes a jumps through an unstable magical portal to escape a massive fight that's broken out at the Wizarding School and winds up in a desert. Since the the destination was random Geralt spends the rest of the series searching everywhere for her.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Cool Ship in Farscape had the 'Starburst Drive', a sort of space-folding jump drive which was always blind, with no way to choose a destination AND even a small jump invalidates all previous navigation points. Fortunately there were other means of getting around if it wasn't crucial to leave quickly.
  • Battlestar Galactica: Activating the jump drive without inputting any co-ordinates is known as a "blind jump", and inherently risky because you could end up anywhere. This is notably how Admiral Cain and the Pegasus escape the initial Cylon attack. In the finale, Starbuck, not that that should be much of a surprise, enters coordinates into Galactica's navigation, which she derived from the song "All Along the Watchtower". It leads them to Earth and a place to settle.
  • Done with more justifiable danger in Andromeda. The slipstream network is like an ever-shifting maze to navigate and getting through it requires strong intuition and reflexes. This means that blindly jumping through it carries the strong risk of sending yourself down the wrong path, potentially stranding yourself or simply launching your ship way off-course. Computers and auto-pilots can't properly use the slipstream network because they make nothing but blind jumps; they lack the natural intuition of organic beings, so each jump has a 50:50 shot at picking the right branch. Since the average slipstream jump involves several such branches, their chances of getting to the right location decrease with each screw-up. In the backstory, the titular starship spent decades trying to make it back to charted space after its original crew was wiped out; without anyone to chart a path for it, the on-board computers kept feeding it random guesses that just got it hopelessly lost.
  • Averted in Dark Matter. Even when the alternative is death by missile, Two absolutely refuses to risk a blind jump. They settle for some evasive maneuvers to buy enough time to calculate a proper jump, which is a close call.
  • In the new-era Doctor Who Series 4 finale, "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End", Martha attempts to use a reverse-engineered teleporter despite the fact that the scientists have no idea how to program the thing correctly. Lucky for Martha, the tech has an empathic link and she is teleported to her mother's house instead of being scattered into atoms.
    • The classic-era episode "The Armageddon Factor" ended with the Doctor hooking a randomizer up to the TARDIS control panel, so all his travels will be space-time blind jumps.
  • Given the way Hyperspace is a separate navigable layer of space and the Hyperspace Is a Scary Place nature of Babylon 5, it's an extremely bad idea to blindly roam around in Hyperspace. Without a navigation lock on a known Hyperspace exit point you're all but guaranteed to get irrevocably lost in hell. Worse is that Hyperspace "moves" and loosing engine power will cause you to drift away from the navigation beckons. Still, there are massive Explorer Class ships who's job it is to build new jumpgates and the nav beckons that go with them in previously unexplored space. How exactly they do this without getting lost is never explored. The Vorlons once used the "blind jump lost in hell" nature of Hyperspace to try and get rid of a piece of technology, unfortunately it was later accidentally found.

    Tabletop Games 
  • GURPS counts this as an advantage over normal teleportation as it means you can at least try to go anywhere in the universe even if you've never been there before.
  • In the RPG 7th Sea, the teleportation school of magic involves crossing over into Hell, walking a while, then coming back out. Every jump has to be a literal blind jump : if you open your eyes while you're in Hell, you either go insane or you get killed in a variety of grisly ways by the inhabitants.
    • Porte mages also require an "anchor" where the exit point will appear that they walk through the other side to get to. A porte mage finds walking to the exit point harder if they have other people that they are guiding with them. A more fitting example of this trope in action would be the escape of The General when rescuing Enrique Orduno from being burned at the stake by the inquisition. He had hired his former first mate, Timmy LeBeau, and a large number of porte mages to tear open a hole large enough for his ship to sail through. The General, Orduno, and his entire crew went in when there was no way any porte mage could have guided the whole ship to an exit point. There were rumors the ship had found its way out someplace far in the Western Sea, but the game line died before the plot could be resolved.
  • Traveller discourages blind jumps because of how the Jump Drive works - it creates a pocket universe in a gravity bubble, shunts to the next destination (measured in parsecs), and then collapses and lets you out. Blindly jumping is a waste of fuel, since odds are good you won't get very far (if the bubble passes through a gravity well, it pops and you get kicked out).
  • This is a terrible, terrible idea in Warhammer 40,000, where FTL Travel involves passing through Hell. Without a Navigator able to use the Astronomicon as a psychic lighthouse, you're more likely to get lost in the Warp than survive to get lost in deep space. The kicker is that the Astronomicon is only ten thousand years old, and the Navigator caste not much older - yet even without them, mankind still managed to colonize a quarter of the galaxy through brief, insanely risky "hops" through the Warp.
    • The twist is that the Warp is not just unstable, but it's instability is unstable. Humanity formed its first empire when the Warp was relatively stable, allowing fairly safe navigation even without the Astronomicon. It was only later that it became particularly unstable and isolated most human worlds until the Emperor came along. What with this being 40k it's strongly implied that this was humanity's own fault, since the Warp reflects violence in the real world and humanity went through various civil wars and a Robot War leading up to it.
    • There is one faction that uses Blind Jumps extensively, and indeed exclusively: the Orks never developed proper Warp engines, but instead get around by hitchhiking on Space Hulks, giant amalgamations of derelict spaceships and other debris that drift through the Warp to randomly appear in realspace. Whenever the Orks' Wyrdboyz detect one's imminent arrival, the greenskins build a fleet of their own ramshackle ships and board the Space Hulk, using it as a flagship that draws the rest of the fleet into the Warp with it when it disappears. The Orks can't control where they're going when traveling in this matter, but it doesn't matter, since they'll happily fight whatever they find when they get there.
  • In most versions of Dungeons & Dragons, the mid-range teleport spell Dimension Door can damage you if you accidentally teleport into a solid object, or trap you between dimensions. There's a variety of mishaps for the longer-range Teleport spell, most of which involve teleporting into "thematically similar" places. (For instance, if you try to teleport into a tower you're not very familiar with, you might teleport into another tower, which could be very far from where you wanted to go. Or you could explode.)
  • In BattleTech, the Kearny-Fuchida drive can sometimes malfunction from age, poor maintenance, or attempts to recharging it too quickly. In the expanded universe novel Far Country, the KF drive on a JumpShip malfunctions, totaling the ship and stranding it an unknown system that contains a pre-technology sapient species, the only such in the game's universe.

    Video Games 
  • In Anachronox, Anachronox is an artificial planet created by a long-dead race that serves as a transportation hub for the entire galaxy. Sender Spikes are able to warp any ship that approaches them to a companion Spike at the destination, and vice versa. One NPC you meet makes a living testing Spikes that haven't been used, a dangerous occupation since there's no guide as to where these Spikes send ships, no guarantee that the companion Spike will still be there, or even that the destination won't be immediately fatal. Late in the game, the crew attempt to use a Spike only to have its position disrupted by a shockwave, flinging their ship to parts unknown. Lucky for them, they happened upon a planet.
  • In Space Rangers, the black holes which sometimes appear at the edge of the systems allow you to make a fuel-free jump to another star system. At the cost of having to fight the enemies inside the black hole's space and ending up in an unpredictable location (in a system that's 50 parsecs deep into the enemy territory, for example).
  • The Unfocused Jumpdrive in X3: Terran Conflict and its Expansion Pack allows ships to jump off the Portal Network grid. Most the time, it dumps ships near rogue asteroids in intergalactic space. The sectors are randomly generated, sometimes have Xenon or Kha'ak patrols, always have enough energy cells floating around for a return trip, and are the only way to find the one-of-a-kind Goner Aran mothership. Of note is that the Unfocused Jumpdrive is only installed on the player's current ship; if they use it on a carrier or frigate and launch fighters before jumping out, the fighters will be stranded in intergalactic space and therefore considered destroyed.
  • The Arilou skiff in Star Control 2 has an 'emergency hyperspace shunt', an application of this trope to the standard hyperdrive. It immediately teleports away from danger but the jump is random, and the ship can end up emerging anywhere on the screen including inside a planet or other ship. This was probably inspired by the original 1979 Asteroids arcade cabinet which had a similar feature for desperate situations.
  • Hyperdrives in Frontier: Elite II could be forced to mis-jump to a completely random location in deep space. This puts incredible strain on the engines, occasionally turning your hyperdrive into scrap metal. It's useful for shaking off pursuers, as a mis-jump can't be tracked.
  • Halo:
    • The manual to the Halo: Combat Evolved mentions that the Pillar Of Autumn did a blind jump to escape Reach, stumbling upon the titular Halo and setting the events of the first game in motion. The tie-in novel Halo: The Fall of Reach, however, reveals that Cortana had secretly used untested coordinates from a Forerunner artifact instead, which is also implied in the prequel game Halo: Reach.
    • The UNSC actually has a law (referred to as "The Cole Protocol") requiring all human ships to do this if they run into a Covenant ship; they must purge all navigational data and, if forced to retreat, make a random jump so as to not lead the Covenant to Earth or any other still functional colony. Cortana still technically followed the law, given that the Forerunner coordinates weren't for a human world. Obviously, the Cole Protocol became null at the beginning of Halo 2, when the Covenant found Earth anyways.
  • In Alpha Man, it is generally not a good idea to short-range teleport into an area you haven't mapped out yet. Alternatively, if you teleport into a wall that's in plain sight, it probably qualifies as Yet Another Stupid Death.
  • In Mass Effect 2, the Normandy SR-2 uses this trick at least once to escape an enemy attack - though only on one occasion does a character specifically state that there is no course plotted. Justified as the ship is run by an AI who could plot a course to an acceptable location without constant instruction if necessary.
  • This might be why Mega Man can't simply teleport straight to the boss room. Since he has no information about the area, he sets down in the first safe area to be found. Mega Man Powered Up hangs a lampshade on it by having Mega Man activate checkpoint flags as he passes.
  • A perfectly valid method of exploration in the Submachine series of Flash games. It's even mentioned in some of the in-game texts that entering random numbers is the last resort for the lost or confused. However, since the player is supposed to figure everything out for oneself, don't expect to actually get anywhere with this method.
  • The backstory to the Master of Orion series, presented in the manual for the third game, has the Precursors first sending criminals in blind jumps through an unstable wormhole, then later having to evacuate themselves in the same manner when doing has caused their star to become unstable. In addition, the precursors themselves were actually composed of a variety of different races who all ended up in a single central system due to blind jumps in the other direction.
  • EVE Online invokes this trope both as intentional uses and accidents.
    • When a user logs out in space without docking to a station, the ship will try to initiate an emergency warp to a random spot 1 million km away from the current location. If the ship's warp drive is functioning, it will warp out and disappear 60 seconds later. If the warp drive is disrupted by warp disruptors or interdiction fields, the ship will stay there for 15 minutes to be pounded to death. Super-capital ships that are facing certain destruction usually accept the latter because they are designed to shrug off obscene amounts of pounding anyway.
    • The chronicle article of the solar system Old Man Star depicts this trope as a disaster. A construction ship, ordered to build a new star gate in an obscure system, suffers a drive malfunction which sends it into the middle of an uncharted asteroid field. This tears the life support system apart, disables both the warp drive and sub light engines, and kills four out of five crew members. The remaining crew member drifts 44 years to the destination, spending the time inventing ingenious drone designs to replace the ship's lost construction equipment. He finally returns to Gallente Federation space through a star gate he built all by himself. Renaming the system "Old Man Star" is the least the Federation could do in his honor.
    • Partly averted in actual play. Aside from logging off, it's impossible to jump without setting a specific destination. However, it is possible to set a destination further away than your maximum range, which will result in you dropping out of your jump in the middle of nowhere. It's also possible to set waypoints in the middle of a jump, which you can then use as a destination. Technically your own jump therefore isn't blind, but it's close enough that the chance of someone else ending up in the same place by accident is essentially zero.
      • Also an example of All There in the Manual, with the background fluff explaining how the warp drive requires a mass signature to lock on to, so jumps to planets and space stations are fine but you can't just go to a random point in space. How players are able to warp to waypoints set at random points in space is not explained, however.
  • World of Warcraft has an artifact called "The Last Relic of Argus", from the world where the Eredar lived. When Velen led his Draenei faction from Argus before the Burning Legion took over the planet, he took it with him. The artifact will teleport you to a series of randomized locations that could be anywhere on Azeroth. The flavor text reads "Teleports you exactly where you want to go... if you aren't too picky." Notably, this allowed Paladins, who had recently received a nerf to their "Bubble Hearth" escape strategy (Divine Shield was no longer able to stay up for the entire duration of casting your Hearthstone), to still execute the trick using the relic instead, albeit only once every 12 hours.
  • Played with in Earth And Beyond. All ships were equipped with thrusters for normal flight and warp drives for traveling around larger distances. Warping could be done in 2 methods; traveling by "autopilot" along a programmed course between navigation points, or "free warping" by pointing your ship in the direction you want to go and activating your warp drive. Using navigation points required only an initial energy drain on your reactor and then you could fly indefinitely until you reached your target, which did not have to be along a straight line. Free warping however pulled a constant drain on your reactor thereby limiting the distance you could travel, and there was no ability to turn while in free warp. Free warping was useful for making quick escapes from dangerous situations without opening your map to plot a course, and could be used to discover nav points that were too far from main routes for most sensors to detect.
    • A somewhat lesser example that applies to story only was in the Ancient Gates. When humans discovered them and started to open them they had no idea where they would lead. A few were opened during the course of the game giving access to new high level zones.

    Visual Novel 
  • fault milestone one: The story begins with the protagonists doing a magical equivalent of a Blind Jump to escape the invaders.

    Western Animation 
  • This is how the Megas in Megas XLR, originally stolen in Earth orbit in the far future, ended up in Jersey City in 1930. Though it was not originally a blind jump, but ends up that way because Megas got its head blown off while setting course.
  • In Green Lantern: The Animated Series, the crew is very wary of using the ship's Ultra-Warp drive when they don't have Aya to make the proper calculations. The drive is many times more powerful than a standard hyperdrive which makes computer-assisted precision all the more necessary. They end up trying it twice. The first time, they nearly flew into a star. The second, they came very close to crashing into a planet, but at least it was the right one.

    Real Life 
  • Averted by the only physically permissible (more-or-less) way of FTL proposed so far, the Alcubierre Drive, because there's no hyperspace involved at all, instead, a vessel is accelerated within its own spacetime bubble. The whole setup is possible because the ship itself remains stationary relative to the bubble, and there's no reason (that we know of) why the closed zone of space (instead of material object) cannot move faster than light. It is, however, inherently dangerous to any place the ship arrives to, because all space debris, high-energy particles, electromagnetic emissions and so on get trapped in the front face of the bubble, and continue their FTL movement as the bubble stops, incinerating everything in front of the ship.