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 ScienceFiction, 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 [[HereThereBeDragons 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: Comics]]
* {{Inverted}} in ''ComicBook/{{Superman}}''. Kryptonians are nearly identical to humans under a red sun (such as that orbited by Krypton), but under a yellow sun (such as ours), they develop powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.
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[[folder:Fanfic]]
* ''FanFic/ThePalaververse'': Theia lies in a classical geocentric system: it is orbited by a life-bearing moon with literal lunar seas and a moon-sized sun home to phoenixes that periodically emigrate from its depths in massive solar flares, and is surrounded by a shell of stars composed in good part of pure magic. Beyond that, rather than any sort of actual galaxy, pony astronomers can barely glimpse vast, dark gulfs of space home to enormous beasts that swim through it like whales in a sea, distant systems both geocentric and heliocentric, vast clouds of primal cosmic matter and {{eldritch abomination}}s.
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[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/TreasurePlanet'': The film is essentially an ''extremely'' soft science fiction work that approaches this trope by way of {{Steampunk}}, a very literal take on SpaceSailing, and base concept that consists of taking a story from pre-industrial times and putting it in space with as few narrative and aesthetic changes as possible, resulting in a nominal outer space setting where things like the law of gravity and hard vacuum are cheerfully absent. Among other things, the movie features literal space galleons, a space port that is for all intents and purposed a port city floating in space and shaped like a crescent moon for some inexplicable reason, pods of space whales, aliens that have as much in common with fantasy creatures as with science fiction aliens and the titular treasure planet with its trove of pirate gold.
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[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* 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.
* In the sci-fi thriller ''Film/{{Coherence}}'', a mysterious comet passing the earth causes AlternateTimelines to intersect at the dark zone.
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[[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, Space Is Magic. 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 ''Series/{{Farscape}}''. Some characters do claim to have actual magic or psychic powers, but a technological mishap also caused the crew to swap bodies.
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[[folder:TabletopGames]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** In the ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'' 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 in the form of glowing crystals. 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 and some heliocentric, while others are {{Dyson Sphere}}s populated by planet-sized megafauna. Inhabited worlds range from regular planets to asteroid fields with their own atmospheres to {{Flat World}}s on the back of giant animals. Space outside the spheres is a flammable substance called Phlogiston that allows for fast travel between the spheres.
** Likewise, the ''TabletopGame/{{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.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'': The settingís take on outer space owes as much to pulp fiction and cosmic horror as anything else.
** To begin with, every planet and most moons in Golarionís solar system are inhabitable, with some being clearer genre shout outs than others -- the lush world of Castrovel, home of monster-filled jungles and the fantastic cities of the elves and the [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe beautiful]], psychic Lashunta, is directly inspired by the VenusIsWet trope, while the red desert planet Akiton, a world of deserts and dried seas home to red-skinned humanoids and four-armed alien barbarians, is in turn a ShoutOut to ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' and derivative works. Notably, most interplanetary travel takes place by means of magical gates or travel through alternate planes of reality, actual space travel being largely absent.
** Beyond the bounds of the solar system and in the depths of space are distant worlds, dark interstellar voids ruled by unimaginable {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, {{Space Whale}}s and advanced civilizations, only occasionally interacting with the backwards world of the setting by means of a visiting horror or crashing starship.
** An inversion of this trope came with the crash of the spaceship ''Divinity'' and its cargo of robots, androids and aliens, whose realistic but extremely advanced science is utterly alien to Golarionís peoplesí understanding of the world -- genuine aliens are distinctly unlike anything commonly found in a MedievalEuropeanFantasy world, while the robots and androids break pretty much every established rule for how constructs work in the setting.
* 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'' [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve 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, this trope is ''literally true'' for the Void Engineers.
* ''TabletopGame/GURPSTechnomancer'' 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]].
* Inverted in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}''. Because space is mainly, well, ''space'', there is no {{Mana}} there at all and the BackgroundMagicField is non-existent. [[AntiMagic Magic does not work in space]] and AstralProjection causes the projection to be torn asunder, killing the mage in the process. Magical beings like faeries, vampires, spirits and dragons usually die shortly after leaving the atmosphere.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* In the ''Franchise/{{Warcraft|ExpandedUniverse}}'' 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 ''VideoGame/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 {{Alternate Dimension}}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 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 ''Webcomic/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.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'''s treatment of the Incipisphere, where all action in Sburb takes place, makes it seem less like space than a collection of celestial bodies orbiting Skaia with the entirety of anything outside of the gravitational pull of planets filled with oxygen. This is a necessity of the game, as characters gain the ability to move between planets without teleportation and you don't want to kill them unfairly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RealLife]]
* This was 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.
* During the very earliest stages of the Universe, just after the Big Bang[[note]](we're talking about ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_universe#Planck_epoch very tiny]]'' fractions of second, that in the most extreme cases, in proportion to each other, would look like a year (or even (much) less) compared to the current age of the Universe)[[/note]], among other things not only temperature and density were ''far'' higher than anything in these times we're living, but also the four different elementary forces of the nature were combined into one or more. Anything that could have existed by then would have been quite different of what exists in our epoch.
[[/folder]]
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