"No light, no dark, no up, no down. No life. No time. Without end. My people called it The Void. The Eternals called it The Howling. But some people call it Hell."The no-plane or non-existence that surrounds and encloses all other planes, usually referred to as the Void. It's the hole between Alternate Dimensions, the darkness between realms; it's nothing itself. Time may not pass in it, or it feels horribly slow. You can almost never leave, and if you can, you won't be the same. You might even suffer permanent psychological or physical trauma from the experience. The void might be an entirely empty place/plane/reality/whatever, like a White Void Room (or black) that's the size of the universe, or somewhere(?) that can't even be described as such, since it doesn't exist. Anything native to such a place can be reasonably expected to be an Eldritch Abomination. Obviously a good source for anything using The Power of the Void. See also Hyperspace Is a Scary Place. Almost guaranteed to be where you are if you're festering in The Nothing After Death. Play this while reading this page to get the full effect.
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Anime and Manga
- The Kyokai, the sea that separates the world of The Twelve Kingdoms with the rest of the world, is apparently located somewhere between Japan, China, and Korea, but nobody who has ever tried to cross from the kingdoms to the world through it has ever came back or arrived to the other side.
- The dimension space (a.k.a. "sea of dimensions") in the Lyrical Nanoha series separates individual dimensional worlds from each other. There is also "imaginary space" but its definition is murky at best and it hasn't been seen since season one.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: It turns out that while the front of the cards reflect the twelve dimensions (and monsters therein), the back reflect the darkness between them. This becomes an important plot point in the final season because in the Yu-Gi-Oh continuity the void is described as a darkness of raw potential that is easily moulded by people's hearts. And since the most common perception of darkness is that Dark is Evil...
- SD Gundam Force has the Minov Boundary Sea, which the Gundam Force first discovers when the Zakurello Gate is tampered with. It was first hinted when Talgeese falls in a crack in a Magic Square by Deathscythe, who speaks of a point between dimensions.
- In The Rising Of The Shield Hero the dimension gap appears as an infinite black space filled with glowing white lights, each of which is a reality. Naofumi travels through it to return after being sent to his homeworld.
- The "Ghost Zone" (or purgatory) in The DCU is more akin to this than any traditional portrayal of purgatory. (In fact, the only character to recognize it as such is an angel.) It is a stark white void where "things build crooked."
- The Bleed in the WildStorm comics universe, now adopted into The DCU, is the "space" separating universes and, at one point, multiverses.
- In ElfQuest, some elves like Savah can send their souls out of their bodies to perform psychic searches, and the medium through which they travel is called the void. It's depicted as a dark region in which souls appear as the negative image of their owners. Winnowill deliberately traps Savah there on one such search; later Savah and Suntop commune within the void while their bodies are far apart (and Winnowill tries to gatecrash that party as well).
- There's also a scene where Cutter, wounded and delirious, appears to commune with his dead father Bearclaw in the same way, but it's never made clear if this is real or just a delusion.
- The original Marvel Comics Transformers series has The Void, across which they build the Space Bridge. It's obviously deadly to any Transformer who falls off the Space Bridge.
- Another Transformers comic series has Ramjet lost in the void between dimensions. Things live there. They aren't friendly. Ramjet was not quite the same when he resurfaced after being torturously unmade and remade until they got bored with him and tossed him back. His presence can corrupt the reality around him.
- Judge Dredd: For every functioning alternate dimension, there are a thousand others which are nothing but endless nothingness, so finding the right one without the proper set of a coordinates is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Judge Anderson makes good use of this by trapping the Dark Judges there after their latest rampage in the Mega City.
- Seconds: The eventual fate of Seconds. After Katie has undone her actions and eaten the mushrooms enough times, the restaurant ends up in a dead world where the house spirit from Lucky's has gained enough fury and power to make sure everything remains that way.
- Jewel Of Darkness: The Endless Council meet in a building constructed in the empty plane that exists outside of time and space.
- In the Pony POV Series Chaos Verse, the place Discord's spirit and mind is trapped while his body is trapped in stone is an endless white void (though he and Fluttercruel eventually create a chaos-based copy of Ponyville to fill it). From here, he can only access the Limbo and the dream world, but with some effort, he can split off a part of his consciousness and send it to the real world (which is how he accesses the Truth).
- A Future of Friendship, A History of Hate: The void between dimensions was where Ruinate was sealed away by the original bearers of the Elements of Harmony.
- In the Harry Potter parody fic Xtremly Scray Harry, Draco and the Parody Sue OC have three way sex here.
- In The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum, Discord has to go through here to get to alternate worlds. It's described as tasting orange.
- In Bring Me Back Home, Ladybug and Coccinelle each experience this after falling or being thrown into a portal. "She didnít know what to expect in the barrier between worlds, but it certainly wasnít a sea of teals and ceruleans melting together, lapping at her suit like some sort of viscous gel. Stars shone in her eyes, brilliant and blinding, and though the air was sucked from her lungs, the peace and the light and the calm of the void was no longer frightening. It was beautiful."
Film — Live-Action
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The aliens are described as escaping to "the space between spaces" at the climax of the film.
- The Matrix: The demo program that shows/explains to people what the Matrix truly is starts off as a featureless, never-ending room.
- The Djinn's home dimension in the Wishmaster series is described as this (although it looks more like Hell in actuality), and he boasts about actually being one of the few beings to have walked the abyss between the planes. The Djinn's goal is to merge it with the human realm, and allow his race to rule the Earth.
- A very odd example is the Wood Between the Worlds in The Chronicles of Narnia. It is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a silent, serene, pleasant, even hypnotic wood, and the various worlds are represented by small pools of water.
- The place where the Outer Gods dwell in the Cthulhu Mythos, usually referred to as the Outer Void or the Audient Void, is usually considered this (it kinda depends on the story and/or the writer. Occasionally the Outer Gods are depicted as dwelling in the depths of regular old space). At the very least, Yog-Sothoth is always described as existing outside the universe/multiverse.
- Or alternatively, the universe/multiverse exists inside Yog-Sothoth. Or rather, both are true at the same time. There's a reason he's called the "All In One and One In All".
- Todash darkness in The Dark Tower series.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld series features a realm underneath reality where all the half-formed or forgotten ideas are given shape and live, always trying to break through into the real world.
- Additionally, there is a void outside the universe. According to Death, it's blue.
- In The Lives of Christopher Chant, Christopher can walk to any world by going through a central valley that connects to all of them.
- The In Ovo in Clive Barker's Imajica, which has been created to separate the Fifth Dominion (Earth) from the other four Dominions, and is populated by not quite mindless soul-eating killer ghouls.
- Wheel of Time: Skimming is a form of rapid transportation that uses portals to take shortcuts through an endless dark void. Opening portals when and where you aren't "supposed to" inside this void yields undefined behavior. The Ways are another shortcut dimension example, accessed by anyone via special stone gateways. The Ways used to be bright and cheery but under the effects of The Corruption have decayed into a crumbling, lightless world inhabited by a soul-devouring wind.
- In the final book, it's revealed that the Dark One itself is a sentient Void; how it's related to the above voids, if at all, is not addressed.
- In the Heralds of Valdemar series, the Gate spell allows instantaneous travel from one place to another by reaching across a chaotic magic-filled void; care must be taken when constructing the spell to keep the travelers from becoming lost within it. The Big Bad originally known as Ma'ar develops a form of immortality by constructing a Soul Jar within the Void, Body Surfing into his own descendants, and returning his soul to the Void whenever his body dies. He develops Sanity Slippage over the centuries from spending too much time there, and loses even more of his marbles when another failed spell sends his most recent body there for a time as well.
- A Void beyond the world certainly exists in Middle-Earth's cosmology, as laid out in The Silmarillion. Whether or not there are other worlds is never established; Word of God on the matter vaguely indicated that there were, but that Tolkien wasn't really interested in exploring that idea further. The Valar cast Morgoth out into the void after his final defeat, and there he will stay until the unmaking of the world when Feanor will return to life to slay him once and for all.
- Barbara Hambly's titular Rainbow Abyss.
- This exists in The Riftwar Cycle. Dragons are the only natural beings that can traverse it, though the Dread are actually from there because, as the last book reveals, they are all avatars of the concept of nonbeing.
- The Guns of the South: Possible fate of one of the AWB men, who had the misfortune of using the time machine just when Caudell shot it up. He theorizes that the man was either dumped in a different time, or stuck in a time limbo.
- In Riddle of the Seven Realms the titular question is why fire cannot be lit in the demon's realm. The answer is that doing so opens a portal into the void, which would destroy all the realms.
- The Stephen King story The Jaunt, which revolves around a method of instantaneous travel which opens a wormhole between two points in space. Problem is, only the unconscious mind can traverse this way, because while physical matter moves instantly, the mind experiences exactly what lies between the two gateways - a total absence of sense or place that goes on for untold eons due to time dilation. Any conscious being that undergoes the trip either dies immediately on arrival or is mentally shattered.
- In Destroyermen, the strange place that the Walker ends up during the transition to the Lemurian/Grik world is described as a strange vacuum in which water droplets are suspended in place. Anyone who looks overboard feels queasy, since there's nothing down there, a bottomless pit. Captain Reddy feels and hears the ship's engines screaming, since the screws are no longer submerged and nearly tear themselves apart from the speed. The ship's engineer Brad "Spanky" McFarlane reacts quickly and shuts down the engines to save them. After eleven books, no one still has any idea what that place is.
- According to Gravity Falls: Journal 3, Bill Cipher's "Nightmare Realm" is described as "not exactly a dimension, but rather a boiling, shifting intergalactic foam between dimensions."
- Doctor Who: The Void, which provides the page quote, which is a place outside of time and space that exists between parallel universes and leaves traces of "void stuff" on whoever passes through it. "Void stuff" becomes visible when viewed through special filters (like those the Doctor has, disguised as a pair of normal 3D glasses). This may or may not be the same as the white void outside the main universe that appears in the first episode of "The Mind Robber", and the white void between N-Space and E-Space that provides the main setting of "Warriors' Gate".
Second Doctor: We are nowhere. It's as simple as that.
- As shown in "Army of Ghosts", it IS possible to traverse the Void, with a specially designed "void ship". This ship has 2 modes... normal mode, where it has mass/volume/etc and behaves like a physical object, and "void mode", that is capable of traversing the Void. In void mode, the ship has no mass, no volume, and doesn't register on any instruments, though it can still be seen. Objects with mass and volume aren't capable of navigating the void because there is no space or time there. Even the human characters were unnerved by looking at it in void mode, and the Doctor was downright terrified of it.
- The Advent Void in Kamen Rider Dragon Knight. Being stuck in the Void was originally presented as a Fate Worse Than Death for defeated Riders, though it was later revealed that Riders were sent there upon defeat specifically so they wouldn't be killed and could be brought back. It was just that the only guy who could get them out of the place had gone missing.
- In The Outer Limits (1963) episode "The Premonition", a test pilot and his wife simultaneously crash in a jet and a car, then find themselves out of sync with time, with everything outside of their vehicles immovably stuck. At first, time seems to be frozen, but they're actually Just One Second Out of Sync with the timestream. What happens if the protagonists aren't back in the jet and the car when time resynchronizes? They get trapped in this trope — as a character called the "Limbo Being", who was in the same situation but didn't escape, informs them.
- In one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Reginald Barclay thinks he can see something in the nothingness where you go when you're being transported. As a result, he thinks he has transporter psychosis. However, it turns out there are creatures living in the transporter stream.
Mythology and Religion
- The Ginnungagap ("yawning abyss") in Norse Mythology, which is the void between Muspellheim and Niflheim at the beginning of the universe.
- In the Jewish Kabbalah, the concept of an uncrossable abyss between God and his creation exists in several variations.
- The Bible: In the Gospels, the exorcised demons plead to Jesus not to send them to the abyss. In Revelation, the Dragon is hurled into the abyss.
- The Aether in Magic: The Gathering, the nothing-space between planes that only planeswalkers can navigate (those without the planeswalker spark die really horrific deaths upon any exposure at all). It's also known as the Blind Eternities. The Eldrazi are apparently natives; their true forms reside there while they project physical bodies into the planes they devour.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, the Astral exists 'outside' the true planes. It can be visited on purpose, but more often visitors arrive because dimension-traveling or teleportation magic failed. It's not particularly terrible by the standards of this trope: just a timeless, infinite expanse of silvery mist. In Planescape, it was rumoured to have spontaneously come into existence when a planar teleport malfunctioned midway through; in 4th edition, the Astral Sea is the realm of thought and the home of the gods' territories.
- In Spelljammer, the Flow is an aether-like medium in which solar systems are suspended in enormous crystal spheres. It is filled with a luminous, massless substance (named phlogiston after the old Greek theory).
- Mage: The Awakening has the Abyss, which separates the Fallen World from the magic of the Supernal Realms. It's also full of things which are anathema to existence, who are just waiting for the chance to get out.
- Nobilis has the Lands Beyond Creation. From there arise the Excrucians, who venture into our world, seeking to end it, piece by piece.
- Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine used to have this (being a spin-off of Nobilis), until the newly killed sun boiled the void, making it into the chaos-matter that now covers the majority of the world.
- Exalted has the Well of Udr, a strange location where potential universes crash and grind against each other into nothingness, producing horrible things from beyond reality. It causes madness if you get too close to it without proper protection, and it produced the Great Contagion.
- In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, the Lady in Black briefly shows you a vision of universes being created and dying and over again, from a multiversal viewpoint...
- In Shin Megami Tensei IV, the Expanse is the key of travel between universes, and the White have transformed it into a White Void Room. Destroy them, and the true Expanse will be revealed - a barren plane of red soil, named specifically as the origin of all gods and demons.
- The Void in RuneScape, the emptiness between all other planes of existence, where everything is pure white and portals from it are known to spew out annoying pests that are only stopped by the Void Knights. The Abyss is a slightly different version as it connects all dimensions.
- The Rift/The Void in the Final Fantasy universe. It first appears in Final Fantasy V and it or a very similar dimension have popped up in several games since. Dissidia: Final Fantasy heavily implies the games of the series take place in the same multiverse with The Void acting as the space between worlds via which beings can travel between them, in turn implying it is indeed the same concept in each appearance.
- In Shadow of Destiny, there is a "place outside of time" where people are free from being erased from time due to paradox. Homunculus hangs out there and "rescues" Eike whenever he dies by dragging him there so he can try and undo his death.
- Xen from Half-Life is referred to as a "border world" by the scientists; it's mostly composed of asteroids floating in a void and is probably not a world unto itself but a place between proper dimensions.
- The Void in League of Legends lore is actually home of a great many Eldritch Abominations dying to break through to the rest of reality. Several of these monsters are playable champions in the game. Two other champions, Malzahar and Kassadin, got their powers by embracing the Void, but while Malzahar works to bring the horrors into the world, Kassadin is trying to stop them.
- In Dungeon Siege 3, the Causeways are described by Odo as passing through "worlds that are forgetting to be". Needless to say it's a strange place and its mutable nature allows the Legion to travel thousands of miles within minutes, which is a great aid to military logistics.
- In the Warcraft cosmology, this is referred to as "The Twisting Nether." In World of Warcraft's first expansion, you can even fly into it, and there's no reachable endpoint. Of course, this is somewhat limited by your fatigue bar.
- The void of Oblivion (though not the planes of Oblivion) exists between the knowable worlds in The Elder Scrolls.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Phantom Ganon is banished by Ganondorf to "the gap between dimensions."
- As a more literal example, in many 3D games, leaving the level boundaries causes you to find a black void which is literally made of nothing (ie: the space where there is no programmed collision detection or surface) and which is literally the Void Between the Worlds. Also, you sometimes fall into it, which is annoying.
- In Minecraft, anywhere above and below the spaces you can place blocks on the map is called The Void. Normally you can't get to the Void below the map because of "unbreakable" bedrock, but if you manage to find a gap in the bedrock, you'll find that the void is rather plain-looking, and that if you jump into it, you'll die within seconds. And once you go in, there's no way to leave.
- This is implied to be the Dragon Age universe's equivalent of Hell, according to Chantry teaching; souls not called to the Maker's side wander here instead. Whether or not this is true is unclear.
- The entirety of the surreal open world freeware RPG Middens takes place in such a void, called "The Rift".
- While only being part of normal space, Mass Effect often references dark space, the open space between galaxies where there are no stars or planets or anything for millions of lightyears in any direction. It's also where the Reapers spend their time when not currently annihilating all advanced life in the galaxy.
- Soul Series' Astral Chaos, the realm the Soul Swords originate from, is one of these.
- The Time Eater from Sonic Generations is an Eldritch Abomination that erases timelines and dumps them (perhaps literally) into a white void outside of normal space-time. When the monster is defeated, the timelines return to their proper places while Classic Eggman and Modern Eggman are left stranded in the void.
- Convexity in Legend of Spyro. Designed as a prison for the Dark Master (or perhaps was always there), serves pretty much as a Xen World. Stars and nebulae in the background, floating aliens that double as platforms, disconnected rock structures, and all circling around one central spire of light.
- The Void in Dishonored is a timeless dream realm which contains pieces of the normal world drifting in endless sky-blue absence and the home of the Outsider. Much suggests the Void has a consciousness of its own that observes and meddles in the physical world through (as?) the Outsider himself.
- The Abyss in Super Robot Wars Z, a rupture in the dimensional boundary lines connecting the various worlds. Although it only opens at specific times and conditions, it allows safe passage between worlds with correct timing. This explains how characters from the world of UCW in Z can appear in the world of ACW in the Z sequels Hakai-hen and Saisei-hen.
- Though there is a place called the Void in Lusternia, it's at the outer limits of existence, and no mortal can survive there; exiled Gods (and more than a few omnicidal monsters) roam through it. The actual role of the Void Between The Worlds is served by aetherspace, a vast and monster-infested gap between the known planes. Players can navigate it with the help of aetherships.
- Myst has the Star Fissure which is claimed to be a passage between Ages. It looks just like outer space, but there is breathable oxygen, and instead of planets, black blobs moving through space represent the Ages. It's first seen in the opening of the original game where Atrus uses the Myst Linking Book, and he sends you through it after the Fissure is reopened in the Age of Riven, in the hopes that you'll be led back to Earth as the Myst book did to begin with.
- Chrono Trigger has The End of Time, a featureless black void that serves as an access point for the various time periods you visit. The only features in the void are two small floating courtyards surrounded by a metal fence. Its only inhabitants are Gaspar, a survivor from the Kingdom of Zeal who was stranded in the End of Time when Lavos arose, and Spekkio, a shapeshifting creature that teaches the player characters magic.
- Reality in Awful Hospital is... complicated. Outside all that is the Abyss.
- The prologue of Explorers of Souls takes place "somewhere in the void". The Mew silhouette, whilst travelling in it, finds a portal to the human world.
- Our Little Adventure has 'The Nethar/Planar Void', which was very briefly shown to be an infinite area of nothingness where Grimalar resides. The pantheon section in the website talks about it a bit more than the comic.
- In Problem Sleuth, After PS dies, he is briefly led to a void where he sees the musicbox, and then is quickly revived by the HD.
- The Furthest Ring in Homestuck. Described by Feferi Peixes (without using her typing quirk) as "the infinite space which divides all sessions, completely unnavigable and unfathomable, untouched by the time or space of any universe in existence. Its lords are our slumberbuddies now. 38)"
- In Sluggy Freelance, each dimension is surrounded by Timeless Space, which acts as a kind of buffer to keep the dimension from being damaged. Normally, these are not empty, but containing some geography and populated by people who ended up there by magic or time travel accidents, and who desperately fight against their personal time running out, since every object and living being carries an aura of time that slowly dwindles but can be strengthened by grouping up with others. However, a crisis caused by a particular course of events (more or less duplicated in different parallel dimensions because that's what their being parallel means) in the future of the comic's timeline will involve abuse of interdimensional rift technology threatening the stability of the dimension where it's used — and turn the local Timeless Space into a true void of nothing that's in danger of collapsing and taking out the universe with it.
- The White Space from Bob and George. The Author first sent Mega Man and Proto Man there so he could be able to speak to them normally. It was not mentioned again, until the end of the Helmeted Author arc, when the Author sends himself, Fistandantilus, George and Proto Man there. George and Proto Man meet Rick O'Shay and Chick-Bot while Author and Fistandantilus duel. When Fistandantilus is defeated, everyone returns to Mega Man Universe. Later on, when Alternate Mega Man and Bass defeat Bob the second time, Bob vanishes to the White Space and apparently can't come back. He does find a way to entertain himself however... until Dr. Wily brings him back. It's actually possible that Fistandantilus possessed Bob during that time.
- In Nebula, the void is the light-years of empty space that surrounds every star system, and is what keeps the small groups of living beings all separate. Sun is the only one of the solar system who has any knowledge about it, describing it as a cold, empty void that he forbids them from venturing into, and it's inhabited by Black Hole, a malicious Humanoid Abomination who tries to lure people out to join her so that she can consume them.
- In Kill Six Billion Demons, the Void exists (or rather, doesn't exist) outside the Wheel of Creation. Some of it is close enough to the Wheel to be a navigable, if mutable, Eldritch Location, where angels and devils exist unbound and strong-willed mortals can project shades; the rest is formless nothingness that causes any traveler to flicker out of existence.
- In Ctrl+Alt+Del, Ethan is transported into this after he uses the failing time machine at the original end of the webcomic. He is able to escape when another time machine is used in a test with no actual date set to it that opens a portal to the void he's in. Unfortunately, the test occurrs many years into the future where all of his friends are either elderly or dead, with the exception of Zeke.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, the Void, or the ghost paths, is a dimension located between other planes of reality which is populated by proto-elementals, revenants, some stray ghosts and other eldritch creatures. The Sinlarine ghost whisperers and shamans have a native ability to access it and travel unhindered, but non-Sinlarine often have to use mind-altering substances like magic mushrooms to travel through the Void without going insane. While in the Void, the traveller can see spiritual, glowing representations of people and cities whose physical forms are located in the Land of the Living.
- The Void is one of the driving forces of AJCO 's entire plot - the story first started when A_J, the State's leading researcher into Void (with the purpose of turning it into a weapon of mass destruction), had her entire facility dropped through the Void to avoid placing such a weapon into the hands of State tyrants. Several characters have been lost to it since then, most notably after the Trial To End All Days, and others spat back out. Funnily enough, the Void had no presence until A_J's player accidentally dug through bedrock outside of RP.
- In Receiver Of Many ether appears to be a space between different worlds and places, ruled by Hecate. Gods can travel through ether to move faster from place to place.
- Zoe's teleportation in Void Domain routes her through a frigid, dead-white nothingness that everyone but her finds extremely unsettling. By comparison, one of her students prefers a teleport spell that sucks her piece-by-piece through Hell.
- Danny Phantom: According to Butch Hartman, in between the Ghost Zone and the plane Earth resides on, there is a limbo known as the Unworld. In this dimension, both ghosts and humans are powerless and anyone who finds themself in this dimension is trapped there forever. The only known way to access this place is to make highly inaccurate calculations when trying to open a ghost portal.
- Shows up in the first season finale of Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero as a consequence of the multiverse going out of balance. Presented as holes into a black void appearing in all worlds, growing until they suck in everything and extinguish all life.
- Squidward ends up in this in one episode of Spongebob Squarepants. At first he was actually happy since he could play his clarinet without being interrupted. But eventually, even he was scared by the place and tried to escape.
- In Yellow Submarine, the Nowhere in which the Nowhere Man lives probably counts, until The Beatles start singing and it gets all psychedelic.
- The large-scale structure of the Universe has galaxies and clusters of galaxies forming long, thin, and web-like filaments and walls surrounding enormous extensionsnote of what, besides little more than a very few isolated galaxies, the omnipresent cosmic microwave background, and dark energy, are, pure and simple, void. And, as the Universe expands, they're growing in size. And while voids in the universe have designated names and official sizes, there are still the Supervoids, whose sheer sizes and nigh-complete absence of, well, anything are just mind-boggling to say the least. One example is the Boötes void; this roughly spherical area at 330 million light years diameter contains only about 60 galaxy clusters, all of which are extremely sparsely populated, while even the most conservative math would say that there should be over 33 times as many and nobody can really explain why. And then there's the Giant Void; over one billion light years across, and populated only by 17 galaxy clusters.
- An even better example than the former is presented in some inflationary models, where basically the vacuum is not actually stable and is continually popping with new Universes, each one with their own space-time and physical laws and thus being a sort of void between worlds.