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Less Famous Time Travel Paradoxes

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Everybody’s heard of the Grandfather Paradox, where you go back in time and kill your grandfather, thus causing yourself to never be born, thus causing you never to travel back in time and kill your grandfather, thus trapping you in an unresolvable temporal paradox.

But this isn’t the only time travel paradox that can happen, or even the most likely (who would want to kill their own grandfather?). So I have uploaded this list of less famous time travel paradoxes, along with my personal theories (as a self-proclaimed doctor of timeology) as to how each would resolve.

The Holy Grail Paradox

A time-traveler is on the quest for the Holy Grail. He feels pretty confident, and he is absolutely sure that he will eventually find it, so to save himself some work, he travels into the future and–sure enough!–there his future self is, staring at the Holy Grail in awe. The time-traveler grabs the Holy Grail and returns to his original time line, where he is so amazed that he is holding the relic in his hands that he stares at it in awe for some time. Suddenly, a time vortex opens and his past self jumps out and grabs the Grail from him, before disappearing into the past.

How it Resolves Itself: In actuality, the time-traveler discovers that the Grail he originally stole from himself was really just a dirty cup from the kitchen sink.

The Pizza Slice Paradox

A cartoon rendiction of a wild pizza, the animal that is hunted and killed so that we may enjoy its delicious cheeseflesh.

A cartoon rendiction of a wild pizza, the animal that is hunted and killed so that we may enjoy its delicious cheeseflesh. This animal features heavily in some temporal paradoxes.

A time-traveler eats a delicious slice of pizza and enjoys the experience so much, he travels back one hour and eats the same slice of pizza before he originally ate it. Therefore, no pizza existed for him to eat originally. Additionally, the two slices (the same slice twice) are digesting simultaneously in the time-traveler’s stomach.

How it Resolves Itself: Indigestion.

The Dance Move Paradox

A time-traveler sees someone else on the other side of the club do an amazing dance move. Since the time-traveler is a highly skilled dancer, he realizes that it is a new move and that its inventor will become both rich and famous, so he gets in his time machine and travels back in time and goes back to the same club, where he debuts the move on his own.

How it Resolves Itself: As it turns out, the move was never that good to begin with, and it was only the subtle power of unconscious self-love that had caused the time-traveler to admire the dance to begin with. Therefore, however this paradox resolves, it will be of no interest to the competitive choreography industry.

The Blog Post Paradox

Time traveler runs a blog at gregkarber.com. However, he’s completely out of ideas, so he time travels into the future and forces himself at gunpoint to come up with some ideas, knowing the eventually he will be held at gunpoint for ideas. Fortunately, when he is held at gunpoint, he won’t actually have to write the ideas, since he will have already stolen them at gunpoint from himself previously.

How it Resolves Itself: None of the ideas are very good, especially the one entitled “Less Famous Time Travel Paradoxes.”

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4 Responses

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  1. Well, that’s the list. I hope none of you are stupid enough to try any of those. Also, feel free to post your own temporal paradoxes in the comments!

    – Greg Karber, Ph.D. (Doctor of Timeology, Self-Proclaimed)

    Greg Karber

    September 8, 2009 at 11:46 pm

  2. […] Pizza Cartoons One of the posts that consistently brings me hits via Google is my list of Less Famous Time Travel Paradoxes, not because it’s hilarious and insightful, but because I stole a cartoon of a slice of pizza […]

  3. Nice Post. I searched the whole net for informations like u shared it on this post “Less Famous Time Travel Paradoxes Greg Karber's iBlogopedia”. Thank you very much, it aided me out.

    Waffel Rezept

    March 3, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    • You searched the whole net for a collection of jokes about time travel paradoxes?

      Greg Karber

      March 3, 2010 at 11:15 pm


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