The Universe is the spacetime continuum containing matter and radiation. It contains many worlds, both habitable and not. To the possible exception of mice, all characters originate from different locations of the Universe.

As the Guide considers the Universe hard to define, it resorts to give useful to advice to its inhabitants.

Guide entry[]


The area of the Universe is infinite. Infinity is a hard concept to grasp; the Guide gives us this definition:

Bigger than the biggest thing ever and then some. Much bigger than that in fact, really amazingly immense, a totally stunning size, real 'wow, that's big', time. Infinity is just so big that by comparison, bigness itself looks really titchy. Gigantic multiplied by colossal multiplied by staggeringly huge is the sort of concept we're trying to get across here.


None. This is a by-product of infinity; it is impossible to import things into something that has infinite volume because by definition there is no outside to import things from.


The creation, and continuation of, the Universe.


None, for similar reasons as imports.


None. Although you might see people from time to time, they are most likely products of your imagination. Simple mathematics tells us that the population of the Universe must be zero. Why? Well given that the volume of the universe is infinite there must be an infinite number of worlds. But not all of them are populated; therefore only a finite number are. Any finite number divided by infinity is as close to zero as makes no odds, therefore we can round the average population of the Universe to zero, and so the total population must be zero.

Monetary units[]

Although there are three major units, (The Altairian Dollar, the Flainian Pobble Bead and the Triganic Pu) none of them count. The Altarian Dollar has recently collapsed, (again) the Flainian Pobble Bead is only exchangeable for other Flainian Pobble Beads, and the Triganic Pu has its own very special problems. Its exchange rate of eight Ningis to one Pu is simple enough, but since a Ningi is a triangular rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles along each side, no one has ever collected enough to own one Pu. Ningis are not negotiable currency, because the Galactibanks refuse to deal in fiddling small change. From this basic premise, it is very simple to prove that the Galactibanks are also the product of a deranged imagination.


None. Because the function of art is to hold a mirror up to nature there can be no art because the Universe is infinite which means there simply isn't a mirror big enough.


None. Well, in fact, there is an awful lot of this, largely because of the total lack of money, trade, banks, art or anything else that might keep all the nonexistent people of the Universe occupied. However, it is not worth embarking on a long discussion of it now because it really is terribly complicated.


  • The Guide states that with a lungful of air, humans can survive for 30 seconds in the vacuum. Although it is correct in avoiding the cliché of humans bursting open or freezing instantly, holding breath against the vacuum is difficult and causes lung damage.
  • The Guide also provides the odds of being rescued by a random starship within that period.
    • In the 1981 TV series, the odds are 1 against 2260,199, or a probability of 1.98×10-78,328.
    • In the 2005 film, the odds are 1 against 22,079,460,347, or a probability of 5.74×10-625,979,940.