I came to a bloodchilling thought the other day.
The universe is expanding, but the expansion is being counteracted by some force. Also, the movement of galaxies cannot be explained by what we see. Therefore, scientists have concluded that "dark matter" - matter which we cannot see because it does not radiate light - populates a great part of the universe.
Planets are dark matter. Basically, anything that is not a star or excited gas is dark matter.
Nanobots are hypothetical robots that exist at the nanolevel (around a billionth of a meter). Scientists and science fiction writers hope that in the future, they will be capable of self replication. In other words, we hope one day they will be able to tear apart molecules, and create new nanobots with the atoms they find. If a nanobot is capable of replication, and it loses its programming that has it stop at some point, it will assimilate the whole world at an exponential rate. I don't know the raw math on this, but I'm pretty sure a runaway nanobot would convert the whole world in a little under a day. This has led some to describe the "grey goo" hypothesis of armageddon.
You can see this at work in the GI Joe movie, and the new "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Terrible movies, but they give a good illustration.
This only makes sense. It would be the most succesful virus in human history. Virii infect cells, rip them apart (the RNA and DNA at least), and then use the cells to make more copies of the virus.
It's just that virii have limitations. A nanobot would not. Evolutionarily, it would be the most succesful creature (if it be alive) ever.
The universe is old. We cannot be the first civilization, and we cannot be the most advanced. If a civilization was more advanced, it is quite likely it had invented nanobots. It is also quite likely that the civilization and its planet were destroyed by the nanobots - turned into gray goo.
If nanobots were to go crazy, they could convert a solar system in a matter of a thousand years (comets, meteors, solar winds, and other intersolar actors would be responsible.) But it would have to wait for the solar system to come into contact with another solar system to spread outside. However, this will inevitably happen.
If all of these premises are true (and that is not so hard to believe), then this "dark matter" could be parts of the universe that have already been converted to nanobots. We should be looking for whatever electomagnetic signature they would put off. We need to investigate this. It is possible that we are heading into a part of our galaxy that has been converted. We must know.
Does this explain all dark matter? No. There is too much uniformity to believe that this has happened in every galaxy - even immature ones. But this could explain a lot of the dark matter, particularly in mature stable galaxies which would give rise to intelligent life.
This conclusion simply, logically follows.
Thoughts, comments, and of course criticisms are welcome. I just need to spread this message as far as it will go.
If nanobots can be created, and if they do lead to a grey goo, we should and must locate them.