An intriguing new hypothesis suggests some black holes could have formed before the formation of our universe
The work by Professor Bernard Carr from Queen Mary University in London and Professor Alan Coley from Canada's Dalhousie University, examines a cosmology in which the universe goes through cycles of birth and death.
According to their work published on the pre-press website arXiv.org, some black holes could be remnants of a previous universe that collapsed in a big crunch and was then reborn in the big bang - 13.7 billion years ago.
Called primordial black holes, they would be formed in the hyper dense conditions existing in the moments after the big bang. That makes them even more exotic than other black holes formed from the collapse of massive stars or at the centre of galaxies.
Professor Carr and Professor Coley say if the universe expands and contracts in cycles of big bangs and big crunches, some primordial black holes may survive.
They reached their conclusion after thinking about what might happen in the moments before a big crunch.