YouTuber Christopher "ChrisDaCow" Slayton's Minecraft build of the known universe has taken the internet by storm.
After plenty of speculation on sites like Reddit and Twitter, the 18-year-old shared his method of building the universe in a video on October 3, 2022.
ChrisDaCow began the video by saying:
"This is the universe, home to the most powerful spectacles in existence, and I'm about to build it in Minecraft."
He then stated that he needed to start with Earth, and the only way to appreciate the planet's beauty was to do some skydiving.
After his skydiving session, the content creator began detailing the process of recreating all of the stellar bodies of our universe as they are known to us.
Details of ChrisDaCow's construction of the universe in Minecraft
ChrisDaCow began his work by recreating the many continents of Earth one by one. It took him three days of work to faithfully make the landmasses of our blue planet. However, a certain issue soon arose — the concept of stellar light. Due to the nature of our sun, planets are only partially bathed in its light at a given time.
Fortunately, ChrisDaCow found an appropriate tool to render the effect of light in space. This allowed him to shroud Earth and multiple other planets in both light and shadow when re-entering Minecraft's Creative Mode. It was through this use of light and shadow that the entire universal build was possible at all.
Due to the billions of planets in our solar system and beyond, ChrisDaCow obviously couldn't recreate each planetary body in Minecraft. However, the work he did implement was incredibly detailed and plentiful. Additionally, he had to scale down the planets themselves for obvious reasons.
The next challenge was the angles of certain planets and galaxies. Not all of these celestial bodies rest at a perfect 90-degree angle, so ChrisDaCow had to paint these solar entities' surface features at an angle befitting their actual appearance.
Saturn became a particularly difficult option, as the surface and the rings of the planet itself are askew. ChrisDaCow even had to use mathematical formulas like the Pythagorean Theorem to accurately place Saturn and its rings in the appropriate position.
At last, ChrisDaCow formed the final gas giant planets of our solar system and the sun itself. Using super-bright blocks like glowstone, he managed to recreate our light-giving star. He even placed solar flares on its surface since the sun is essentially one big explosive reaction occurring over and over again.
Next, it was time to move beyond the Milky Way and construct distant galaxies and nebulas. Since the universe consists of innumerable stars and bodies, ChrisDaCow had to be selective in what he created in order to save multiple years' worth of work.
Using galactic imagery captured by Earth space telescopes, ChrisDaCow began reconstructing small-scale versions of incredible phenomena like the Pillars of Creation. To appropriately portray the celestial body's appearance, he had to use nearly every available block in the game in its construction.
The hardest body ChrisDaCow created in this massive Minecraft megabuild was a black hole. Using rendered imagery from films like Interstellar, he appropriately captured the contrast between light and shadow (since these entities distort light and can engulf it).
According to the YouTuber, this stellar creation was the toughest build he'd constructed over a nine-year career of creating Minecraft builds.
The other galaxies nearest to ours were also exceptionally difficult to build, as the arms of the gaseous bodies took hours to recreate shape-wise in Minecraft.
However, by leaning back on the light/shadow contrasts used for individual planets, ChrisDaCow was able to create individual stars that comprise the galaxies themselves.
Obviously, it'd be impossible to create the full universe in Minecraft, especially to scale. There are simply too many factors to account for, including physical phenomena (like the black hole's warping of light and space-time). However, ChrisDaCow's creation may be the most thorough and complete build we've seen in the attempt.
Surely, this build should be considered one of the greatest ever conceived, and ChrisDaCow deserves all the praise in the world for what he has accomplished.
The effort must have been grueling and incredibly time-consuming. However, the final product is so incredibly gorgeous that the YouTuber can rest back and admire the remarkable feat he has achieved.