Don’t get too close – you might not be able to get away. Researchers have found and measured the biggest black holes discovered so far – abyssal surfaces 10 times bigger than our Solar system – and several billion times heavier.

Yes, you read that right; these unimaginable giants likely devoured billions of Sun in their existence, destroying them like candles in the wind. Such holes, astrophysicists believe, may be the cornerstones of galaxies and clues to the fates of the violent quasars, supernaturally powerful explosions somehow connected with young galaxies, which dominated the beginning of the Universe.

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Some of these newly measured monsters are absolutely jaw dropping: they weigh as much as 21 billion Suns; but don’t worry just yet – they’re over 336 million light years away from us. The previous record holder weighed a ‘mere’ 6.1 billion suns. But the research isn’t only informative, it has an actual practical purpose.

Black Holes are regions of space where the gravitational pull is so intense that nothing, literally nothing can escape it – even light. They were predicted by Einstein’s general relativity theory, but the genius himself found it so weird, that he believed they were impossible. He actually wrote to a friend, telling him there should be a law against these things – but there isn’t. Black holes exist, they are alive and kicking. What role did they play in the cosmic balance of the Universe, and what role they will play from now on – that remains to be seen.

Via NY Times

“Measurements of these massive black holes will help us understand how their host galaxies were assembled, and how the holes achieved such monstrous mass,” Mr. McConnell said.