Zayn Malik's announcement last month that he was leaving boy band One Direction made waves, and not just among the tween set. (Supposed grown-ups, crippled by the loss, requested compassionate leave from work following the news.)
The ripple effect created by Malik's departure continues to be felt: Speaking via hologram at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday, Stephen Hawking addressed a range of topics – including the future of humanity and our society's "ambivalent attitude" towards science – before a One Direction fan in the audience asked about the cosmological effect of Zayn's decision to quit the boy band.
"Finally a question about something important," Hawking quipped. "My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay attention to the study of theoretical physics because, one day, there may well be proof of multiple universes. It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another, different universe and, in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction."
Taking things one step further, Hawking told the audience that "in another possible universe, she and Zayn are happily married." (Which means for One Direction fans convinced that Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson belong together, in another universe Larry Stylinson is a reality.)
Watch Stephen Hawking talk about Zayn below.