Black Hole Induced Psychosis, (commonly referred to as Black Hole Madness, BHIP, and scientifically named Vicishorizonopyschosis) is a very rare, and acute anomalous phenomenon that occurs when any non-mechanical entity views an anomalous black hole for long periods of time, most notably The Black Pearl. This mental 'disease' changes a sapient organism's mind over a short period of time and can lead to advanced symptoms of psychosis, and trauma. How this occurs is unknown.
Any anomalous black hole should not be viewed for longer than an hour at a time, otherwise, BHIP will take effect.
To counteract the effects of BHIP, any ship closer than 100 AU to an anomalous black hole should open up visors on every window, and simulate what the black hole would look like, while not letting any actual video feed or real imagery through. The simulations that are generated and projected through the visors have been quoted to be hyper-realistic. So, as a result, BHIP cases have been very minimal.
A list of anomalous properties:
- The anomalous occurrence appears to have no 'cure', even for the most advanced mental treatments.
- After thousands of years of research, not much progress was made on a cure, or how a cure could possibly synthesized.
Affects every species
- No other diseases have been shown to effect any organism through the eyes via imagery.
- An entity viewing a live video feed of a black hole (no matter how pixelated) will experience BHIP, but it is rarer. However, the symptoms are more subdued. The pixelation factor also calms the effects. A human could most likely look at a live video of a black hole for about ten hours before BHIP takes effect.
- Photographs do not cause this effect to happen.
- Self-aware AI's tend to malfunction after an hour of exposure, with more powerful AIs able to resist it almost completely.
- Less then .0001% of sapient life seems to posses a special optical gene, which lets them become unaffected or barely affected by BHIP.
- Beings such as the mysterious Traveler are most likely unaffected, as he travels through black holes to get around.
- If you cover the black hole with a device like a Penrose Sphere, the effects of BHIP dwindle drastically.
Most species have a natural aversion to dark places, whether out of fear of predators or simply not being able to see. This discomfort or in many cases, fear, is usually never enough to cause issues. However, a black hole is much darker than any dark ever experienced by any species. The total darkness causes mild fear and even acute terror in some people.
BHIP, however, only exists around certain black holes. These black holes are thought to be much darker than a normal black hole. This is likely caused by a lack of accretion disk and very high mass, which sucks this in much more than intermediate-class black holes. This results in BHIP being only possible in large-class black holes.
Another theory states that an anomalous black hole is spinning just fast enough for the gravity waves emitted to slightly alter the light going into the eyes of the viewer. This slightly altered light has a very unique wavelength which has been known to also cause acute psychosis, albeit not as severe.
The phenomenon was first discovered in 2327 around Black Pearl. A few members on the first mission that viewed the black hole developed psychosis. Later, other black holes seen by humans had the same effect, yet the effects were somewhat less pronounced. It was made illegal for civilians to fly within 100 AU of any natural black hole after this effect was further studied.
Symptoms vary across every species, and also among individuals in each species. All symptoms below are permanent and incurable.
Humans have the most varied symptoms of all species. Generally, a human exposed to a black hole will experience these symptoms.
- Manic episodes
- Extreme depression
- General Psychosis
- Loss of any psionic abilities if present
Xa'Thins have a large number of symptoms, and they can push a Xa'Thin to do heinous acts.
- Weakening of scales
- Hindering of psionic abilities
- Rapid emotional changes
- Sudden and prolonged anger/rage for little reason
Most other species have symptoms similar to humans.
Effects on AIs
When an AI views any black hole the effects depend on the AI
- AI typically malfunction as some of their data is corrupted. However, the effects can be "cured" with a total shutdown of the AI and a reboot after three hours of being deactivated.
- All animals and non-sapient organisms experience extreme fear and rage. Their fertility rates drop dramatically, and they can commit self-harm if prolonged for around 3 days.
AIs such as DELYATU, The Supreme, The C.Y.R.E.X, and other very intelligent AIs do not experience the phenomenon because they are powerful enough to choose not to process any pixels containing black hole images.
Seekites are not affected by viewing black holes. This is unexplained, and even the Seekers do not necessarily understand as this phenomenon doesn't take place in their universe.
People that are already insane
People that were insane before BHIP become triply so afterward. In some cases, BHIP has strengthened the psionic powers of the insane or even added ones not present. A shocking amount claim that the singularity whispers secrets to them, with over 400,000,000 people having said so.
The insane tend to be drawn to the black hole, and most will stare at it until they are moved away.
Many beings are worried that excessive time travel could lead to minor symptoms of BHIP. This has not been observed ever since the Time Travel ban.