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Trying to find a short story where two people talk about how the "many worlds" theories (or possibly the idea that if the universe is infinite everything will eventually happen) with the example of a monster suddenly appearing. They go over a hill and are eaten by a monster that suddenly appeared.

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Trying to find a short story

"The Other Tiger", a short story by Arthur C. Clarke, first published in Fantastic Universe, June-July 1953, available at the Internet Archive. You may have read it in one of these compilations.

where two people talk about how the "many worlds" theories (or possibly the idea that if the universe is infinite everything will eventually happen)

It's the "infinite universe", not the "many worlds" theory:

"Well, let's be perfectly logical and see where it gets us. Our only assumption, remember, is that the universe is infinite."

"Right. Personally I don't see what else it can be."

"Very well. That means there must be an infinite number of stars and planets. Therefore, by the laws of chance, every possible event must occur not merely once but an infinite number of times. Correct?"

"I suppose so."

"Then there must be an infinite number of worlds exactly like Earth, each with an Arnold and Webb on it, walking up this hill just as we are doing now, saying these same words."

with the example of a monster suddenly appearing.

"Yet in some universe those — what shall I call them ? — twins of ours will walk around that corner and meet anything, absolutely anything that imagination can conceive. For as I said at the beginning, if the cosmos is infinite, then all possibilities must arise."

"So it’s possible," said Arnold, with a laugh that was not quite as light as he had intended, "that we may walk into a tiger or something equally unpleasant."

They go over a hill and are eaten by a monster that suddenly appeared.

Yet of course it was not totally inconceivable that during the night the rain-sodden hillside had caved inward to reveal an ominous cleft leading down into the subterranean world. As for what had laboriously climbed up that cleft, drawn towards the unknown light of day — well, it was really no more unlikely than the giant squid, the boa-constrictor or the feral lizards of the Jurassic jungle. It had strained the laws of zoological probability but not to the breaking-point.

Webb had spoken the truth. In an infinite cosmos everything must happen somewhere — including their singularly bad luck. For it was hungry — very hungry — and a tiger or a man would have been a small yet acceptable morsel to any one of its half dozen gaping mouths.

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  • 1
    That's it, THANK YOU!!! – Xander McCat Feb 16 at 4:31
  • You're welcome! – user14111 Feb 16 at 4:45

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