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Be afraid of the dark. Black holes, the insatiable monsters of the universe, are impossible to kill with any of the weapons in our grasp. The only thing that can hasten a black hole's demise is a cable made of cosmic strings, a hypothetical material predicted by string theory. But there is reason to take heart. Finding out black holes are nearly invincible could lead to better understanding of how physical laws work in the universe's most extreme environments.

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