Astronomers based at Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK have discovered a giant cloud of methyl alcohol, spanning approximately 288 billion miles, wrapped around a distant stellar nursery. This cloud is made of methyl alcohol, the undrinkable cousin of ethyl alcohol (drinking alcohol).

As I read this, I checked in the Srimad-Bhagavatam about the seven oceans and learnt that throughout the universe there are oceans of salt water, sugarcane juice, liquor, clarified butter, milk, emulsified yogurt, and sweet drinking water.

On our planet, we have experienced sea water which is drinkable and ocean water which is salty. We still do not exactly know as to how the rains pour millions and millions of gallons of sweet water every monsoon into the oceans and still the water remains salty. Therefore it should not be surprising that somewhere an ocean of liquid alcohol can exist. Already there are speculations that if so much alcohol can be seen in space, maybe there exists an ocean of liquid alcohol on some planet.

Scientists are still baffled as to how alcohol can form in space. It is contrary to the laws of physics as we know them. One scientist said, “Heavy atoms arise from fusion in the stars. If a big star lives long enough, and it can form massive quantities of very heavy atoms before blowing them across the universe in a nova form. Forming the organic molecules that are alcohols is a different matter. A molecule or two might be formed by the random interactions of floating atoms in space, but not billions of gallons in large masses.”

Here is a simple explanation. In some countries the rule for vehicular traffic is KEEP LEFT, while in many other countries it is KEEP RIGHT. India follows the keep-left rule while USA has a keep-right rule. Both the countries have authorities who have to maintain traffic discipline. If someone comes to India from the USA and is surprised to see traffic going in the opposite direction (from his point of view) he needs to be told that this is a different way of doing the same thing i.e. maintaining traffic discipline. Similarly, scientists need to know that just by studying laws of physics as they apply to our earth will not make them eligible to understand the laws of physics as they are applied in other parts of the universe. The Vedas call this phenomenon “vibhuti bhinnam”. Vibhuti means “specific powers” and bhinnam means “variegated.” Therefore, each and every one of the innumerable planets within the universe is endowed with a distinct type of atmosphere, as well as separate laws for physics, chemistry and biology, which apply on that specific planet.