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Earth may be trapped in an abnormal bubble of space-time that is particularly devoid of matter.
Scientists say this condition could account for the apparent acceleration of the universe's expansion, for which dark energy currently is the leading explanation.
Dark energy is the name given to the hypothetical force that could be drawing all the stuff in the universe outward at an ever-increasing rate.
Current thinking is that 74 percent of the universe could be made up of this exotic dark energy, with another 21 percent being dark matter, and normal matter comprising the remaining 5 percent.