ONE Direction fans mourning the loss of Zayn Malik from the group, Stephen Hawking may have just made your day.
The famed physicist has suggested that the singer may still be in the boyband, albeit in a parallel universe yet to be discovered.
Hawking appeared in 3D hologram form for a talk at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday. Beamed in from Cambridge University, the professor covered a range of big issues, from his diagnosis with motor neurone disease to life's great mysteries and the future of Earth.
Everything was going as expected until one audience member decided to shake things up a little, asking: "What do you think is the cosmological effect of Zayn leaving One Direction and consequently breaking the hearts of millions of teenage girls across the world?"
Hawking, who might be forgiven for brushing off the question as far too silly for a brain of his capacity, instead seemed delighted,Buzzfeed reports.
"Finally, a question about something important," he replied. "My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics, because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes.
"It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another different universe - and in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction."
As if that wasn't enough to raise the hearts of crushed 1D fans everywhere, Hawking officially became their new hero by adding that the girl "may like to know that in another possible universe, she and Zayn are happily married". Just don't tell Perrie Edwards.
Hawking, 73, closed his lecture by encouraging people to "look at up at the stars and not down at your feet".
"Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes a universe exist," he said. "Be curious, and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up."
Finally, he quoted Star Trek's Captain Kirk. "Beam me up Scotty!" he said, before his digital image disappeared in a flash of light.
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