Dreams are real, say scientists

This may look like a bizarre dream, but it actually happened, say scientists.

This may look like a bizarre dream, but it actually happened, say scientists.

A group of scientists at Boston’s Harvard Medical School say they’ve made the stunning discovery that dreams are not, as once thought, a series of abstract sensations, images and sounds that occur during sleep, but rather demonstrably real events that take place in an alternate universe that can only be accessed during certain stages of unconsciousness.

In a study published yesterday, the scientists detailed how they monitored a number of participants during various stages of sleep, and gave them complex tasks, such as bringing objects from the dream world back to the ‘real’ world.

They said it first became apparent that dreams were real when subjects successfully managed to retrieve a number of items, including a comb, a lantern and a baby dragon.

Kevin McCaffrey, a neuroscientist and researcher who helped conduct the study, said that anyone was capable of retrieving objects from dreams, so long as they concentrated “really hard.”

“What people haven’t realised until now is that this alternate universe that we might call Dreamland, is actually a very real place that people do go to when they sleep,” he said.  “It is a place where internal emotions very tangibly affect the external environment, the laws of physics don’t apply unless you’re running from a ghost, and people are a lot more willing to have sex with you, whether you like it or not.”

“We really need to find a new term for ‘real world’, because actually, the dream world is just as real.”

When asked what he thought the implications of such a discovery were, McCaffrey said he wasn’t yet sure, but he expected them to be large.

“Well I think you’ll find it’s a double edged sword,” he said. “For people who’ve accomplished great things in their dreams, it’ll be nice to be able to say with some confidence that they’ve actually done it. For example, I once won the Tour de France.”

“On the other hand, for those who have had traumatic experiences in dreams and have been able to console themselves with the thought that they weren’t real… Well, they might not be able to say that anymore.”

McCaffrey added that while he knew many would find the study alarming – even disturbing – he personally thought it was exciting, and was especially pleased by the discovery that he wasn’t a virgin.