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The quote investigator was let loose on a case of mistaken attribution and we have made a poster to celebrate the findings!

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Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

That is such a great quote that people have been saying it for decades and they have attributed it to famous astronomer Carl Sagan’s brilliant mind. But when fans of Sagan combed through his works, they could not find the quote.

So that is when they went and asked self-proclaimed quote investigator, who goes by the pseudonym Garson O’Toole, to scrounge up the source. And after his investigation of Sagan’s publications, O’Toole also came up empty handed. But he found a quote in Newsweek Magazine that led him to the real face behind these famous words.

There was an article in the magazine quoting Sagan talking about what would happen, “if it turns out we really are alone” in the universe. And then, the author of that magazine article suggested that this means “somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known,” which is what she wrote after the ending of the Sagan quote. So, doing his due diligence, O’Toole had a conversation with the author and she confirmed that the famous quote did, in fact, come from her: Sharon Begley.

This came as a surprise to a lot of people who had accidentally misattributed that quote to Sagan, including me, Hank Green, and us here at SciShow! It’s a lesson to anyone who doesn’t trace their facts back to original source material, which, let’s face it, isn’t always easy to do. So to combat the misconception, and to remind us all that people are accident-prone and also capable of knowing incredible things, we have made a poster with that famous Begley quote.

You can find it at Because it is still one of the best quotes and we want to celebrate it! With the James Webb telescope making new discoveries possible every month, this line is as true as it was in 1977 when Sharon Begley wrote it.

In our quest to know the incredible, let's make sure we're identifying the right stars.