Eli5 if the universe is everything but it is constantly expanding, what is it expanding into?

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Eli5 if the universe is everything but it is constantly expanding, what is it expanding into?

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Let’s say the Universe is like a plume of smoke, that is expanding into the air, which is the nothingness of space. The Universe is expanding into the nothingness, and making it part itself. Just as smoke would expand into the air by diffusion.

Make sense?

We don’t know. We don’t know if something outside of the universe exists in the first place. The big bang possibly created space itself, so asking so “where” isn’t a meaningful question outside of the universe.

What we know is that the distance between us and far away stars becomes bigger. Space itself is somehow growing.

The geometry of the universe is hard to wrap one’s mind around, but there doesn’t seem to be an “edge” that is expanding “into” something.

All points in the universe are equally considered the center, because from what we can tell, there is no absolute center. So, I don’t think the universe is expanding “into” anything, because we have not been able detect that *our* region is heading into some new foreign territory.

The universe appears the same to us in all directions, and all regions are relatively equal. The distance between all regions just happens to be increasing.

There is no “into”, there is only nothing. No space, matter. Literally nothing. Unfortunately this concept is hard to wrap our brains around because our whole existence is based on the opposite of nothing so we can’t really picture nothing (because there’s nothing to picture).

Also, don’t think of the universe as a place. The universe is a thing. The universe is the collective of everything that exists.

What about the 2D balloon analogy:
The universe is like the surface of a balloon. By blowing up the balloon the surface area gets larger, pushing things apart. But there is no center and no edge pushing out into the nothingness.