While a black hole sucks matter in, and a white hole spews it out, a purple hole moves it from place to place. Purple holes, while completely ignored by all serious scientific journals, clearly exist not only as cosmological but also terrestrial phenomena. Purple holes explain how you can make a single turn in a decent neighborhood and suddenly find yourself in the worst neighborhood on earth. Locating a purple hole can be either a serendipitous godsend or a devastating catastrophe, depending on the nature of the start and end points.

Some have posited that the illusion of geographic continuity (i.e., the apparent proximity of one place on a map to another) is the side effect of the inability of the human mind to acknowledge the presence of a purple hole. This theory may explain how Washington, DC can be so vastly removed from all of the people of the United States-- it actually could be on another planet altogether.

If I recall correctly, I first came across the concept of the purple hole through one of Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon stories. A young man tells of going into a fast-food restaurant bathroom in one city, and emerging into an identical restaurant in another city. The phenomenon plagued him relentlessly, triggered whenever he went into a building, room, or establishment that had a twin somewhere in the world. His life was, understandably, thrown his life into chaos and ruin. At the end of the story, he suddenly disappears from his bar-stool perch, leaving the reader to infer that there are at least two identical Callahan's in the universe.

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