PHILADELPHIA—In a landmark study that deepens our understanding of the explosion that began all space and time, a paper published Tuesday in the Journal Of Cosmology And Astroparticle Physics found that the Big Bang was caused by a prior universe blowing itself up with fireworks. “Upon extensive analysis of cosmic background radiation originating from the Big Bang, we can now conclude that the previous universe collapsed and ours was created after a major pyrotechnic display went terribly wrong,” said study co-author and theoretical physicist Ismael Gomez, explaining that the earlier universe’s inhabitants were presumed to have tied together the wicks of an unquantifiable number of Black Cats and Roman candles and then shot them off all at once to see what would happen. “Based on the sheer destructive force of the blast, we’re pretty sure they must have had a lot of M-60s in there, too, and maybe some bottle rockets. The result was a moment of near infinite heat and density that marked the end of their universe and the beginning of ours, culminating 10-32 seconds later in a jaw-dropping finale with multicolored sparks shooting everywhere into an exponentially expanding space. This was perhaps caused by lighting off a ton of those 24-shot Excalibur artillery shells, but further research is needed to confirm this.” In response to the new research, top cosmologists told reporters they had shortened their estimates of our universe’s lifespan by hundreds of billions of years, citing humanity’s ease of access to fireworks and voracious desire to watch stuff blow up.