Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever found in the universe. It's 12 billion light years away, and holds at least 140 trillion times the amount of water in all the Earth's oceans combined.
It manifests itself as a colossal mass of water vapour, hidden in the distant APM 08279+5255 quasar. Quasars are bright and violent galactic nuclei fuelled by a supermassive black hole at their centre.
This quasar holds a black hole that's 20 billion times more massive than the sun, and after gobbling down dust and gas it belches out as much energy as a thousand trillion suns. The water vapor is spread around the black hole in a gaseous region spanning hundreds of light years.