Forgive me if this is stupid or has been covered many times in the past but I have a question about dark energy and the expansion of the universe. But first, consider a question posed by Poincare in the eighteenth century. He asked, “If we woke up one morning and everything in the universe had become a thousand times larger (including us and all our measuring devices), would there be any way for us to tell?” (of course the answer is no we couldn’t tell, because size is relative). Now consider the expansion of the fabric of the universe. Observations tell us that the expansion is real and our best theory to explain this stretching is by invoking a force called ‘dark energy’ that accounts for some or all of the energy required to make this stretching happen. But currently we cannot detect this energy and can merely infer its existence through mathematical modelling. But what if our observations are misleading us. Is it possible that instead of inter-stellar space stretching, it is actually our local region of space, along with all the other mass rich regions, that are in fact contracting? This would produce the illusion of inter-stellar space stretching without needing dark energy to achieve it. I can’t see how to proved this local shrinkage since, as Poincare points out, all our measuring devices would shrink at the same rate too. I just wondered if local space contraction could have played tricks with our observations and lead us to hunt for an explanation involving dark energy that is not needed?