THE HOLOGRAPHIC PRINCIPLE: JUST AN EMPTY BLACK HOLE? The holographic principle, first proposed by 't Hooft and Susskind, is inspired by Bekenstein's and Hawking's account of black hole thermodynamics, according to which the maximal entropy in any region scales with the radius squared, and not cubed. This means that the informational content of objects fallen into a black hole is entirely encompassed in surface fluctuations of the event horizon. The entropy inside the black hole is proportional to the area of the event horizon: in particular, if a black hole's horizon encompasses a number A of Planck areas, its entropy is A/4 units, so that every bit stands for four Planck areas. We ask whether it exists an alternative scenario to the puzzling tenet of the holographic principle, i.e., that the information encompassed in a given volume is endowed in its lower-dimensional surface. Indeed, in the case of a black hole, we might hypothesize that the information is fully located on the 2D surface, while there is no information at all inside the black hole's 3D volume. When an object falls inside a black hole, its information could not cross the horizon reaching the 3D volume inside, rather could be fully retained on the 2D horizon. This means that the proposition "the maximum content of information in cosmic region depends on its area" might not hold true, because, if our hypothesis is confirmed, a black hole's volume might not contain information.