My physics friend suggested that "the answer to why matter exists in the universe" is because all massive particles are just the fabric of space excited into little packets. To illustrate, imagine a blanket on the ground. Then, pinch a small bit of the blanket and twist it. This is a particle that has mass.
It was intriguing to hear this (he's only studied up through Freshman year of college physics), but there are clear flaws (i.e. angular momentum of a "particle" tied to a "blanket"??).
Regardless, it made me wonder about vacuums. Is there any theory that suggests that a vacuum actually has energy in some form or another?