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Okay, so I'm playing UM as usual and the craziest thing happens - twice! I went to BF2 of Aether Paradise, and while receiving the DNA Splicers and the Prison Bottle, the screen went black and the sound paused. Luckily, the screen and sound went back to normal after three seconds, but I want to know what happened. I've got shinies on this game and don't want anything to happen to them.

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I have reason to believe that it is a hardware issue in the 3DS, rather than an issue in the game card.  I have had this occur with a number of different games with my 3DS.
probly the graphics card. Mine just makes the screen blank if i whack it. Just whack it when that happens. Works w/ mine
right, well it hasn't happened since, so i think i'm fine...
It only does that when I soft reset for shiny legendaries...
I experience this occasionally too, but only when I place the 3DS directly on top of my laptop's keyboard, and then it returns to normal once I remove it. I'm inclined to agree with @PhailRaptor of it being a hardware issue, probably occurring when something external causes the system to malfunction. I'm no hardware expert, but, in my case with my keyboard, some magnetic chip of the 3DS could have been reacting to a magnet within my laptop, or something of that nature.
Did you notice anything in common between the two times your game paused, in terms of where your system was, or something like that?

PS, I've had this happen to me about 5 times (because I love multitasking, and I forget not to place my 3DS on my laptop), and I've experienced absolutely no negative effects or corruptions to my game, so I don't think it's that big of an issue if it accidentally happens to you again.
they happened only right before the sound of receiving an item played. but like I said, it hasn't happened since. It just spooked me

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Okay, so I played around with my system a little bit, and I believe I found the cause of these blackouts. As I said in my comment earlier, I've found that my system blacks out when I place it on my laptop. I ran an experiment with this info, and I think that it's because an external magnet is activating/tricking the part of the system that tells whether the 3DS is open or closed, which puts it into sleep mode; the power light fades in and out in the same fashion in both cases. Luckily, this means that these blackouts should be completely harmless to the game and system; the 3DS just thinks that you've closed it, and is acting accordingly.

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That is really interesting
oh really? that's an interesting development!