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InfoWars asks: What would happen if the earth stopped spinning? Either they know something I don’t or they’ve completely run out of shit to write about

What if the sun really were a giant baby like on Teletubbies?

Scrolling through my various newsfeeds today and this headline from InfoWars grabbed my attention:

At first I couldn’t help but wonder: Do they know something I don’t? Is a giant hand going to emerge from the depths of deep space to bring our planet’s rotation to a standstill? Or maybe the Chinese have some sort of anti-rotation ray gun?

Looking at the article itself, which InfroWars had picked up from Russian “news” outlet Sputnik, I found no corroboration for either of these theories. Sputnik was just doing a “thought experiment” to see what would go down if this impossible thing were to actually happen. Sort of like the movie The Core, one of the world’s dumbest action/disaster movies, in which a rag-tag group of scientists and NASA pilots and I forget who else had to use a nuclear warhead to get the earth’s core spinning again after it mysteriously stopped.

Let’s just set aside the fact that the earth CAN’T ACUALLY JUST STOP SPINNING and see what they have to say.

It takes the earth 23 hours and 56 minutes to complete its rotation, with our beautiful planet moving at about 1,100 mph, or 460 meters per second.

Well, at the Equator anyway. At either of the poles you just rotate slowly.

But what would happen if one day it suddenly stopped spinning? Spoiler alert: nothing good.

To visualise the unthinkable consequences of this scenario, which some scientists believe may occur in 18.5 billion years,

You are aware that the planet will be long gone before then, as our sun is expected to go “ker-blooey” in roughly 5.5 billion years?

… one has to sit in a car, get it up to 100 miles per hour and then crash it into another vehicle without wearing a seatbelt (don’t do this). You’ve probably seen this in action movies and news – the car stops the person in it continues to move or rather flies.

Oh my god can’t you guys even do a thought experiment properly? First off, the earth is never going to suddenly stop spinning, either this evening or in 18.5 billion years. Because that’s not how physics works. — and I say this as someone who took physicas in high school. Objects in motion in the vacuum of space remain in motion unless a giant hand pops out from some nearby galaxy to stop them. It’s called “conservation of the earth spinning around with no giant hand to stop it.” Or something like that.

Also, if you’re trying to see what would really happen, your imaginary car would have to be traveling at 1000 miles an hour, not 100.

This is exactly what would happen to every living being on Earth when it stops spinning. US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson predicted anything not bolted to the Earth would fly due east at 1,100 miles per hour. (The phrase “when pigs fly” would no longer be used as a figure of speech).

“When pigs fly” would no longer be a figure of speech because we’d all be too COMPLETELY DEAD to say anything.

But wait, there’s more!

According to a “thought experiment”, conducted by James Zimbelman, a senior geologist emeritus at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, the sudden stop would also affect our atmosphere, creating incredibly strong winds, which would be followed by massive tsunamis.

The sudden stop would also flatten out the bulge at the equator, which would cause oceans and seas to migrate to the poles, where gravity is the strongest.

Isn’t that gravity thing something that only would happen on a spinning planet? (Someone tell me I’m right; I’m reaching the end of what I learned from high school physics.)

Oh, who cares, this isn’t going to happen.

As a result, our planet would have two super oceans – one in the North and one in the South – with a giant continent in the middle.

No, this wouldn’t happen.

The full day would last an entire year with earthlings seeing Sun for six straight months and living another half of the year in darkness.

You forgot the fact that the side facing the sun would get so hot that our oceans would boil over. Meanwhile, the side away from the sun would be, well, let’s just say bone-freezingly chilly.

Magnetic field would deliver the coup de grace. It would slowly fade away and leave our planet without a protection against solar wind, deadly cosmic rays and radiation, which would kill all life on our planet.

I’m pretty sure most of the life on the planet would be long dead before anyone would need to worry about the solar wind.

The good news is: scientists doubt that such a scenario will happen, well, at least not in our lifetime …

Or in anyone else’s lifetime.

Here are some other spacey scenarios I think Sputnik and InfoWars should cover:

What if the sun was a giant baby like in TeleTubbies?

What if the moon could talk?

What if Mars and Venus just switched places for a week?

What if all the water on earth turned into delicious soup?

I’ve got a million of them.

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Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

Isn’t that gravity thing something that only would happen on a spinning planet? 

Well, gravity is independent of any spin effect. There is a slight centripetal force on a spinning planet; which space launches try to take advantage of.

They are right that gravity is stronger at the poles than the equator because Earth is an oblate spheroid; but that’s a marginal effect, and the oceans aren’t going anywhere.

Fun fact: ‘Sea level’ is measured from a place not far from me. Place called Newlyn. There’s like a pipe thing with water in it that apparently is significant.

ETA: The middle of that bolt is zero feet sea level.

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EETA: It’s in a suitably glamorous setting

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Last edited 1 month ago by Alan Robertshaw
GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

We would all die.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

@Alan: Does “sea level” depend on the rusty thing in the middle of the crumbling wall, or does it change according to, well, the sea? Like, with climate change, aren’t things that were above sea level when we were born now below it?

Last edited 1 month ago by GSS ex-noob
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ gss ex noob

It’s all a bit complex. As the tide comes in the weight of the water actually pushes the land down. That would affect where that bolt is. But that’s where the pipe comes in. Here it is.

comment image

They dangle a special tape measure down there. It’s electric. So when the end touches the salt water it makes a connection and a bell rings.

comment image

They add (or subtract?) that measurement, and that gives true sea level or something.

Maths isn’t my strong point.

Last edited 1 month ago by Alan Robertshaw
Ross
Ross
1 month ago

It’s still the most intellectually rigorous article Infowars has ever published.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
1 month ago

We know what a planet that doesn’t spin would be like because Mercury doesn’t spin. But ok.

Natsume
Natsume
1 month ago

@weirwood:

Mercury is in a rather special position actually. It’s tidally locked with a 2:3 spin ratio. Which means it rotates three times every two times it orbits the sun. So it does actually spin. It also has almost no atmosphere. Both of which changes quite a bit of the variables it faces.

Anyways all of the analysis is very human-centric in David’s post. There’s probably quite a bit of life that would survive the initial stop. Probably all microbial. What would be its tragedy is that the magnetic field would eventually fail if the Earth suddenly became fully tidally locked, with a 1:1 rotation. Meaning such life would likely never be able to evolve into an intelligent species. Even if it adapted to the much harsher conditions.

It is a very interesting thought experiment. Just one that’s almost impossible to ever happen. Unless some hitherto unknown gravity source enacted such a thing on the Earth. Which if I recall correctly, would inflict tidal forces that would tear the planet apart anyways.

Also on a final note: Our sun is going to at most go nova near the end of its life, until all that remains of it is a white dwarf. Before that the sun will expand into a red giant big enough to engulf everything out to like Earth, or Mars. The interesting part is once it shrinks back down, the planets will still be here. They’ll be barren, irradiated, incinerated, and dead planets, but they still will be here. If some sort of humans still exist at that point, they’ll probably have long abandoned the planet and solar system.

Last edited 1 month ago by Natsume
Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
1 month ago

You are aware that the planet will be long gone before then, as our sun is expected to go “ker-blooey” in roughly 5.5 billion years?

I’d better start packing now then?

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 month ago

One of the funniest jokes I ever saw was a parody “scifi setup” relating to earth’s spinning around its axis. Finnish uses the same word for axis and (mechanical) axle, and the joke drew a parallel between these, proposing that the earth’s “axle” might get suddenly jammed if humans extract all the oil from earth. All this was expressed rather pithily in six Finnish words.

Lizzie
Lizzie
1 month ago

Well I want to know if the direction the bath water goes down the plug hole would be affected.

Prith k'Dar
Prith k'Dar
1 month ago

But this has already happened! When Joshua fought the Amorites, the sun and the moon stood still in the sky all day. The only way for that to happen is for the earth to stop rotating, since the sun doesn’t revolve around the earth. Looks like giant hand of God it is, then! And nobody flew off into space or nuthin’, so no worries.

/s

Mogwitch
Mogwitch
1 month ago

This is a perfectly grand genre of Internet time wasting, it’s just that there’s so many people much better at it: eg. What-if?. Not being a humourless science-denier must help.

I only wish that “What if the most powerful government in the world was handed over to an evil clown?” had remained an absurd thought experiment.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mogwitch
Snowberry
Snowberry
1 month ago

Given that the sun’s expansion won’t be a sudden process but a very gradual one, life on Earth will be extinguished a long, long time before the sun engulfs it.

I can imagine the political situation in the millennia before that. There’s like, one faction which wants to move the Earth up to a higher orbit, one which wants to just scrap the planet for resources, one which wants to partially scrap the sun for resources and then move the Earth to a lower orbit (because the sun will be much smaller and cooler), one which says that “it’s just Earth’s time” and that we should leave things alone, and one which insists that it’s actually “space weather” and anyone who claims otherwise is being brainwashed by the robot-controlled media. And then there are a tiny number of doomsayers who say that it’s the sign that Gord will finally cleanse the universe with starfire, but they’ve been saying variations of that for almost as long as sapient life has existed and nobody really pays attention.

The Neptunians are mostly just glad for more sunlight and don’t care as long as it’s not the “scrap the sun” one.

Sheila Crosby
Sheila Crosby
1 month ago

Nah, the sun’s too small to go nova. It’s just going to swell up as it runs out of hydrogen and helium, and turns into a red giant. The most recent calculation I’ve seen is that the Earth with be just about grazing the surface.

If I remember rightly, the Milky Way will crash into Andromeda slightly before then anyway. Now there’s a HUGE amount of space between stars*, so that a head-on collision is extremely unlikely, but the effect on both galaxies is likely to be something like a blender and the Earth is unlikely to keep its orbit.

But hey, we have time to read a book first.

*Picture a scale where the Earth is an orange, and the next nearest star, Proxima Centauri is a satsuma. Well on that scale, they’re something like 3,000 miles apart.

Vic
Vic
1 month ago

RE: The Core

a rag-tag group of scientists and NASA pilots and I forget who else

How could you forget Two-Time Academy Award Actress Hilary Swank?!

And I thought Cuba Gooding Jr. had the most ignoble post-Oscar career trajectory…

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
1 month ago

Very tangentially related, but back when my son was 5 and was going through the whole “trying to figure out death” thing, he asked me if the Earth would die. I told him that the sun would expand and probably destroy the Earth in about 5 billion years.

…yeah, I was pretty stupid.

Moggie
Moggie
1 month ago

None of that shit happened when Superman stopped the Earth’s rotation, and reversed it – twice.

Professor Fate
Professor Fate
1 month ago

Stupid fact that is locked into my head rather than say people’s birthdays – The Japanese version of 1963’s King Kong vs Godzilla starts off with a spinning globe and then a voice asks what would happen if the earth would stop spinning (there is yelling and such after that) It turns out it’s the opening for a TV show and that the show is stupid hence the question about the earth stopping- there is a lot off office life satire in this version that was cut of the American Release (and they put in different music) because they wanted to get to the monster fights – which I can’t really blame them. Still the Japanese version does make a bit more sense than the American Dubbed one. Not much but some.
Anyway my point is that the question “what would happen if the earth suddenly stopped” was used to show just how lame the program was.

contrapangloss
contrapangloss
1 month ago

So, fun fact! The speed of the earth’s rotation is not actually constant.

Pre-8th century BCE, we were gaining about 2.3 ms per century. Then we gained only 1.8 ms per century.

And recently, we’ve caught ourselves speeding up!

Rotational speed of a planet is complicated, because rotational velocity is dependent on inertia, which is dependent on where the mass is relative to the center of rotation. For a physics professor on a spinning platform or a figure skater, it’s not that complicated (but is still hella impressive) how moving body/limb position can dramatically change spinning speed.

For a planet? Figuring out where all the mass is going and changing is not easy. Additionally, some power is lost in internal friction because we do have this fun molten core thing going on. And oceans sloshing about. And tectonic plates.

Still, there are a whole lot of things that are going to cause us trouble long before any stop to our spin will get us.

Suddenly stopping spinning? Why is it even a thing to be worried about? Like, if there exists something that is capable of applying that much braking torque to the planet (the power requirement is something truly horrific), and it shows up, and stops the planet rotating…

…I think it’s safe to say we’d have a whole lot of other problems first.

Fun fact #2: Infowars must be ripping off HowStuffWorks these days. I think How Stuff Works posted a similar thought experiment in February.

On topic for them, because rotational inertia! It’s how rotating stuff works! Inertial frames of reference! It’s how stuff works for us! My jam, it is.

InfoWars? What are you doing trying to be physics nerds?

And this “at least not in our lifetime” silliness? A sudden deceleration (current speed to zero in under 1 min) without Superman or “Divine Intervention” or aliens with WAY too much power to waste (10^29 joules or something ridiculous) is just not going to happen. It doesn’t matter how many lifetimes you go out, unless you go out far enough that our rotation is darn near petered out already, but by then we’ve already had a whole other set of problems.

Aaaand whoops. Nerd moment.

TL;DR:

Nerding on a nerd blog, fun and good.
On a “news” blog, not good.

*not that infowars is news. It’s not really. It thinks it is, though.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
1 month ago

contrapangloss wrote:

Like, if there exists something that is capable of applying that much braking torque to the planet (the power requirement is something truly horrific), and it shows up, and stops the planet rotating…

…I think it’s safe to say we’d have a whole lot of other problems first.

Worm reference?

If not, it really should be…

oncewasmagnificent
oncewasmagnificent
1 month ago

One thing that these bozos haven’t worked out … Evolution. Whatever and whoever is around in that time zone, none of them – including our own gazillion generation descendants – will look or be anything like us as we are now.

There are very few organisms in our world that have survived anywhere near one or more billion years that look or function anything remotely like their long-ago predecessors. Dinosaurs are still “with” us, but in the form of birds. And the mainstream dinosaurs died out a mere 65 million years ago, that’s a measly 6.5% of just 1 billion years, let alone several. God only knows what paths our evolution will take … and She’s not likely to tell us even what the options are.

I think the idea that we’ll not even be part of the scenery when these processes actually start having a direct effect on Earth’s occupants would be quite distressing to these self-centred, silly brained bozos.

We’re irrelevant. All of us.

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

A lot of spacecraft use slingshot manoeuvres to gain velocity. As there’s a price to be paid for everything in physics, that does alter the rotation and orbital speed of the planet used. It’s probably not something we need to be too concerned about just yet though.

Maybe we should try to get Mercury back into being tidal locked though. We lost a whole genre of science fiction when we found out it does in fact rotate.

Moggie
Moggie
1 month ago

I was going to say that one of my favourite facts about the Earth’s rotation is that there’s an organisation called the International Earth Rotation Service, but they’ve changed their name to International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, which is objectively less funny. Anyway, they’re responsible for time standards and some coordinate systems, but in my head they’re responsible for keeping the Earth turning, from a pair of secret bases at the poles.

In the bible, Joshua asks God to stop the sun and moon in the sky, to give him more time for some important killing, and God complies. I think it was Isaac Asimov who wrote an essay about what effects this would have had on the Earth.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
1 month ago

Heh. As I know I’ve mentioned before, I used to work at a place that did radio astronomy work and fed some of what we found to the IERS, the International Earth Rotation (and Reference Systems) Service. This is the organization which could tell you things like the fact that the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami actually sped up the Earth’s rotation to make the day shorter by about 3 microseconds, and even El Nino can alter the length of the day by a measurable amount. Which is more a thing about how sensitive our measuring systems are these days.

One of the people I worked with had actually done his thesis on measuring sea level anomalies via shifts in satellite orbits. It’s pretty impressive just how much we’ve learned about anomalies in the Earth itself just by tracking a few dozen atomic clocks in orbit. (A.k.a. the GPS satellites.)

@Mogwitch, Moggie:
XKCD actually had one on the Superman flying around the Earth bit:

Someone recently blew my mind by telling me I’d been misinterpreting that scene all my life. I like their take on it way better:

Superman wasn’t exerting a force on the Earth. He was just flying fast enough to go back in time. (Faster than light, I guess? Comic book physics.) The Earth changed direction because we were watching time run backward as he traveled. It didn’t actually have anything to do with the direction he was flying.

Now that I see it, it makes a lot more sense. I mean, as much sense as a red-cape-and-outside-underwear time traveler can make.

@Alan:
XKCD had one about stopping Jupiter using gravity assist slingshot manoeuvres before as well, where he pointed out that even if we threw the entire Earth at Jupiter, it wouldn’t slow it down much, because Jupiter is just so much more massive than the Earth. Everything we’ve done so far has shaved enough off of Jupiter’s year that by the time the sun goes nova Jupiter’s position will be several nanoseconds off from where it would have been otherwise. So… really, really not much.

Seth S
Seth S
1 month ago

How sadly typical that they’re more concerned about a corny sci-fi level fictional scenario than they are about climate change which is REAL and literally going to affect how my generation ends their lives and subsequent generations experience theirs.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

The first thing is : if the planet stop spinning, it probably mean tidally-locked, like a lot of smaller object are (like the moon). In which case, half of the earth is permanently in the sun, and half in the dark.

(the impact on climate is hard to evaluate, but because atmosphere and oceans are good at conducting heat, I would mostly expect super strong winds and current, and a temperature on the sun side a bit less extrem than what David expect)

The thing they present here make no sense, since it’s a planet still spinning, but in a way that have their days be equal to their years. Which can happen but it’s absurdely specific, and also, it’s still spinning.

The earth spinning *do* slow down by energy dissipation, and Earth would eventually get tidal locked if it’s not blown up to bit beforehand, and we also are getting closer to the sun. The 18 billion year figure is probably a scientific guesstimate of the time for it to spin down ; the one I heard was more 50 billions years, but given the time frame it’s actually not really different.

Both the 5 billion year before sun blowing up and the time before earth getting tidal locked are very very rough guesstimate ; it’s based on a physic we know is incomplete and there’s not a ton of examples to corrobate it. That being said, having a super short spin down for Earth mean an absolutely mind boggling amount of energy would get dissipated. So the first consequence would be the Earth being burned to a crisp. Maybe it would be instantly and entirely vaporised, given the absolute bullshit amount of heat that would create.

The magnetic field thing is probably them misunderstanding that the earth magnetic field is linked to its rotation. It’s true, but we don’t know the details super well, so what the magnetic field would do if the earth spin was slower is anyone guess. That being said, if the earth slowing down lower its magnetic field, it probably would kill all life on earth significantly before the changed day duration would do anything.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

WWTH : it remind me : tidal locking isn’t *quite* not spinning at all, because “not spinning” is relative.

If you take the sun as a referential, tidal locking mean no spinning. If you take the earth as a referential, then the earth by definition cannot spin, but you see most object in the solar system as doing very strange dances. And in their article, their idea of “not spinning” is pretty much entirely senseless, since I can’t find a referential in which the earth would not spin with their day duration outside of the earth-based one where the earth never spin anyway.

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ jenora

I seem to recall that the Earth-Moon system has much higher angular momentum than it might be expected to have. That’s part of the evidence for the Theia impact hypothesis.

So there are forces out there that can affect rotation on a planetary scale*. I suspect in such a scenario though, having to adjust your watch would be the least of your worries.

(* Isn’t there something weird about Uranus’ rotation, it’s more than 90′ off, that is also suspected to be the result of some sort of close encounter with another large body?)

Trying
Trying
1 month ago

Unrelated, but if you’re in the mood to cover whiny gatekeeping manbabies in comicbook land, a bunch of them are 1 star bombing “I Am Not Starfire” by Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani on Goodreads. They’re big mad that the cover features a gay and fat goth girl they find unattractive or something. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56120074

Malitia
Malitia
1 month ago

@Trying

They decided to hate it waaaaaay back when it was first solicited 5 or so months ago. They also accused Tamaki of creating a self-insert based on nothing much more than the cover*. They also declared victory and “get woke, go broke” when it was delayed some months for some reason. (It happens, especially since the covid shutdown spring last year.)

Something not being for them doesn’t compute for these people.

*Making sweeping generalizations based on a cover, promo image, or 1 sentence announcement is kind of their national sport.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

@Alan : the main thing is that a celestial body that spin have a lot of energy in that spinning. Anything that change it by significant amount mean an ungodly amount of energy going in or out of the system, both being, as you said, a bigger worry than your watch being inaccurate suddenly.

It *is* the best way to know this won’t happen, because while we aren’t fully, 100% sure of all possible source of slowdown (or acceleration) of earth spinning, we know that energy will get somewhere ; and even if the earth took 1 million year to tidally lock, that would mean the equivalent of ~1000 Hiroshima atomic bomb exploding every second in term of dissipated energy. Which would be reasonably observable regardless of which way that energy dissipate.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
1 month ago

I wonder why they bothered writing this at all when it was addressed in a wonderful, entertaining form in the mega best-selling short story The Wandering Earth, now also a blockbuster film.

Oh right, because someone from China wrote the story, and it was a Chinese film, so it may as well not exist.

(Although it is kind of hilarious to see the editing that goes on between story and film, the entire—successful!—rebellion against the world not-stated-to-be-communist-but-it-definitely-was government was wiped from the film. Even though they were tragic heroes in the story… I cannot think of any reason why…)

bekabot
bekabot
1 month ago

These are the same vain preoccupations which propel billionaires out into space.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
1 month ago

Just a few physics and astrophysics notes here.

  1. The sun won’t “go nova” or explode, barring extremely unlikely and unexpected events (captures a stable strangelet, e.g.). Novae, specifically, happen when a white dwarf that orbits a companion star siphons hydrogen from it. The hydrogen accumulates on its surface and eventually reaches pressures that trigger a fusion explosion. This doesn’t destroy the white dwarf, but if enough matter accumulates for it to exceed 1.4 or so solar masses, the pressure will trigger fusion in the oxygen nuclei in its core, and that will, resulting in one type of supernova. For the sun to suffer either fate it would first have to become a white dwarf (so, 5 billion or so years hence) and separately it would have to acquire a companion star, and end up in a very close orbit of that star. The latter is very unlikely, even on those time scales.
  2. Anything dissipating Earth’s rotational energy in-place would likely melt the planet. Energy doesn’t just disappear; it typically shows back up as heat. The only sudden-stop scenarios that might avoid such a thing would involve gravitational effects. Most would require artificial circumstances, i.e. Sufficiently Advanced Aliens or sufficiently advanced future humans. There’s no reason to expect anything of the sort anytime soon, if ever.
  3. The angular momentum redistribution thing can easily be seen right now because of the Olympics. Specifically, gymnastics. If one is rotating around the bar and tucks, their rotation will speed up; if they extend their legs, their rotation will slow down. The earth speeding up slightly is thought to be because human activity (mostly, dam construction) has redistributed some of its water toward the poles (and so, toward the axis of rotation). However, the melting polar ice will eventually more than offset this, and the net effect of human industry is likely to be a slowdown. Resulting in some tiny fraction of a second added to the day’s length, nowhere close to a complete stop.
  4. There is, actually, such a thing as “absolute rotation”. An object that is not rotating experiences no centripetal acceleration, produces no frame-drag in its gravitational field, and etc.; a tide-locked planet does have some (generally tiny) amount of these things. On the other hand, almost nothing in the universe is non-rotating, mainly because when lots of little things accrete into one bigger thing, the net angular momentum of that thing tends to be essentially random, and exactly hitting zero with this random quantity is then extremely unlikely. (Worse, it has to hit zero in a three-dimensional vector space, not just on a line.)
Physics Dave
Physics Dave
1 month ago

You are right that the bulge at the equator is caused by the spinning, and that the variation in gravity across the planet, which isn’t much, is due to the centrifugal force pulling the faster spinning middle outward. Without that force, the Earth would settle back into a sphere, which would be continents and water being pushed to the poles. But it wouldn’t be instantaneous.

The main problem with the article is that any force capable of stopping the Earth from spinning would stop everything on the Earth with it. So the whole we continue spinning and all die scenario wouldn’t happen.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

Of course Superman went back in time, he didn’t affect the Earth’s rotation. Even the Man of Steel can’t do that. Still my favorite superhero. Right there in the name.

I highly recommend a book called “When the Earth Had Two Moons”, which gives you all the planet and solar system formation you could ever want, in a very readable way. Total nerds can check the math in the footnotes, but everyone else can ignore it and understand it fine. Good pictures too.

ProNEETheus, the
ProNEETheus, the
1 month ago

Lol, what happened? I thought this blog was about “the new misogyny, tracked and mocked” but instead, I’m just seeing some silly crap from a conspiratoid website. Is this your way of suggesting that there’s actually not very much misogyny out there for you to mock, so you’re forced to take swipes at low-hanging fruit with no relation to women’s rights whatsoever, or have we finally come to the part where feminists stretch misogyny so far that merely having any non-normie view about ANYTHING is violence against women? Jfl at you just sitting there on the commode, desperately searching for anything you can punch out on your keyboard to keep the traffic flowing to your website.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 month ago

contrapangloss wrote:

For a physics professor on a spinning platform

InfoWars? What are you doing trying to be physics nerds?

Insert a joke or two about “spin doctors”

Moggie
Moggie
1 month ago

On that FTL Superman theory: then why did he reverse direction to send time forwards again? That makes no sense.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
1 month ago

Tidal locked planets still rotate, one full planetary rotation to one full orbit. Just depends where you’re standing if you see it or not.

TB Tabby
TB Tabby
1 month ago

This question was actually addressed in the very first entry in “What If” by Randall Munroe. The entry begins with “Nearly everyone would die. Then things would get interesting.”

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

Bit O/T, but may be of interest.

As you may know, Hobby Lobby is having a lot of issues with the antiquities they obtained for their museum of the Bible. Basically much fake and looted artefacts. One of my friends is having a fair bit of success in recovering it all. Here’s the latest. That’s left HL a cool one and a half million dollars out of pocket; on top of a $3 million fine.

https://www.artandiplawfirm.com/fool-me-twice-the-gilgamesh-tablet-has-been-forfeited-from-hobby-lobby/

Last edited 1 month ago by Alan Robertshaw
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
1 month ago

OT: in the Fun Ways to File a Lawsuit category, a Huston, Texas store next door to a hotel filed suit against their neighbor over the hotel guests’ habit of tossing dishes, cigarette butts, and fire extinguishers onto said business’s roof, damaging it. The hotel said they didn’t quite understand what the plaintiff was claiming, so the store – Third Planet Sci-Fi Superstore – amended their complaint to include a comic detailing what exactly their problem was.

https://youtu.be/GQhEog8aeBs

It’s pages 6-18 at the following link:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/houston-comic-book-store-lawsuit-comic-form/amp/

I figure the comic nerds and legal eagles here would appreciate it.

Chris Oakley
Chris Oakley
1 month ago

For a more scientifically accurate perspective on the topic, check out this National Geographic video:

WHEN THE EARTH STOPS SPINNING National Geographic Aftermath S01E04 – YouTube

Laura
Laura
1 month ago

I’m physics student and to be fair I think about these scenarios a lot 🙁
InfoWars is still stupid, are they trying to show that they can be rational because look a “science” article?
But thought experiments are fun even if they’re not going to happen. Sincerely, a physics nerd

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ redsilkphoenix

Oh wow, I love that comic book lawsuit! Thank you; I might be able to get a vlog out of that.

I’ll swap you for this. Seems sort of on topic for the thread.

Skeptic
Skeptic
1 month ago

(Puzzled look) Well, yes, if the earth stopped spinning things would be very bad. But what relevance that has to the real world is beyond me.

Simon
Simon
1 month ago