Have you ever wondered what would happen if our planet suddenly stopped spinning for just 5 seconds? It might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but there is no harm in exploring the unthinkable. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of “What Ifs” and explore the wild effects of such a scenario!
Earth’s rotation is what brings us day and night. Earth takes a rotation around its axis in one day. Meaning, it completes the rotation in just 24 hours. But what if it hit the pause button for a mere 5 seconds? Hold on tight as we unravel the consequences!
Image source: Wikipedia
The pause of 5 seconds might not seem long, but the impact would be significant. Our planet’s surface moves at around 1670 kilometers per hour (1000 miles per hour) due to its rotation. If it stopped abruptly, everything would come to a sudden stop except for the atmosphere. The powerful winds will blow across and they will be many times stronger than any storm you have experienced!
During these 5 seconds, you’d feel like you’re suddenly pushed forward, kind of like when a car brakes suddenly. The effects of these winds will be far more extreme at the equator. This is because the earth’s speed at or near the equator is higher than the rest. The winds will blow at a speed of 1670 kilometers per hour. Not just you, even the earth’s crust will rip up. So no matter where you are, the winds will wipe you up from the ground!
Even for the rest of the earth, the winds would not be gentle. They will also blow at an approximate speed of 1180 kilometers per hour. So, it will pretty much destroy everything.
Image source: GIFDB.com
But will the winds take you from the face of the earth and into space? Not likely, because you will need a velocity of 40,000 kilometers per hour to reach space.
There’s more to worry about than being obliterated into space. Our earth is not a perfect sphere due to the centrifugal force. It has something like a swelling near the equator called the ‘Equatorial bulge‘ when it’s rotating. But, if it stops spinning, the earth will get back into the shape of a sphere. What happens then?
All the ocean water gathered near the equator will flow into the poles. There will be a massive Tsunami to wipe everything! When the earth starts its rotation after 5 seconds and when it gains its full speed, all the water will come back devastatingly for the second time!
Image source: @Tenor
If you are looking for even the slightest of hope, the poles of the earth would give you a little chance if not a deep underground bunker. But don’t worry the earth won’t stop spinning at least for the next few billion years!
Remember, curious minds love to explore all kinds of “What Ifs,” and even though this scenario might not happen in real life, it’s a cool way to learn about the forces that shape our world. Stay curious, because the universe is full of surprises – just like this one!