Well this may be the theme of some science fiction movie and it is nearly impossible, but just imagine what if this actually happens. Well let’s put this hot topic on the table and discover what would “Our” earth look like when it happens.
As we all know, we are rotating with earth at the velocity of 1,667 kilometers per hour at the equator and if earth stops
suddenly, the earth core stops but you will still be in motion at the very same speed and there is pretty good chance, that you will end up colliding in something.
The first thing to think about is the momentum of things at the surface. Due to this momentum, we can’t feel like moving at the speed of 1,667 kilometers per hour but if earth stopped suddenly, imagine a scenario in which everything on the surface keeps rotating at the same speed, and i mean everything from oceans, land, buildings, cars, animals etc. to your neighbors.
Because of the rotation, centrifugal force forces the earth to bulge along the equator. No rotation, No bulge, all the water of the ocean will go rushing towards the poles, devastating all the cities and countries.
And if that wasn’t enough, think about the Earth’s magnetic field. One of the suggesting theories of the existence of earth’s magnetism is that, earth’s inner core is rotating slightly faster than outer core. If these cores stops, so does the magnetic field and we are exposed to harmful solar radiation.
Why Earth is Spinning?
Well do you remember Newton’s first law of motion , which states that if an object is moving, it keeps in that state unless some external force acts on it to make it stops. Well the same principle goes with earth, earth is spinning because it’s been doing this for a very long time. Before when no planets exists, nebulous clouds of dust spins with sun as center. These dust particles stick together while spinning forming bigger particles , rocks and ultimately planets through a process known as accretion. But as these particles keeps moving, the momentum remains conserved, causing the planet to revolve faster and faster.
Is anything slowing the earth? Sure, for example, the earthquakes which slows down the length of the day by redistributing the earth mass. The 2011 earthquake that stuck japan actually accelerated the earth’s spin and shortened the day by 1.8 microseconds.
So, what are the major catastrophes that is going to happen if earth stood still:
Everything will be moved in a sideways trajectory: if the Earth stopped spinning, everything at the equator would suddenly be moving at more than 1,600 km/hour sideways. The escape velocity of Earth is about 40,000 km/hour, projecting everything in sideways trajectory.
The earth would become perfect sphere: Well this seems to be a smaller catastrophe but it’s a very big problem. What happens is earth would become a perfect sphere due to gravity and the bulging of earth disappears. Due to this bulging, the oceans are held out at equator at about 8 km. On a perfect spherical earth, earth’s water will redistribute, flooding many regions of the planet. We will left with one continent flooding on immense volume of water.
Well don’t freak out, that is not going to happen but you will see that in some awesome science fiction movie.