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  1. #1
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    Default Earth gets hit by the exact same type of meteor that killed the dinosaurs

    What if earth was hit by the exact same size and speed meteor as the one that killed the dinosaurs? It even hits the same spot it did the first time. Can humanity survive?

  2. #2

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    the spot that the meteor in question hit is, iirc, mostly underwater, so i am envisioning a megatsunami as one of the effects of the impact. think of the tsunami that occurred after the 2004 Indonesia undersea eartquake except multiply its intensity by ,,, oh, a billion might be enough. except i'm not sure about that.

    that's only one of the effects that will happen. there's going to be an absolutely colossal amount of material kicked up into the atmosphere even if it is a water impact site. conservatively maybe 50,000 cubic kilometers of earthen material? probably a lot more than that. this is going to completely block out the sun for a long time, probably years. this aspect would be worse if it were a land impact.

    the impact of the meteor with the water (if water) is going to flash-boil a lot of water also, probably millions if not billions of tons of water. this will send a lot of water vapor into the air also, but that's not really a problem compared to the rest.

    the planet earth, and life in general, will certainly survive. humans? perhaps, but definitely not in anything like our current numbers. i'd bet on 80% losses at the minimum. and that will pose its own problems, i.e. disposal. it wouldn't surprise me if it wipes us out. life itself will go on though.
    Last edited by penguin-in-leather-jacket; 10-10-2021 at 04:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Kuro's Avatar
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    I know this is a stupid Michael Bay question, but is it really impossible to just blow up the meteor?

    I mean, aren't there enough nukes just in the US to blow up the world many times over? Can't we just fire a shitload of them at the meteor and blow it up?

    I am not a physicist so I don't know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuro View Post
    I know this is a stupid Michael Bay question, but is it really impossible to just blow up the meteor?

    I mean, aren't there enough nukes just in the US to blow up the world many times over? Can't we just fire a shitload of them at the meteor and blow it up?

    I am not a physicist so I don't know.
    even if we blew the meteor into many smaller pieces, those pieces would still cause catastrophic damage, maybe human extinction level damage. also, the idea that the US supply of nukes would completely destroy the planet -- no, not even close. the most powerful nuclear weapon ever used was the Tsar Bomba, which had approximately 53 megatons of TNT worth of energy release. i think the meteor impact referenced above was at least 100,000 times stronger. that might be a conservative estimate. and obviously that didn't destroy the planet or even come close.

  5. #5
    JUST DO IT?!?! Postmania's Avatar
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    When people refer to us possessing nukes enough to end the world, they don't mean destruction of the planetary mass itself.

    They're referring to the massive side effects of radiation, nuclear winter, and economic upheaval as crops die and our food banks run out.

    For example, our plans to offensively bomb Soviet Russia also included completely destroying China, and it was known that the effects of this bombing would also all but destroy surrounding countries. It was known that casualties were likely half a billion, even while downplaying effects such as fire. Just on the bombs' initial effects alone. And that was before we knew about the nuclear winter phenomenon.

    Meteors don't care about those things though, so it would still cause a ton of damage with fragments yeah.
    Last edited by Postmania; 10-10-2021 at 04:57 PM.
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    E-Liter3K Scoped Headshot The MunchKING's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    What if earth was hit by the exact same size and speed meteor as the one that killed the dinosaurs? It even hits the same spot it did the first time. Can humanity survive?
    Well humans ARE really hardy. And if you think about it, the asteroid killed off DINOSAURS, and Mega-flora. The smaller hardier things that needed less food survived well enough. Heck Alligators and crocodiles are pretty much unchanged from back then, meaning there was enough meat for them to keep on trucking.

    It won't be pleasant, but the smaller plants that need less sunlight might survive, and humans could in theory survive on those plants and whatever meat they can catch.

    Quote Originally Posted by penguin-in-leather-jacket View Post
    even if we blew the meteor into many smaller pieces, those pieces would still cause catastrophic damage,
    Well yes, but the more pieces there are, the more of it can burn off from the atmosphere and whatnot. so a lot of little meteors would probably be a lot less damaging than one big one.
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    Astonishing Member Shellhead's Avatar
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    Probably lead to the immediate collapse of our current civilization. I highly recommend reading Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

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    The use of nuclear weapons would be to alter the trajectory as compared to blowing the asteroid into pieces. Could we do that? The physicists might comment.

    Modern techno civilization would not survive a hit. Humans would but it would take a few thousand years to recover.

  10. #10
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    Pretty sure we can't stop it or break it up, if we can even hit it. Every strategy I've read about sounds like fantasy roughly on par with Mars colonization, and those projections usually use way smaller asteroids and NASA is still like "uh, maybe?" This is basically a whole-ass mountain hitting the planet or even bigger, with a force that makes our combined nuclear arsenal look like a fart. As far as humanity is concerned, modern agriculture is probably fucked by the ensuing climate changes, but that was already going to happen anyway, so this will just be faster. I imagine global freight transit is probably screwed at least for a bit too. These two things are pretty crucial to all modern civilisation, so I figure we've maybe got like, maybe a season before people are fleeing the cities entirely. I'm taking a guess that the American military gradually breaks up into a lot of despots all over the world, so mostly an organizational change. Being a military based around the idea of spending loads and loads of money means it can't really last with global architecture breaking down though, so they'll flail around, cause a lot of pain, and eventually cannibalize themselves and disappear. Lots and lots of tragedy and death, and if we survive, it's gonna be through community. Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou always seemed like the most likely scenario to me.

    The last one caused a megatsunami that reached Texas and Florida probably, so that's... a lot. Probably forget about oil, so no more gas or plastics or anything else that needs oil somewhere in its production chain. Speaking of which, I'm betting there's oil spills like basically everywhere after awhile, so big damage to the ocean.

    Can't say what I think will happen to the rest of the world. Birds will probably do alright (in relative terms). You can obviously say goodbye to anything near Mexico. Smaller omnivorous scavenger species are set up well to weather most problems, but like a lot of species are going to go extinct, to the point that it's basically impossible to predict with all the ensuing ripples.
    Last edited by BitVyper; 10-11-2021 at 09:54 AM.
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  11. #11
    Spectacular Member Muadib's Avatar
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    65 km wide, landing in the gulf of mexico? No. Total human extinction is most likely. The shockwave alone will kill everything on the western hemisphere, the tidal wave will cross the entire planet and the side effects, a 100 year long nuclear winter will kill what ever miraculously survives.

    Watch the Kurzgesagt video, its a good reconstruction.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFCbJmgeHmA

  12. #12
    Friendship's Shockwave BitVyper's Avatar
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    I think 65 is in the higher end of estimates for how big it was, but yeah, we're basically fucked even at the smallest estimate.
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    E-Liter3K Scoped Headshot The MunchKING's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muadib View Post
    65 km wide, landing in the gulf of mexico? No. Total human extinction is most likely. The shockwave alone will kill everything on the western hemisphere, the tidal wave will cross the entire planet and the side effects, a 100 year long nuclear winter will kill what ever miraculously survives.
    The problem with saying "Nothing could survive that" is that we know quite a lot of things totally survived that. All life on Earth is descended from pre-meteor life forms on some level.
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  14. #14
    Friendship's Shockwave BitVyper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The MunchKING View Post
    The problem with saying "Nothing could survive that" is that we know quite a lot of things totally survived that. All life on Earth is descended from pre-meteor life forms on some level.
    I dunno if I'd say "a lot." 75% of plant and animal species is pretty uncomfortably close to 100. The fact that some species survived long enough to adapt certainly does not mean humanity will. The event is big enough that any species surviving is going to be at least partly fluke. And we're not small, burrowing animals that don't need a lot of food and don't spend a lot of time on the surface. We *may* survive, or even be more likely to survive than a lot of other species, but it's still probably more likely that we end up extinct.
    Last edited by BitVyper; 10-11-2021 at 08:53 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Yeah, it makes me think the video above exaggerates somewhat. For one thing, there are plenty of trees and such that clearly would have gone extinct if there was a hundred years of zero sunlight. A fair bit of sunlight must have gotten through. As someone else pointed out, alligators clearly got through this barely changed. Quite a few birds survived. Small mammals survived, including our ancestors.

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