# What if the Earth's rotation stopped for five seconds?

## How much damage would this sudden stop cause?

By Durga PrasadPublished 7 months ago 3 min read
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Hang on, because we're about to screech to a halt. That's right, the earth is going to stop spinning for five seconds. How much damage would this sudden stop cause? What would you experience in different parts of the world? And when the earth starts spinning again, would it still be habitable? this is what if and here's what would happen if the earth stopped spinning for five seconds the earth makes one full rotation on its axis in one day this gives us day and night the earth is spinning because of collisions that happened when the planet was forming 4.6 billion years ago as a huge disc of gas and dust swirled around the sun dust and rock grains clumped together generating forces that kept the planet rotating in one direction you could imagine it much like a figure skater spinning faster and faster and with almost no forces in space to slow the planet down we keep rotating and we'll continue to for billions of years but if the earth stopped on a dime would you fly right off the surface if the planet came to an abrupt halt the atmosphere would still be in motion that means though everything has lurched to a stop powerful winds would continue to blow and these wouldn't be a strong breeze they would be many times stronger than any storm you've ever encountered now the strength of these winds would differ based on where you were on the planet at or near the equator the earth is rotating the fastest here you'd experience wind speeds of sixteen hundred and seventy kilometers per hour those winds would knock you off your feet but forget about you these winds would be strong enough to tear up the earth's crust so it wouldn't matter if you were out in an open field or inside a steel reinforced building these winds would obliterate you for context The strongest F5 tornadoes have velocities up to 511 kilometers per hour, and these storms can move houses off their foundations, send cars flying, and even tear apart concrete structures. the winds from the earth's emergency brake would be three times stronger than that so if the crust under your feet didn't crumble you and a lot of other stuff would likely go flying a great distance but not off the face of the earth the escape velocity or the speed you need to escape the earth's gravitational forces and enter space is about 40 000 kilometers per hour in other parts of the world like new Zealand or France you'd experience slightly weaker winds but at 1180 kilometers per hour these would still be much stronger than any storm ever these winds would pretty much destroy everything but they wouldn't be the only hazard you'd need to keep an eye out for in these short five seconds our planet is not a perfect sphere it bulges near the equator due to the centrifugal forces generated by the planet's rotation if the rotation stopped the earth would transform quickly into a perfect sphere all the water gathering near the equator would flow away towards the poles generating a massive tsunami Five seconds later, when the planet returned to its full speed of rotation, that water would backtrack, and a wall of water would slam into everything and everyone twice. That's one heck of a storm. Maybe the only place you'd be safe in this scenario is near the north or south poles. Here, the wind would be the mildest. Now you must be relieved to hear that the earth has returned to its normal rotation after all this, but like I said, there will be nothing left on it. Every building, all farmland, and all technology would be demolished beyond recognition. Billions of people, if not every single person on earth, would die from the brute force of being slammed by the massive gusts of wind, so if you're looking to survive this apocalyptic scenario, you'd better start building an underground bunker. Luckily, it's expected that the earth won't come to a halt any time in the next few billion years. Yeah, and before that, the sun would burn out and turn into a red giant, but that's a story.

short storyScienceNature
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