SCIENCE

This Animation Shows What Would Happen If There Was a Hole at the Bottom of the Ocean

What would happen if a tiny 10-meter (33-foot) hole opened up in the Mariana Trench? The resulting answer is pretty astonishing.


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If you haven’t read it, the book What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, is a great read that answers all sort of weird and wonderful questions in a straightforward and informative way. One question that really captured people's imaginations at the time of release was: what would happen if a tiny 10-meter (33-foot) hole opened up in the Mariana Trench? The resulting answer is pretty astonishing. Author Randall Munro suggests that at first there wouldn’t be much action despite a hole being punched through the earth's surface. In fact, the oceans would only drop by less than a centimeter (0.4 inches) a day. "There wouldn't even be a cool whirlpool at the surface – the opening is too small and the ocean is too deep," Munroe said. But as time went by, and the water continued to drop, the planet slowly becomes unrecognizable as underwater islands are revealed, and lands once divided by water become much closer together.

One Reddit user was so fascinated by the proposition they have created a mesmerizing short animation that illustrates the effects of the loss of water. The video's creator, Vinnytsia, explains they made the video by using data from the Natural Earth Oceans and Lakes and Reservoir data sets. They also made use of an open source government Global Relief Model map that allows them to create a highly accurate and thorough modeling of the slow drainage of our oceans and seas. Vinnytsia, generously explains their process in this Data is Beautiful post.

Via: Ryan Brideau

This Animation Shows What Would Happen If There Was a Hole at the Bottom of the Ocean

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