Horrendous Hypotheticals One | What If The Earth Were To Split in Two

Horrendous Hypotheticals One | What If The Earth Were To Split in Two

Spencer Garrison and Alexis Leduc


What If The Earth Split In Two?

By Alexis Girad-Leduc and Spencer Garrison


What would happen if the Earth were to split in two? Would all of humanity die? Would all of the Earth’s ecosystems collapse? Find out here during this in depth search for the answer to the question: “What If the Earth Were to Split in Two?”

     To begin our search for answers, Alexis and I have asked other students what they thought might happen. To our question we have received many different answers. Here are some ideas that students of Gibbons Middle School have had.

 Sawyer Jordan says,¨ The equator countries would die, and the two sides of the earth would form into spheres. There would be two new planets made out of the two parts of the earth.¨ 

Sawyer’s brother, Sam Jordan, thinks, ¨The earth’s gravitational pull would dismantle the planet’s halves would go flying through space.¨


Noah Melle adds, “I don’t know, we would probably go into an ice age, and die.”

Nathan Zepf believes that, ¨A lot of stuff would blow up probably, and like the ecosystems would be messed up,”

Finally, Spencer and I believe that some combination of all these events is most likely. However, there is no way to find out if any of these ideas hold water or not. Unless you read the rest of the first article in the series of Horrendous Hypotheticals!  

“Why” In The Situation

 Now dear reader, in what situation may the earth as we know it split into two separate pieces? What calamity would wrench us from our average take-it-for-granted lives into a catastrophic apocalyptic hellscape? For the sake of this hypothetical imagine a war breaking out between the USA, and China, the two countries statistically proven to be the most militarily powerful. During the course of this war, suppose a doomsday-esque nuclear weapon was fired, severing the Earth into two pieces at the equator. What might happen then?

Our Most Likely Outcome

     The first thing to happen after impact would be the immediate eradication of all plant, animal, and human species on the equator. The populations of locations such as Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Sao Tome & Principe, Gabon, The Republic of Congo, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Maldives, Indonesia, and last but not least, Kiribati. Every single living creature living in these regions would promptly disappear, leading to an estimated death total of 686,530,891 humans. 

     Now for a little science lesson. The only 2 things protecting the earth from total annihilation are its gravity, and its core. All life on Earth can be equated to the sun. However, if there is too much sun and we all die. The only defense between us and the two faced sun are the atmosphere and the Earth’s magnetic field. The atmosphere is held in place by gravity and the magnetic field from the core. First let’s look at what would happen to the atmosphere in this scenario. With the Earth in 2 there is a new center of gravity, as gravity will always pull towards the center most point of an object. Suddenly that atmosphere would be pulled in an entirely different direction. Unless it doesn’t. See, the Earth is in a very careful balance, and now that it’s been split in half said balance has been interrupted. Now that the Earth is in half, the gravity has also been halved. This may result in the atmosphere simply floating away, no longer anchored by gravity. We can actually see this happen on Mars. Mars is about half the size of Earth and the theory holds true. While Mars does hold an atmosphere it’s about 100 times thinner than ours, and completely unbreathable. Now, let’s consider what would happen to the core. The molten metal might begin to leak out into space, or it would rapidly cool into a ball of solid iron. Either way, the Earth would be majorly in danger. The tectonic plates that cause earthquakes and tsunamis actually float upon the molten surface of Earth’s outer core. When this freezes the natural processes of the plates will be disrupted and an untold cataclysm will fall upon Earth. Tsunamis will ravage towns, while Earthquakes and sinkholes swallow whole cities and villages. The Earth, both halves, would be completely destroyed. So, in conclusion. Everything dies.


A Less Gruesome Fate

In this version of the question, we’ve rearranged some events. This time, let’s say that the weapon “only” causes a tear to circle the entire Earth the depth of the Mariana trench. Similar to the “real,” outcome, all of the locations on the equator would become a thing of the past. That would bring the current population of 7.9 Billion people down to 7.2 Billion. 

Now, let’s bring attention to the 804 million people who live under the equator. Most of those countries are under the poverty line and don’t have access to things such as clean water and shipping from countries in the northern hemisphere, they will most likely die out quickly, with Australia being the only continent to survive in the lower hemisphere. Leaving 6.6 billion people remaining.

 A few days after the super weapon’s  use, earthquakes would be really common. These would be the least of the natural disasters however. See, the Earth gets a large amount of its freshwater from rain. This rain comes from evaporated ocean water falling back out of the sky a lot of the time. However, in this apocalypse, a lot of the ocean water would be pouring into the brand new ocean trench. Drastically lowering sea levels and reducing the amount of evaporated water. Therefore, all drinking water would have to come from on land water sources. There are 10,637,420 acres of clean fresh water in the northern hemisphere. Most likely, there will be a massive decrease in population in places such as India, the “Stans’ ‘, Iraq, Iran, and pretty much every other country in Europe and Asia which would be suffering with water scarcity. Populations in these areas would decrease to zero. leaving 6.799 billion humans remaining on earth. The US wouldn’t even last a single day before it runs out of water and the population would all die within a few days. Iceland (similarly to the US) wouldn’t last a day before all the water would be gone, and the Icelanders would all die, one by one. South Korea would about 2182 days before they run out of water and perish shortly. 

25.69 million people remain on the two halves combined, and almost all of these people belong to the continent of Australia. That’s right! All that remains is the Aussies! They would survive when no one else could! They are on a large island that is not very populated, so they wouldn’t have to worry about overpopulation. They have more water purification plants than anywhere else, so they wouldn’t have to worry about water. Sure big companies like amazon wouldn’t be shipping from the northern hemisphere, but who would care? Australia has 6 massive warehouses. Individually, each one is the size of 24 rugby league fields.



So, would we survive? No, not very likely. Would anyone survive? Again, not very likely. However, fear not. For this story is not an inevitability but a hypothetical. A horrendous one at that. Keep updated with the Gibbons Gazette to catch the next episode of Horrendous Hypotheticals.