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What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: The Purge Actually Existed

While it is unlikely any government would ever sanction a real-life “Purge” event, let’s pretend every nation on Earth offers this one day a year. In the Purge movies and lone television show, we know all crime is legal for usually a 24-hour period. During this time, stores can be robbed, sexual crimes can be done, and people can be killed within this 24-hour period. None would be charged for the crimes during the Purge time limit. In the world of scary scientific what-ifs, a real Purge would work a lot like we see it play out on screen.

Although, the ideology that we’d somehow live in peace or without crime the other 364 days is illogical nonsense. It is very likely that insurance costs for businesses and healthcare would go up depending on the person’s potential Purge threat. It’s obvious that insurances would narrow down potential Purge locations and which are at the most risk. Naturally, this also means the Purge would cut down on populations. Governments would likely take advantage of this to commit international crimes. Plus, people might use the Purge to target specific business leaders or politicians, effectively taking out many national leaders.

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: The Earth’s Magnetic Poles Flipped

A lot of people might discuss the idea of Earth’s magnetic poles flipping. They’ll likely claim it could be an extinction-level event for life as we know it. Therefore, it makes sense to assume it belongs on the scary scientific what-ifs list that people should fear. But it’s actually not as bad as people seem to think. How do we know this? Well, because the north and south magnetic poles have switched before. It actually happened hundreds of times, and it is clear our ancestors lived through it.

However, the last switch happened 780,000 years ago. Meaning, we’re due any time now. During the switch, the geomagnetic field is weak as iron atoms in our liquid outer core are gradually reversing their orientation. This happens slowly, but right in-between can be rough on living beings. This is because Earth’s magnetic protection is weakened, allowing more space radiation to hit the planet. If it happened today, we’d see electrical circuits and grids fry on top of higher rates of cancer.

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: Pangea Never Broke Apart

We know that about 300 million years ago that Pangea came to be. It was one supercontinent that made up the entire land body on Earth. Yet around 175 million years ago it began to break apart. First, we saw some continents remain together like Africa and South America. Australia and Antarctica as well as the massive (now underwater) New Zealand continent were together too. Slowly, many broke apart and the continents ended up where they are now.

What if Pangea never broke apart? This is actually one of the scary science what-ifs that would have changed the entire planet both positively and negatively. On the positive, people would likely never completely separate out but animals would be far different. For example, animals only found in Australia or random islands might have never evolved the way they did. Humans would evolve differently as well. Plus, Pangea was centered and it means most of the landmass would be centered near the equator. Making most landmass hot and arid, with many living near the shores. Making the true center uninhabitable.

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: Teleportation Existed

In theory, having any form of teleportation would be awesome. You could literally head pretty much anywhere you wanted within seconds. However, this is one of the scary scientific what-ifs due to what this can allow people to do. The ability to teleport is somewhat limited as technology will likely have to be built to allow for teleportation travel to places like, say, Mars for instance. But anywhere on Earth would be capable of teleportation.

While the best thing would be to have specific teleportation terminals, it would defeat the purpose. Especially if the terminal was not close to your destination. Therefore, you’d need to be able to go anywhere. That presents major issues, as an assassin could easily teleport into someone’s home. We might see similar issues when it comes to teleportation into, say, the White House or the local State House. That means teleportation blockers would need to be made, but any tech can be hacked.

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: You Had 9 Lives

It is often claimed that cats have nine lives. This is likely due to how house cats land on their feet when dropped or how many escape random harm. Of course, they only have one life. But let’s pretend it’s true that nine lives are present but not for cats, for humans. While this will turn into one of the scary scientific what-ifs that will become a problem, just think about it. You have nine lives, so how will you use them? Let’s say you could choose what age you wanted to start each time, after the first life.

Most would pick teenage years and up. Now, in spite of any life, you’ll come in with all the knowledge you developed before and will be in a likely much younger body. But this also presents many problems. If someone murders another person, they get life in prison usually. Let’s say this person has 6 lives left. They could commit suicide and will get out of prison. It also allows a person to take crazy risks, which could harm others. As one could run into a place with a bomb, for example. Plus, we have to wonder, if a person develops a mental or health complication, would this follow them from life to life? It’s a lot to consider.

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: A Zombie Apocalypse Took Place

It is quite unlikely, a solid 99.99% in fact, that a zombie apocalypse won’t happen. However, we do have specialized herbs and hypnosis techniques that could result in someone controlling another person’s actions. They could even convince them they are a zombie too. That is why this is part of the scary scientific what-ifs that could take place. It is not that the zombie is real but that a person’s brain can be altered. Just look at the recent political climate to show how convinced someone can be.

Even if what they believe is completely untrue, they can be convinced. Especially if the person is someone they like or a cult of personality. We also know there are parasites that a person could be infected with, which could very well cause a problem to take place. Funny enough, we’ve written about several scientific ways a zombie apocalypse could happen before. We’d recommend checking that out when you can.

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: Earth’s Insects Suddenly Vanished Overnight

We might not like the creepy crawlies, but insects are a massive part of our world’s ecosystem. There are literally trillions of them across numerous different species lines all over the world. Each one does a critical job for our environment so much so, regions have felt problems when specific insects types dropped off. Therefore, when we think about scary scientific what-ifs, losing all insects on Earth is near the top of the list. Roughly 80% of all plants on Earth are flowering.

That means they must go through pollination. Who ensures this happens? Insects, such as bees and butterflies. Without insects that assist in pollination, most of the world’s plant life would die. That would guarantee a vast food chain collapse. This collapse would kill most mammals and birds, and many of them also use things like trees for homes. Those trees would begin to die off and all the fruits or vegetables they have. Literally, without insects, humans will be extinct within a few years max.

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
[Image via Star Trek]

What If: We Discovered Sentient Life In The Universe

While we technically have many sentient beings on Earth besides humans, such as our primate friends, dogs, cats, etc. We have yet to find another sentient species outside our own planet. It is widely assumed that life exists elsewhere, but without proof of this, it is just a guess. But what if we discovered a sentient species elsewhere? Moreover, what if we discovered another intelligent sentient species like humans?

As cool as it might be, it’s one of the scary scientific what-ifs we need to be concerned about. Let’s first state the obvious. The species might or might not be more intelligent than us. They also might wish to enslave humans or make us their pets. It is also possible they’d want to wipe out all human or sentient life and replace us with their own kind. They will at least have a language we do not know, as well as customs we are not aware of. Making communication a bit dicey, at least at first.

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: Time Travel Is Real

Everyone wants time travel to be real, and it sort of is. We now know spacetime is its own time and gravity is what dictates time on various planets. We simply adjust to this and therefore all time is based on gravity levels. This is why we could likely jump several years in Earth time within a few hours. It’s really all about speed and how fast we’re moving. However, while we could jump forward we cannot go backward. But what if we could? If this could take place, one of two things would likely happen.

First, branched realities or multiverses would be formed (if they are not already). Anything we change will start its own new reality or universe. The original reality would remain unchanged. On the other end, we’d have one universe but any changes would not be noticed. The rest of the world will never know anything else occurred, and it is likely the longer you remain in this changed reality, the less you’ll remember about the former. Thus, if time travel was real then we’d never really know it was, no matter which version of it we find ourselves in.

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: The Earth Went Through A Biblical Flood

To be fair, in pretty much every religion and even in history, there are stories about a “great flood.” The stories might differ a bit, where some claim the whole world flooded while others claim a specific region did. It is really all in what you want to believe. But let’s go with the Christian version, involving Noah, his great ark, and the flood of 40 days and 40 nights. If this happened, some great event would need to cause it as this is a flood of the entire world. Let’s say two large meteors broke through and landed in the ocean, coming with their own water. They also land in both artic areas and melt all the ice.

This would likely result in flooding, but it would first start tidal waves that will drastically hurt cities near shores worldwide. They’d completely flood and we’d likely see all land underwater for a short time. Water would go down a bit, but we could assume in the U.S. that both the East and West coasts would be completely underwater. The water might begin to freeze up again one day, allowing these shoreline cities and states to rise back up. But not for a while. Major electrical grids, oil lines, and much more would be hit hard. Many plants and animals would be hit hard and we’d be in an extinction-level event.

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: An Asteroid Made Landfall

Funny enough, asteroids have hit the Earth before and did nothing worth note. But much larger ones caused mass extinctions in world history. Such as the one that caused the Ice Age to take place. This asteroid was quite large, but an asteroid does not necessarily need to be massive to cause damage. If an asteroid the size of the average New York apartment hits the Earth, it could level a small city. That is because it would likely hit with a great deal of speed. If it landed in the middle of a city, this speed would cause an impact that would increase its damage potential. Let’s look at it in terms of a quarter.

The coin falls and hits the Earth, it would likely be felt but not much. Damage potential would maybe be about 5 to 10 feet max. Now let’s combine two quarters, the damage potential would be 20 to 40 feet. Keep combining and you’ll see a huge issue. The size combines with speed to create damage potential even greater than the size. Extinction level asteroids hit and blocked out sunlight for quite some time, due to dust and smoke rising. This caused global temperatures to drop, because sunlight could not pierce through. We now have some protectors from these asteroids but none of them are guaranteed to work.


Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

National Public Radio (NPR)

National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

University of Rochester

USA Today

National Center for Science Education

The Independent

Live Science