You have a weight problem. And it’s not just you, it’s everyone!
That’s just how life is on Earth 2.0. Double the density, double the gravity, double your current weight on Earth!
What else would change if Earth’s gravity were to double? Nature, Infrustructure, Innovation, Evolution… Does it work out?
Prepare yourself. Start working out!
See how Earth moves around the Sun? Its current elliptical path gives us winter and summer, without bringing us too close to our star.
Since the Sun is 330,000 times heavier than Earth, its gravitational influence pulls the Earth towards it. Luckily, our planet moves sideways from the Sun’s pull, and fast enough, so that it doesn’t get sucked into that giant ball of hot plasma.
But up the gravity on Earth by just a little bit, and you ruin everything. If Earth’s gravity was just 5% stronger, the increase would warp our planet’s near-perfect circlular orbit into a tighter elliptical path.
Summers and winters would become a lot harsher, the intense climate change would spark widespread famine and would likely collapse the world economy. And yet, there might be some survivors. That’s just from a 5% difference. What happens when Earth’s gravity doubles?
Let’s put climate concerns aside for a moment. Realistically, we just wouldn’t survive such a drastic change. The Earth’s core would probably just collapse on itself, causing everyone to fall to their deaths, or releasing enough heat to cook us all alive!
But let’s imagine that gravity doubles at a rate that allows us to keep our lives, so we can try this new world out. Well, to be honest, there isn’t much to look forward to.
You’re now twice as heavy. And while that might sound like a gift to some of you, it won’t be unless you’re in great shape…
Your heart and lungs will be strained under the increased pressure. Breathing gets harder, and your blood pressure skyrockets. Imagine, you’re basically giving yourself a piggy back 24/7. Sleeping gives you bed sores, stairs get scary, and trips and falls might even become fatal!
Speaking of falls, our infrastructure, our technology, and nature itself, aren’t equipped to handle this type of force.
Buckling under twice the weight they were built for, buildings and bridges would collapse; planes would also fall from the sky; and satellites would tumble back to Earth; since they’d no longer be traveling at the right orbital velocity.
Trees would collapse under their own weight, or they would die from not being able to pump water as high as they used to. New ones growing in their place would be much shorter and thicker in order to accomodate the new constraints of double gravity.
And like that, perpaps humans would evolve the same way: decreased height, thicker veins, increased bone density. Barring the severe climate change that would occur, such as atmospheric compression and increased radioactivity, we might actually be able to build a nice little life for ourselves. That is, one where everything is smaller and closer to Earth, but what’s wrong with that anyway?
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- “What would happen if Earth’s gravity were to double?“. 2019. quora.com. Accessed March 20 2019.
- “What Is Gravity? | NASA Space Place – NASA Science For Kids”. 2019. spaceplace.nasa.gov. Accessed March 20 2019.
- “If Earth’s Gravity Increased 5%, How Bad Would It Be? It Would Be Cataclysmic”. 2017. Huffpost. Accessed March 20 2019.
- “How Satellites Work”. Brown, Gary, 2000. Howstuffworks. Accessed March 20 2019.