Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Great Flood (Hollywood or the Bible) (PIC)

Recall the opening moments of the movie Water World, with Keven Costner?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114898/

At the beginning is shown a graphic of the Earth with continents and the poles while some guy whines about mankind unleashing a great flood by melting the poles and flooding the lands. Hold on... wasn't that God's fault? He (She... it... what... existence proof not needed) already did that once already, right?
I digress...
Anyhow, the graphic shows that all the land disappears under water and humanity is forced to live on the world spanning ocean, tattooing maps on kids backs and drinking their own urine rather than filtering the sea water.

Now, in the Bible, God flooded the Earth cause he was pissed or something, and gave warning to Noah to build an ark and save his critters. (I guess God can flood the Earth, but can't be bothered to save the critters herself)
It rained for 40 days and 40 nights and covered the highest mountain to a depth of 2 fathoms. Wow, this sounds a bit like the depth of the supposed water world.

Fermi problem time!

---- Start Fermi Problem ----

Estimate the change in the level of the oceans if the poles were to melt. (Watch out here, there is a standard trick question involved... think of melting ice cubes)

Estimate how much water is needed to cover the Earth such that the highest mountain was under water.

Compare this volume of water to that of the current volume of the seas.

If it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, how much water per square meter per second would have to rain down?

---- End Fermi Problem ----

God, of course, can do anything... including violating common sense.
What is Hollywoods excuse?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Killroy was here said...

humm, I got a huge number, on the order of 2E19 cubic meters!
This is about an order of magnitude more than is in the oceans now.

Of course, you dont even have to estimate how silly the water world scenerio is, the average density of ice is a bit less than that of water, which is why it floats in water. So the earth would already have to be coverd to a depth of 13 kilometers of ice in order for there to be 12 km of water.

11:18 AM  

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