What would happen if everyone in the world jumped at the same time?
It’s the question you didn’t know you needed answering and yet it’s an answer you won’t quite believe. Except, just not how you’d think.
Because people are spread somewhat equally around the planet, if we all jumped in place, nothing much would happen — all our lift-offs and impacts would cancel each other out, resulting in zero net force, according to physicist Rhett Allain.
So we’d all have to be in the same spot to do it.
If everyone in the world stood shoulder-to-shoulder, we could all fit into a space the size of Los Angeles — that’s more than seven billion people packed into 500 square miles. But even if we all jumped in that one area, not much would happen.
If we all jumped 30 centimetres, our force would propel Earth away from us – but only 1/100 of the width of a single hydrogen atom. Just as we would return to the ground, the Earth would return to its original position in the universe causing no lasting effects.
But that’s not the whole story.
What scientists are forgetting to analyse is not just what would happen to the position of the earth, but what would happen on earth.
Thankfully, Randall Munroe, author of What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions has explained it for us.
Click the arrows to scroll and find out what would happen:
Sure, it’s not exactly scientific, but it’s definitely accurate. And not how you thought that story was going to end, huh?
Maybe it’s best we leave this experiment on the back burner for, well, eternity.