With all the fascinating planets in our solar system, it sometimes feels like the Sun gets overlooked. The Sun is amazing! People still worship the Sun, and that actually makes a certain amount of sense. So, what would happen if you took a small piece of the Sun and brought it back to Earth? Well, whoever’s left would…
Sure, Jurassic World was fine. But what if it starred Harrison Ford in a retro sci-fi flick reminiscent of Westworld. That’s what the fantastic work of Peter Stults explores, dreaming up time-displaced posters movie with period-specific casts for films you’d kill to see.
For years, Marvel put out a What If? comic series, pondering alternate realities in the Marvel universe, covering everything from “What If Wolverine was a Vampire?” to “What if Aunt May was a Superhero?”. You know, the big questions. But this year, the series is back for a short run, with its eyes on the Mad Titan .
It’s a sunny summer’s day as Lily Evans and Severus Snape are happy in the country side, Snape being able to resist calling her a mudblood years earlier. In a moment of spontaneity, Snape proposes to Lily which though shocked, she agrees to.
It’s a dark and stormy night as Nedry drives furiously to the docks. Beside him are 30 dinosaur embryos, which he stole from his employers InGen to give to their rival geneticist company Biosyn for $1.5 million. However, he loses himself in the storm and for a second, all seems lost. But fortunately for him, he finds…
Little Anakin is trapped in the Trade Federation Droid Control ship, surrounded by hundreds of battle droids. Suddenly, his ship gains power again, allowing him to destroy the main reactor and begins to fly out of the ship. But he is unable to make it out in time and is caught in the explosion, sacrificing his life to…
No question, an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated over midtown Manhattan would destroy the city. But the warhead's sheer power is hard to fully grasp: roads so hot it's impossible to drive for days, superheated hurricane-force winds, and 100 square miles of fire.
The simple answer is probably not. That's because the sun involves a special type of fire that is able to "burn" water, and so it will just get hotter and six times brighter. Here's why.
Quick! You have a time machine with just enough juice for one more trip, so when do you set it for? Pick a date and stick by it, 'cause this ticket only takes you one-way.
It's been 30 years since the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man first squished through Manhattan. With Ghostbusters returning to theaters tomorrow for an anniversary run, we thought it appropriate to consider a very serious question: How would New York City actually fight an evil god in the form of a marshmallow man?…
XKCD's Randall Munroe is publishing a book of science explainers! What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is due out September 2. To celebrate its imminent arrival, here's the first chapter from the book – an explainer about global devastation. Fun!
There's a common trope in vampire stories where a vampire gets drunk by drinking the blood of someone who is wasted. But could a real human being get drunk in the same way?
XKCD's Randall Munroe is turning What If? – his fantastic series of "serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions" –into a book, to be published this September by Houghton Mifflin.
For the purposes of this question, I'm going to assume that "truly transparent" means that air and its constituents are no longer able to absorb and re-radiate incident radiation, which in visible light seems to be our definition of transparency. To make things much more fun, let's make this true over all wavelengths.
Perhaps the main difference if the earth were a cube would be that students would become much more frustrated trying to calculate the gravitational field. For a uniform cube with side length L and density rho, the gravitational force on mass m at position (x,y,z) is given by
You would think that having the powers of a radioactive spider, or wearing a cape to a fight, would qualify as crazy enough for comic books. Not so. Comics delve into alternate worlds that show different sides of their superheroes - nutbag, wacko-smacko sides. Take a look at the looniest alternate reality versions…
This is a really super fun question. I only wish that Randall Munroe, not me, were answering, so he could draw cool pictures.
Imagine if all the world's data was still stored on punch cards: we'd be drowning in cardboard. But just how much exactly?