Kerbface

What would be the easiest way to OBLITERATE THE ENTIRE PLANET?

Recommended Posts

I'm just reading Seven Eves from Neal Stephenson, a writer I very much like for being more science than fiction. The plot of the book is that *something* hit the moon and made it explode into seven pieces (the fiction part). Scientist than quickly calculated those pieces will shortly begin to slam into each other and causing first a white sky and then hard rain as they call it in the book, millions of asteroid slamming into earth for the next 5-10'000 years, obliterating all life. Mankinds solution is to escape into space stations and the second half of the book will focus on how mankind returns after 5000 years back. (This you can read all from the backtext of the book so no real spoilers here ;)).

I haven't read the book completely yet and as of now they only speculate what could've caused the explosion of the moon, maybe a black hole went through or some aliens practiced target shooting. But if you can somehow break the moon appart it'll be pretty much game over for earth for various reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If humanity, then a dormant virus that infects everyone and the suddenly starts giving people random heart attacks.

If earth, then a whole lotta nukes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even a really close near-miss of an asteroid five miles across would be enough to do the job nicely. Destruction would be significant if not complete. I remember watching a NOVA television show in the mid-1980s that said if a large asteroid passed within 15,000 tp 20,000 miles of the surface, not only would it shift lunar orbit, but it would also rip the top layers of the atmosphere away, cause tectonic plates to shift, but would destroy life as we know it. Might be fun to watch on a bad Friday night...

Now if we are talking sci-fi/sci-fantasy, then the easiest would be to .... off the Galactic Empire...

th?id=OIP.M029e07796b175017ce367f8439b96820H0&pid=15.1

Edited by adsii1970

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Destroy the atoms that make up the earth itself? Wait for the universe to die it's heat death and hope that protons decay.

If you want to just destroy the people on it a few thousand megatons of salted nuclear bombs detonated at high altitude should do the trick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you want to just destroy the people on it a few thousand megatons of salted nuclear bombs detonated at high altitude should do the trick.

But I like salt on my fries! :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because it is on his bucket list... (kinda morbid when you think about it...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But I like salt on my fries! :cool:

So you like cobalt 60 on your fries? The idea behind a salted bomb is to surround a conventional thermonuclear weapon with cobalt so that it absorbs neutrons, thus turning into highly radioactive cobalt 60 and resulting in enhanced fallout. Though you could use salt for a shorter half life tactical weapon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you can not destroy the sun by throwing nails into it.

Deep sea vent life will survive for eons, even if you block the suns light and complex would spead all over the surface not soon after the block was removed.

OK, redirect ceres from it current orbit into a polar orbit about the sun, then shrink it apo to just above mars with a pe that intersects earth say 1000 years in the future, the impact zone should be mid pacific. Althiugh ceres is a fraction of earths size, the is sufficient kinetic energy in the differential orbits to heat everything on earth by a few 1000'. Oceans would boil, nothing could survive, earth would be immediately thrown from orbit about the moon and if timed properly the moon would later collide with earth. Even so some life spore would survive on ejecta and fall back to earth starting evolution all over again.

Do you folks sit around all day long thinking up morbid destructive ideas?

Actually the iron in the nails will absorb energy and blow up the sun or something like that I've heard

EDIT: I just read some posts, and yes I was thinking about the Sun trying to fuse iron. My bad.

Edited by legoclone09

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So you like cobalt 60 on your fries? The idea behind a salted bomb is to surround a conventional thermonuclear weapon with cobalt so that it absorbs neutrons, thus turning into highly radioactive cobalt 60 and resulting in enhanced fallout. Though you could use salt for a shorter half life tactical weapon.

It was a joke... I've been grading mid-terms for two days when I made that post. Life is simply too short to be taken too seriously all the time...

Here are some things I have learned from my college students thus far this semester:

  • Vietnam is a tiny island in the Caribbean...
  • The Germans bombed the U.S.S. Enterprise while it was docked in Guantanamo Bay, Hawaii...
  • World War I started because France and Germany had too many soldiers and not enough to do with them...
  • The Holocaust was Germany's attempt to build a holodeck. It blew up Dresden...
  • Great Britain attacked Poland in 1938 and it pissed off the Germans, starting World War II...

Yeah, this has been an incredibly bad semester for my three U.S. history classes...

[updated as I have received an infraction for a particular entry that was not considered appropriate for the forum. The "offending" comment has been removed]

Edited by adsii1970

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was a joke... I've been grading mid-terms for two days when I made that post. Life is simply too short to be taken too seriously all the time...

Here are some things I have learned from my college students thus far this semester:

  • Vietnam is a tiny island in the Caribbean...
  • The Germans bombed the U.S.S. Enterprise while it was docked in Guantanamo Bay, Hawaii...
  • World War I started because France and Germany had too many soldiers and not enough to do with them...
  • The Holocaust was Germany's attempt to build a holodeck. It blew up Dresden...
  • Great Britain attacked Poland in 1938 and it pissed off the Germans, starting World War II...

Yeah, this has been an incredibly bad semester for my three U.S. history classes...

I really hope those were not your history students. If they are you seriously dropped the ball somewhere.

Edited by Vanamonde

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really hope those were not your history students. If they are you seriously dropped the ball somewhere.

It is not that I am dropping the ball - today's college student is light years different than what existed even ten years ago. I was informed by one of the members of the brain-trust last week that she was not going to do the major term paper because "she had already proved her ability to do her own research in high school and was not going to waste her time on a course such as history..." My largest class has 35 students with 19 that regularly attend. Even though by LAW attendance is mandated for financial aid purposes, most American universities and community colleges (the administration, that is) is hesitant to enforce their own policies out of fear of falling below retention thresholds mandated by both federal (national government) and state government.

I have three students this year that read at the 8th grade level according to the community college's testing standards. I also have a student that has a 5th grade reading level. The public school system has failed them, and instead of them being held back and actually educated, too many school districts will pass them anyway. Parents wonder why their children flunk out of college? It is because they lack the BASIC academic skills.

At one point in my academic career, I was very concerned with having a 35% failure rate in my classes. About five years ago, I became numb. All I can do is present the information, teach them the skills needed for the class, and allow them to do the rest. If they are genuinely applying themselves, students will be fine. If they couldn't care less and are in college because mama told them they either had to get a job, join the military, or go to college... Sad but true.

And in all seriousness, all those answers came from TWO students... who in my opinion have no business being in college.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the above ^ in mind, then I must reiterate: the easiest way to obliterate the planet is to do nothing but continue on the path we are already on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Invent a warp drive

2. Fly to a magnetar

3. Somehow rotate it so one of its magnetic poles is pointed at Earth

4. ??????

5. Profit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Easiest way to absolutely, positively, obliterate the entirety of the earth?

Sit down and wait a staggeringly long time. ~5 billion years from now, the sun becomes a red giant with a diameter greater than the Ap of earth's orbit.

That should do it quite easily, as all matter that made up the earth would sink to the core of the Sun.

If it has to be done within a human's lifetime, accelerate a large asteroid or Kuiper belt object to a large fraction of the speed of light.

Several thousand megatons of mass moving at anything above half lightspeed is truly a force to be reckoned with.

I'll leave out the obvious loophole of "rename it so it's not called 'earth' any more".

Obviously, that doesn't count because no destruction actually takes place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Mine asteroids for uranium

2. Use uranium for hydrogen bomb triggers

3. fill much of the planet with hydrogen bombs.

4. ????

5. Profit!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1. Mine asteroids for uranium

2. Use uranium for hydrogen bomb triggers

3. fill much of the planet with hydrogen bombs.

4. ????

5. Profit!

Why not just make hydrogen bombs out of those uranium asteroids?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why not just make hydrogen bombs out of those uranium asteroids?

Insufficient enrichment of uranium and extensive impurities would preclude achieving even criticality, much less the prompt supercritical conditions required for a nuclear detonation of any size.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not easy but can be done. Probably the easiest way to go about destroying earth is to collect massive objects in the Kuiper belt, slow down their prograde motion and it if properly targeted to cross the ellipitcal of Earth and both intersect at the same time . . you would of course with several 100 kilometers of mass destroy all life on the surface, but the radial velocity would suffice to cause the earth to alter course. If the impact occurred when earth radial velocity was the smallest you could cause earth to essentially cross close to Venus during the southern summer and basically sub equatorial rainforest would be toast anyway. Antarctica would melt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/6/2015 at 1:52 PM, justidutch said:

The easiest way to obliterate the planet?

Do nothing but continue down the path we already are on.

Note that this will still likely take a few billion years.  Humans have managed to develop tech and side effects sufficient for self-extinction, but taking the big ball of rock out with us is another thing.

My solution is to really wait a few billion years (unless that is what you are saying).  Accelerate to epsilon-less-than-the-speed-of-light (with "navagation shields" that could stop nuclear weapons, natch) and return in several billion years.  The Sun will go red giant and consume the Earth, done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.