You don’t have to have any interest or knowledge about science to wonder what would happen if the Earth stopped rotating. If the Earth were to stop rotating that would be the end of life as we humans know it, and there really would be no going back.
But let’s take a look at the more specific things that would happen if the Earth stopped spinning.
For as long as we have known, the Earth has always spun counterclockwise once every 23 hours and 56 minutes. This figure is rounded up to the nearest hour which is why every day on Earth consists of 24 hours.
This rotating action is important in telling the difference between night and day, but it is also very important in ensuring that the world’s ecosystems, weather and habitat stays the way that it is.
If the Earth were to suddenly stop spinning then this would be detrimental to the existence of mankind. As soon as the Earth were to stop then almost all of the humans on the planet would die, leaving a very small minority alive.
These few who survived the initial stop would definitely be considered the unlucky ones as the Earth would then begin to deteriorate.
Even though the Earth had stopped spinning, the atmosphere would continue to spin causing extremely fast wind speeds reaching 1,670 km/h.
Quite quickly the force of this spinning would destroy the Earth’s crust, likely killing the last few survivors and rendering the Earth inhabitable. So if Earth were to stop spinning then it really would be the end of the world.
Why don’t we feel the Earth spinning?
People are often puzzled by things that we cannot see, and yet we accept that the Earth spins even though we cannot feel it. There’s no denying that the Earth is spinning, but what is the reason that we can’t feel this movement?
Well the answer is simple, we cannot feel the Earth spinning because we are also moving with the Earth.
With every day that we are alive, the Earth spins. Once every 24 hours. Some people believe that we cannot feel the Earth spinning because it rotates very slowly, but this is actually false. In fact, the Earth spins very quickly at a speed of about 1,600 km/h.
It can be difficult to comprehend that we do not feel the Earth spinning at this speed, but one of the main reasons that we do not feel it is because the speed is constant.
From the moment you were born the Earth has spun at the same speed, so it’s hardly surprising that we do not feel it.
Everything on the Earth is spinning at this speed, from the oceans, to the atmosphere, to the Earth’s occupants.
So the main reasons that we do not feel the Earth spinning is because we have always felt it spinning at this speed, and also because we are moving at the same speed.
Meaning that we would only really feel the Earth spinning if it were to speed up or slow down significantly.
Will the Earth stop rotating?
There is a lot of speculation about what would happen if the Earth were to stop rotating, but in reality it is highly unlikely that this event will ever occur.
The Earth spins once on its axis every 24 hours, and this will continue happening as long as the solar system that it is part of remains the same.
The only reason that the Earth would stop spinning is if there were a big structural change to space and the solar system, but scientists predict that it is highly unlikely that this will ever happen.
For as long as human beings have inhabited the Earth, it has spun at the same speed. The Earth is able to spin at this speed because Space is a very empty place.
There is almost no friction up in space and so the Earth continues to spin at the same level pace continually with the oceans taking small amounts of energy from the moon on every rotation.
Of course, eventually the Earth will stop rotating, but there are absolutely no signs that this will happen in the imminent future. In fact, there are no signs that the Earth will ever stop spinning, but eventually it will have to.
But there’s no need to worry about the Earth stopping because this event is eons away, so for your lifetime it is likely that the Earth will continue to spin in the same way as it has for thousands of years.
At what speed does the Earth rotate?
The Earth rotates on its axis at a speed of approximately 1,600 km/h which is the equivalent of 1,000 miles per hour. This speed is so quick that it is difficult to comprehend just how fast it is, so let’s put it into perspective.
The fastest man on Earth is Usain Bolt who can run at speeds up to 44 km/h which is incredibly fast for a human being. In comparison, the fastest land animal on Earth is the cheetah which is able to reach speeds of up to 120 km/h (75mph).
Both of these speeds are already very fast, and yet we are still a long way off of 1,600 km/h.
To put that even further into perspective, the fastest that a car has ever travelled on Earth is just over 500 km/h and this is significantly faster than most vehicles can travel. So the Earth actually spins more than three times faster than the fastest car on Earth.
The speed at which the Earth rotates is literally incomprehensible, and this is part of the reason that we do not feel the Earth moving.
If the Earth were to suddenly start moving at this speed then it would likely wipe out a lot of the organisms on Earth, however because it has always rotated at this speed we cannot even feel that we are moving.