The Fat Earth Society

Is that a wave in your sheet?

To set up today’s mind-bender, we need to address several propositions.

The first issue is dinosaurs. Some of them we mighty friggin’ big. The creatively named Argentiosaurus is estimated to have been over 30m/100ft long, and weighing in at a hefty 60+ tonnes. If we assume that their bones, muscles and connective tissues were analogous to current vertebrates, they would have crumbled into a heap of quivering meat on land. So, the question arises: was the Earth’s mass (and thus gravity) less 100 million years ago? If so, did the Earth shrink? Memory Games for Senio... Keep Your Mind Young Best Price: $3.08 Buy New $12.41 (as of 06:47 UTC - Details)

Earth’s magnetic field is weakening at an ever-increasing rate, which is part of a roughly 12,000-year cycle of pole reversals. Since the magnetic field is our primary protection from solar and cosmic radiation, the Van Allen Belts are shrinking and significantly more radiation is reaching Earth’s surface, and presumably penetrating it, as well. Could the influx of protons, neutrons, electrons, neutrinos, and plasma be heating Earth’s interior, causing it to grow by a process called “thermal expansion”?

In addition to heating, all the subatomic particles coming to the Earth are also matter, and presumably a great many of them are captured and become part of the planet. If the Expanding Earth Theory is correct, then additional matter and thermal heating would explain quite a lot about Earth’s tectonic shifts and even sea-level rise (if it exists). If you partially inflate a balloon, then cover it with plaster, then continue to inflate it, the plaster will break apart into plates and separate. Conversely, deflating the balloon will force some plates under others as they adjust to the shrinking volume.

So, we know the Earth’s magnetic field is weakening, which allows more solar and cosmic radiation through to the planet. We know that radiation imparts kinetic energy to matter, which in turn heats up and expands. We know, according to E=mc^2, that some of the energy coming in will be converted to matter, and with the subatomic particles, must add to the volume of the Earth.

We speculate from fossil evidence that some dinosaurs were so large, that their bone structure and inferred connective tissues were insufficient to hold them together under current gravitational effects. Thus, we might surmise that gravity was much weaker at some points in the past. This could be due to Earth having much less mass (note this is not the same as matter, Einstein), or the Earth being “fluffier”.

The Road to Serfdom: T... F. A. Hayek, Bruce Cal... Best Price: $3.06 Buy New $1.99 (as of 03:40 UTC - Details) One final point before we sum all this up is, the Earth’s crust is a relatively thin skin floating on a semi-viscous layer of magma in the mantle. If the magnetic field is weakening (it is), and more solar and cosmic radiation is reaching the surface and penetrating the planet (it is), then the increased heat generated by kinetic energy would tend to make the magma/mantle softer and less viscous. This means that the crust might detach from the mantle and float freely across it (fun thought). This could be why Greenland and Antarctica have been sub-tropical or tropical in the past, when those lands were at or near the equator.

With all that as the preamble, let’s play “what if”.

From the dinosaur fossil evidence, their bones could not have supported the weight of the largest species, so it’s possible Earth’s gravity is or has been variable. Since mass is a function of energy/velocity, Earth can have more or less mass under certain conditions, without affecting its volume/matter. If this is true, then it is possible that we could experience something similar if the conditions are right. If gravity increases, we may see an epidemic of chronic fatigue or exhaustion among humans and other creatures.

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