Some days it’s hard being a scientist. After all, every thought that is developed into a concept has to then be tested and analyzed in order to make claims about something. However, at other times, there are reports to be read on the theory of what would happen if the earth suddenly turned into a giant pile of blueberries.
Yes, this theory is a real thing and the paper on it is currently awaiting the peer-review process, according to Live Science.
On July 27, a paper was submitted to the preprint server arXiv, which is where many scientific papers go before they are peer-reviewed. The physics paper delves into the age-old question of what would happen if the world suddenly and inexplicably turned into a pile of blueberries.
“This paper explores the physics of the question ‘what if the entire Earth was instantaneously replaced with an equal volume of closely packed, but uncompressed blueberries?'” the summary begins.
“While the assumption may be absurd, the consequences can be explored rigorously using elementary physics. The result is not entirely dissimilar to a small ocean-world exoplanet.”
The paper was in response to a ‘what-if?’ question asked by the user Billybodega on the Physics Stackexchange website. While this website tends to “frown on” such questions, Anders Sandberg from Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, took the question seriously and decided to work out an answer.
So, what would happen?
Firstly, an assumption had to be made about what sort of blueberries these would be. Sandberg decided to work with the theory that the earth would change into “big, thick-skinned highbush blueberries” and not “wild, thin-skinned blueberries.”
As Live Science points out, this turned out to be a big deal as these blueberries would maintain their shape better than thin-skinned varieties and, therefore, have more air trapped around them. This would immediately cause disastrous things to happen.
“To a person standing on the surface of the Earth when it turns into blueberries, the first effect would be a drastic reduction of gravity,” Sandberg wrote, adding that this would lead to people on earth instantly beginning to feel sick.
The reason for this is that because of the change in gravity, people would have the sensation of weighing less. If you have ever gotten that funny feeling in your stomach when a lift shoots suddenly upwards, this is akin to what you would be also feeling on a blueberry earth.
Of course, blueberries are not long-lasting. With the large amount of trapped air, the risk of collapse would occur sooner rather than later. As the air expelled itself from between the blueberries, a massive earthquake would result as the blueberry earth also collapsed in on itself, postulated the paper.
“And it keeps on going until everything has fallen [towards the center of the planet] 715 km [444 miles]. While this is going on, everything heats up drastically [by about 143 degrees along the Celsius scale or 258 degrees along the Fahrenheit scale, thanks to the gravitational energy release] until the entire environment is boiling jam and steam. The result is a world that has a steam atmosphere covering an ocean of jam on top of warm blueberry granita.”
In addition to this cataclysmic event, those still left on the blueberry earth would also be able to witness the moon as it rushed away from the earth thanks to being released from its gravitational pull.
TL;DR: The world would quickly explode and turn into blueberry jam.