SCIENCE

If The Earth Stopped Spinning, Some Really Bad Things Would Happen

06/20/2014 12:05 pm ET | Updated Jun 20, 2014

Sometimes it's easy to forget that the Earth and everything on it are rotating. But it's a good thing that our planet keeps spinning, because if it suddenly stopped it would unleash a torrent of catastrophes.

Just listen to what Michael Stevens has to say in this new installment of his Vsauce YouTube series.

"First of all, you would gain weight," Stevens says, a reference to the fact the Earth's rotation slightly offsets the effect of gravity. "But that would be the least of your worries."

That's because you'd suddenly be facing winds as fast as those created by atomic bomb blasts and tsunamis kilometers high. And, says Stevens, your own body would instantly be turned into a sort of "supersonic tumbleweed."

Things would be especially bad near the equator, where the surface of the Earth rotates fastest. But if Earth stopped spinning, the whole planet would spin out of control.

For the full explanation, check out the video above.

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