What If We Drained the Oceans?

a dry ocean in a picture
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What if we found a way to drain all the Earth’s oceans through some mysterious portal at the bottom of the Mariana Trench? How long would it take? Years? Centuries? Millennia? Would there be any life left on Earth when the pumping was over? What if it happened overnight? This is what if. And here’s what would happen if we drained all the world’s oceans. Ocean water makes up 70% of the Earth’s surface. How much liquid is that, exactly? Well, if you could put all that water into Olympic sized swimming pools, you’d need this many of them. Even if we opened a portal about the size of a basketball court, it would take us hundreds of thousands of years to drain the oceans. They hold over a billion cubic kilometers of water. But what if we had a pump powerful enough to drain all the oceans in a minute? What would happen then? Sure enough, swimmers, sailors, cruise passengers, everyone out on the ocean would feel the effects quickly. Within a second, boaters and swimmers in shallow water would crash onto the bottom.

Ships Can’t Survive

They’d get away with a few broken bones. Deep ocean ships wouldn’t be so lucky. A Titanic sized liner would hit the bottom in 30 seconds and smash into tiny pieces. The same thing would happen to just about every large ship on the ocean within the first minute. What about all the sea creatures? You already know the answer. It would literally be raining fish, since all the whales, dolphins, and other big aquatic animals curiously exploring the surface would be falling to the ocean floor. As for those already near the bottom, they’d be lucky not to get sucked down the drain along with the water. But what comes next is where the real trouble begins. Our oceans have two life supporting roles. First, they regulate global temperatures by absorbing energy from the sun. They push warm tropical waters north and south, and circulate cold waters back to the equator. This way, no place on Earth gets too hot or way too cold. Global climate control.

Will Rain Occurs if Ocean Drains?

Second, oceans feed the water cycle, evaporating into the clouds and raining back to Earth. The moment the oceans disappeared, the Earth would turn into a vast desert. Go ahead and throw away your umbrella, since it’s never going to rain again. Wait. What about all the lakes and rivers? Can’t we get by with those? Well, without oceans, the world loses 97% of its water. The small amount of liquid left would not be enough to sustain the water cycle. The pools of drinkable water would evaporate pretty fast. In a matter of days, people and most animals would die from dehydration. Plants would have a few weeks before they started decaying in the dry air. Within a few months, forests would begin massive dieoffs, and all this dry, dead vegetation would eventually ignite. In a matter of years, most of the world’s forests would be burned down as these huge bonfires sparked all across the planet. The atmosphere would become less and less oxygenated. If there were still humans at this time, the unbreathable air and scorching temperature
would wipe us out for good. All in all, the Earth would end up just like Venus cooked. So why not take a few days off and enjoy a little seaside vacation while you can? Isn’t it time to explore how your what if scenario would turn out?

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