What If Earth’s Gravity Suddenly Dropped 50%
You decide to go out for a morning jog for the first time in your life. You put on your headphones and get ready for something hard and unpleasant. But as soon as you go outside, you feel an extraordinary lightness.
At first, you enjoy it and speed up, but then you realize that something’s wrong. You’re running too fast and too easily. You feel like you’ve just taken off a heavy backpack that you’ve been carrying all your life. You’re so fast you think you must have a superpower now.
But, you notice another athlete running as quickly as you. You notice a puddle ahead of you and jump over it. You jump so far and so high it feels physically impossible. You fall to the ground, shocked.
Then you notice there are no scratches on your body, and the ground feels lighter. You stop the music in your headphones and turn on the radio. All the news reports say the gravity on the entire planet has decreased by half. Thanks to gravity, we stand on the ground and don’t fly away into the sky. This power allows our planet to revolve around the Sun, and the Moon — to revolve around us. Heavy things seem heavy because of gravity.
And now, something has happened to the Earth’s core, and the mass of our planet has decreased. This is the reason for the change in gravity. People happily run out of their houses and jump twice as high and further than they used to. Any objects seem twice as light to you. Your body has become lighter, so you can easily stand on your hands.
But still, you don’t feel like a superhero. You can’t lift a car, even if its weight has reduced by half. But now, parkour is easier for everyone than before. Your body’s weight decreased, which means you get less damage when you fall. However, panic quickly replaces the joy of the new conditions. It’s become hard for you to breathe, the same as all other people.
The air has become lighter. The updated force of gravity has reduced the air pressure by half. Now, you feel like you’re at an altitude of 16,500 ft (~5,000 m) among the streets of a usual town. It’s like you’re halfway to the top of Mount Everest. The air is no longer as dense, and the main part of it has settled in the atmosphere.
In the beginning, everyone experiences massive dizziness and panic. You feel like there’s not enough air in your lungs, so you get nervous. To solve this problem, you have to learn to breathe slowly and evenly. Thanks to this, you calm down a bit. Others also learn to be more balanced and don’t live in a hurry anymore. All of you experience less stress and enjoy every day.
Then, scientists create unique oxygen masks. You put it on, take a breath, and a special filter puts pressure on the oxygen molecules, making the air denser. After a couple of decades, people will take off these masks, as they’ll ultimately get used to the new conditions. New generations will be born with adapted lungs. The Earth’s atmosphere is expanding.
It seems the sky has risen higher and acquired a darkish hue. Satellites flying around the Earth’s orbit are now inside our atmosphere. But the Earth’s gravity still attracts them. You see thousands of satellites burning up. Some of the space debris survives the atmospheric shield and falls to the ground.
A meteor shower begins. Space trash crashes into houses, roads, trees, and cars. You and the rest of the people decide to wait out the storm underground — in the subway or basements. Fortunately, the shower doesn’t last long. People come out of their hiding and look at the sky in surprise.
The Moon changes its previous position and slowly flies away. Soon, it disappears completely. Our planet is now like a heavy ball in the center of a huge blanket. That blanket is gravity. It bends under the ball’s weight. If you put any light object on the blanket, it will roll down to Earth.
But, if an object is moving at high speed, it will be able to spin on the blanket’s edge and not fall into the center. Thanks to such speed, the Moon doesn’t fall on us, but at the same time, it can’t fly away. Now that the gravity has decreased, the blanket has become twice as loose. The rotation speed allows the Moon to fly out of our gravitational field. It just goes into space.
People will be able to observe the wandering Moon for a long time through telescopes. Meteorites might crash into it. It could also find another planet with stronger gravity and will revolve around this new home. The Moon may stay in place but will be revolving around the Earth at a slower speed. In any case, there will be no more tides on our planet, and the sea level will remain the same.
In the sea, you can also feel the changes. It’s much easier for you to stay on the water, and you can swim faster. But the coolest thing is running along the shore. The splashes are floating in different directions so slowly and beautifully. The waves are running on the sand in slow motion, too.
The weight of cars, planes, and ships has reduced, and so people consume less gas now. You can drive twice as far with a full tank. Fuel transportation is easier, and less energy is spent on flights. Gasoline is becoming cheaper. The decrease in gravity inspires space tourism development. It becomes much easier for people to fly out of the Earth’s orbit. Winter has come.
You’re walking down the street during a snowfall. It seems to you the snowflakes are stuck in the air as they’re so slow. You step on the ice and realize that it’s almost impossible to walk on such a slippery surface. Your weight has decreased, and the pressure of your feet on the ice is twice as weak. You’re sliding and can’t stop. You often fall, but you don’t feel any harm. When the wind is strong, it’s hard to stay on your feet. If you jump, you may even fly away.
The grip of the wheels on the road deteriorates. A driver can no longer brake abruptly. The wheels don’t spin, but the car continues to slide for a while. That’s why new speed limits are being introduced all over the world. You can still enjoy extraordinary strength and long jumps, but after a few generations, the human body will evolve and fully adapt to these conditions. People and animals will be born taller and bulkier.
Majestic tigers the size of a truck are walking through the city streets. Flamingos the size of a plane are flying in the dark blue sky. But the worst thing is that the size of insects has increased, too. A regular cockroach can now grow to be the size of a computer mouse. And tarantulas become twice the size of an adult palm. At the same time, all living beings become lighter in weight.
Humans will become elegant and agile creatures. Our bones and muscles will stretch. The structure of the entire human body will change. We will become thinner and smoother. Blood in the veins and vessels will flow more slowly, and it will greatly impair the brain’s work, but only in the beginning.
In the future, the body will expand. The brain will increase, as will the number of neural connections inside. The lungs will become more sensitive and spacious. People will be smarter and wiser.