Newsflash: The Earth Isn’t Round

Hey, Somebody Sat On My Planet!

Kids, today we’ll talk about things astronomical, because videogame writers are such geeks.

First up, take a look at this lumpy dumpy planet we live on! I mean, I never expected Earth to be a perfect sphere, but this is an abomination. Newsflash: the earth isn’t round or square. Instead, it looks a bit like a mutant melon after a head-on encounter with a rampaging herd of bison.

I certainly expected the Andes to be tall and the Marianas Trench to be deep, but to see these elevations on a global scale is a bit disconcerting. I mean, the Pacific Rim sticks out like the world’s great schnozz.

This model was created using data from the European Space Agency’s GOCE mission. Pretty cool. You can see another version of the model on Youtube, which looks a bit more realistic but also lacks the cool angles of this video.

And of course you need to twiddle a bit with the brilliant Scale of the Universe animation. Humbling to see the sizes of everything compared on a simple slider that goes from .0000000001 yoctometers (!) to 900 Yottameters, aka the whole universe. And it’s all set to a lovely little musical score.


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