2412: 1/100,000th Scale World

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 2412)
Jump to: navigation, search
1/100,000th Scale World
The floor should be slightly curved, but we haven't figured out artificial gravity yet, so for now we just added a trace intoxicating gas to the air that messes with your inner ear and gives you a sense that the ground is tilting away from you.
Title text: The floor should be slightly curved, but we haven't figured out artificial gravity yet, so for now we just added a trace intoxicating gas to the air that messes with your inner ear and gives you a sense that the ground is tilting away from you.


This comic is the second in the Scale World series.

Randall has another seemingly complete scale model of Earth, this time at a smaller scale of 1:100,000 – that is, 1 meter in this scale world represents 100,000 meters in the real world. (This is one tenth the size of his previous scale world.) Again, real-world features and phenomena are depicted at scale and labeled with warnings. Details on the various remarks are in the table below.

The title text states that the floor should be slightly curved. In fact, given that the model in the comic is about 10 meters long, it represents about 1000 km of Earth, which spans about 9 degrees of a great circle. Therefore, if the model wasn't larger than the part shown in the panel, its edges would have a very noticeable slope of 4.5 degrees. What's more, the note that they haven't invented artificial gravity reveals that the scale worlds are nothing more than a mundane model, rather than some supernatural phenomenon that allows giants to roam about the surface of the Earth.


Rule Reason Notes
Our aurora are probably non-toxic but please stop trying to taste them The aurora in the image is now temptingly at head height, and presumably look a lot like cotton candy or other inviting foodstuffs. The plural of "aurora" should actually be "auroras" or "aurorae".
No breaking off pieces of the ice caps to put in your drink An ice cap is a mass of ice that covers less than 50,000 km2 (19,000 sq mi) of land area. Breaking off pieces of ice caps would affect the climate of the scale world. In addition, breaking off pieces of somebody's models is very rude. However, at about 2-3 km thickness in real world, 1/100,000 scaled ice caps have a 2-3 cm thickness, which is a very convenient size to put in drinks.
Warning: Limited cell network coverage above the ionosphere, crouch down to get more bars The ionosphere reflects radio signals, in this case keeping terrestrial cellular phone signals from reaching phones higher up. The ionosphere would be at around 48-965 centimeters in the scale world, so visitors would need to place their phones below it to receive cellphone signals.
Do not step on Mt. Everest Mt. Everest, the highest peak on Earth, is several inches tall at 1:100,000 scale. Mt. Everest would probably be extremely sharp and puncture your foot.
Caution! Ocean floor slippery when wet Due to the smaller scale, the ocean depths would only be a few inches deep at most; this amount of liquid would cause more of a 'slippery surface' than a 'water region'.
Wear sunscreen; the ozone layer only protects you below the knees. The ozone layer is a layer of the Earth's stratosphere that shields the Earth from the Sun's ultraviolet rays. The ozone layer is approximately 15-35 kilometers above Earth, or 15-35 centimeters in this scaled world, below knee height. Visitors would need sunscreen to protect them from UV rays. In the real world, most humans live with their bodies entirely below the ozone layer[citation needed] but wear sunscreen anyway, so visitors should probably also wear sunscreen below their knees as well as above if they're going to be visiting around midday.
Beware of chest-level meteors Meteors typically occur (i.e. become more visible than in space) in the mesosphere at altitudes from 76 to 100 km (250,000 to 330,000 ft). In the scale world, meteors would occur at 76 to 100 centimeters, around chest height. You'd expect head-level asteroids too, as precursors, but this may be (mutually) covered by the eye-protection against satellite re-entry, below. (A hard-hat would also be suggested.)
-100°C mesopause vest recommended The mesopause is the boundary in the earth's atmosphere between the mesosphere and the thermosphere. Due to the lack of solar heating and very strong radiative cooling from carbon dioxide, it is the coldest region on Earth with temperatures as low as -100 °C (-148 °F). Without protection, visitors would succumb to hypothermia due to the extremely low temperatures.
If Lake Tahoe or the Dead Sea dries up, refill them with this 5oz wine glass Five ounces, times 100,0003 (because this is volume, so the linear scale factor applies to each of three dimensions), would be about 150 cubic kilometers, which is the approximate volume of Lake Tahoe; the Dead Sea is recently about 115 cubic kilometers, though it used to be somewhat larger. Five fluid ounces (US customary) is a tad below 148 cubic centimeters, or milliliters. (Elsewhere, if used, it is actually nearer 142cc.) Modern wine glasses may actually hold 450ml (filled to the brim), but 150ml is typical of a late 19thC antique glass or a modern 'serving' level that is more tasteful/economic than an overgenerous 'drown your sorrows' one.
Safety glasses required for protection from reentering spacecraft It is at approximately head height in this model that de-orbiting spacecraft are at their fastest, depending upon where their decayed or departed original was. At scale, they'd probably equate to a metalworking fragment, perhaps more dangerous in quantity than individually. We also tend to know about satellites and fairings returning to Earth and most (unless intended to) won't significantly survive. Meteors (see above) are hard to spot in space unless particularly big, may only be detected when spotted burning up, may be significantly denser/less fragile, and could be traveling five times faster. General head protection may be advised, just in case.
Do not anger the sprites Sprites are poorly understood electrical phenomena in the upper atmosphere. They are enormous but very short-lived. Sprites are also a name given to a form of forest spirit known for mischievous and sometimes harmful behavior. In some fairy tales, a warning would be given to not anger the spirits in case of grave repercussions.
Please stop digging through the Moho. Staff are tired of cleaning up large igneous provinces. Short for the Mohorovičić discontinuity, the Moho is the boundary surface separating the Earth's crust from the mantle. It can be found at a depth of 6-7 miles under the ocean bed, and about 24-30 miles under the continents. Using Randall's 1/100,000th scale world, 6-7 miles would be approximately 4 inches, while 24-30 miles would be about 16 inches, making the Moho easily accessible via digging. It would indeed create large igneous provinces, and make a big mess of lava that the staff would have to clean up, which would not be fun [citation needed]. The lava has a decent chance to burn through a mop or some other tool, so it would be pretty tricky to clean up as well since your cleaning items would light on fire unless soaked in water or something. "Large igneous provinces" may be a reference to 2061: Tectonics Game, where making them is "the worst."
ISS (14 feet up) Returns every 90 minutes - Hit it with a nerf dart, win a prize! The International Space Station is the largest human-made object in space and orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes. This idea of treating modern research as a toy is in the same general panel area as the weather balloon smacking from the previous comic, except instead of a rule preventing people from doing so, this time the visitor is being dared to attempt it, similarly to a carnival game. Hitting the ISS with a nerf dart in this scaled world would have a potentially devastating effect on the ISS; however, at this scale, the ISS would be about a millimeter across, so that hitting it so far above your head as it goes by would be very difficult. Rather like a target in a typical carnival-game, the scale ISS is moving past at a moderate speed, about three inches per second (7.7 cm/s), so you can have several attempts before it's entirely out of range till its next orbit.


[At the top of the image, inside the panel, a large title is floating in the air.]
For visitors to my 1/100,000th scale world
1 meter = 100 km, 1 ft=100,000ft≈20 miles
[Each of the following rules is written near a character or point of interest on the map.]
[Dark-colored aurorae are floating in the air.]
Our aurora are probably non-toxic but please stop trying to taste them
[Ponytail is kneeling and breaking off part of an ice cap. In her other hand, she holds a wine glass.]
No breaking off pieces of the ice caps to put in your drink
[At around ankle height, a mountain is shown.]
Do not step on Mount Everest
[A relatively small ocean is shown on the right of Mount Everest.]
Caution! [A pictogram of a person slipping.] Ocean floor slippery when wet
[A cell coverage icon with one cell bar.]
Warning: Limited cell network coverage above the ionosphere. Crouch down to get more bars
[Megan is facing the aurorae. Thin horizontal lines are at her knees.]
Wear sunscreen; the ozone layer only protects you below the knees.
[Cueball is standing with three meteors whizzing both at and away from him.]
Beware of chest-level meteors
[A dotted line is at the Cueball from the last rule's chest.]
-100°C mesopause vest recommended
[A wine glass is resting on the ground near a shallow depression.]
If Lake Tahoe or the Dead Sea dries up, refill them with this 5oz wine glass
[​Another Cueball is standing, holding both hands up to his face.]
Safety glasses required for protection from reentering spacecraft
Cueball: OW!
(off-panel voice): What?
Cueball: I got a Soyuz in my eye
[A tornado-shaped lightning sprite is hovering over a cloud.]
Do not anger the sprites
[A dotted line weaves belowground.]
Please stop digging through the Moho. Staff are tired of cleaning up large igneous provinces.
[An arrow pointing above the panel top.]
ISS (14 feet up)
Returns every 90 minutes
Hit it with a Nerf dart, win a prize!

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Sprites? 17:01, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Looks like there is a form of electrical discharge that can occur above thunderstorms called a Sprite

It actually took me a second to realise this was a new comic, I thought Randal just added different jokes to Wednesday's for some reason. Given the title text, I wonder what projection Randall would use for this scale model... I imagine a projection similar to Build the Earth's modified Airocean would work for something like this.-- 17:12, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Just for reference and to be checked, I paste here the maths to compute that the panel spans 9 degrees of a great circle:

> 10/1e3*1e5/6371*180/pi
[1] 8.993216

--Pere prlpz (talk) 19:21, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

The ISS game seems very contradictory to the other rules in this and the previous comic. Given that the ISS would be only about 1 mm wide, hitting it with a nerf dart would almost certainly destroy it. Bischoff (talk) 19:59, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

The world is at scale, but people and the artifacts they create don't seem to be. In particular, the wine glasses are normal size relative to the people. So the ISS may be life size, and hitting it with a dart should be trivial. Barmar (talk) 06:23, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
At least in the previous comic, the artifacts created by mankind are very much to scale, see weather balloons and skyscrapers. So it stands to reason the ISS is as well. Also, hitting a life size ISS from about 2 meters away hardly seems like a challenging game. Especially since the return time of 90 minutes indicates its speed is also to scale. The wine glasses you mentioned aren't to scale because their not part of the scale model but rather part of the "real world". Bischoff (talk) 10:26, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Th rules in the other comic along with this one seem entirely for visitor safety rather than preserving anything in the model. There's warnings about standing on cities with "pointy towers" or digging near Yellowstone, implying you're allowed to stand in other cities and dig elsewhere, which would obviously have huge effects on the model.-- 23:32, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
While you're right about most rules, you're not entirely correct. At least the rules regarding breaking off ice chips and refilling lake Tahoe seem to be solely for preserving the model, since they don't offer any obvious benefit or protection to the visitors. Bischoff (talk) 09:52, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
At the end of the day the reasons behind the rules don't matter, whoever made the scale world can decide on whichever rules they want! --NeatNit (talk) 11:22, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Is this a duplicate? Looks the same as 2411: 1/10,000th Scale World. PvOberstein (talk) 20:24, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Look better, the scale is different. 20:40, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Correct me if im wrong but if you ran fast enough, could you go into orbit around earth? Donthaveusername (talk) 20:56, 15 January 2\021 (UTC)

This "What If" might help: Little Planet (also, I closed your /span tag (not sure why it's there, just following etiquette/not editing your post, while trying to fix a superfluous code-block /div that the wiki was inserting) Elvenivle (talk) 22:40, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

1:1,000,000 scale next? 23:24, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Kind of like the Powers of Ten short film. Barmar (talk) 06:23, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
My money's on 10,000:1 scale world next. Kev (talk) 19:16, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

If visitors in the previous comic get hypoxia unless they crouch regularly, then shouldn't visitors in this comic get hypoxia unless they lie down regularly? However hypoxia would likely negate the need for an intoxicating gas (although the visitors wouldn't be able to enjoy the apparent curvature for long before going unconscious). 00:02, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

The iss nerf point winning seems to be a reference to the space invaders UFO

I can't get my head around 5oz as a volume, with wine glasses ranging from petite flutes to huge volumes for 'tasting' and/or 'binging' (depending on how much you fill it, and how much air you (don't) leave for it to 'breathe' into). Fluid ounces, I presume, but they mean little to me as everyday practical alternatives to the litre/millilitre and the US often doesn't even use the same measure amounts even when they nominally share a name with imperial so going to look at my own measuring jug probably would mislead me by a significant fraction. Yes, I could look it up, but it's annoying me that I would have to. (Also, that glass she's putting icecaps in looks wine-glassy. Either you're icing wine, or using the wrong kind of glass for whisky/whatever.) 04:50, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

I'm not sure about oz, but in Oz (Australia) a "wineglass" as a unit of measurement is apparently half a cup, and as a cup is 200mL, I'm guessing it would be 100mL. I found this out by reading Kerry Greenwood murder mysteries, though, in which someone misreads the measurement as being anything a wine glass can hold. 08:52, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

The area from the previous comic is visible near mount Everest. It appears to be an exact copy, with the anvil cloud and ocean matching perfectly. 09:20, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Why are there Icecaps on the flat ground so close to mt everest? is it the arctic or am I missing something? didn't think himalaya is THAT far north... --Lupo (talk) 10:43, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

I had that concern about Seattle and Dubai (presumed, at least) in the last comic. Might just be the peculiar perspective/cross-sectional nature, but otherwise it's going to be a highly accurate but jumbled model of Earth. (Or a real decimilli-/centimilli-scale planet of its own layout but with its own features named for the Earthly equivalents.) Model villages that cram in the intricately designed working alpine cablecars well within a scale-mile of the busy sea-port, etc, have this problem/solution too. 13:03, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

How big and fast would meteors be? Would they actually be dangerous on this scale? 21:19, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

nanometer sized grains of dust travelling at 20 to 70 centimeters per second.

I imagine that Randall could possibly follow these last two entries with a 1:1,000,000 model. Then he could have several characters holding on for dear life while balanced on something like a beach ball. These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 04:55, 17 January 2021 (UTC

if the characters jumped their heads would be about the equivlent of 200 km up i did the math (assuming the average jump is 1 foot) Sci0927 (talk) 16:30, 21 January 2021 (UTC)