1198: Geologist

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 13:29, 12 April 2013 by (talk) (Transcript)
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'It seems like it's still alive, Professor.' 'Yeah, a big one like this can keep running around for a few billion years after you remove the head.'
Title text: 'It seems like it's still alive, Professor.' 'Yeah, a big one like this can keep running around for a few billion years after you remove the head.'


Geology is the study of the physical and chemical makeup of the Earth.

Hunters, after killing an especially difficult or rare beast, sometimes remove its head and hang it up on a wall as a trophy. Cueball, as a geologist, "kills the Earth" by shooting at it. He removes its "head" (actually just a chunk of rock) and hangs it up on his office wall.

The title text is probably a reference to a chicken running around with its head cut off.


[Cueball is wearing earmuffs and goggles, armed with a gun and a rock hammer. There are rocks nearby. There is a van in the background labeled "Dept. of Geology".]
[Cueball shoots three holes in the ground.]
[Cueball hacks away at the top of a nearby rock.]
Clink Clink
[Cueball in his office. Behind him on a wall is a rock, labeled "Earth" and "4,500,000,000 BCE - April 12, 2013".]

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The title text sounds a bit like a movie reference. Did anyone catch it? --Koveras (talk) 07:53, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

I was thinking a zombie reference? Kaa-ching (talk) 08:14, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

The bad guy in "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" jokes about firing his handgun at the Earth, thereby killing "Gaia". -- 09:35, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

The first thing I thought of was the Gaia Hypothesis. Its advocates claim that Earth is a living thing. As far as we all know, living things can be killed. By killing Earth, Cueball puts an end to the controversy, for Earth is not alive anymore. Dellarappia (talk) 12:11, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

And geologists, specifically those employed by oil companies, are sometimes accused by environmental groups of "killing the earth" when they make holes in the ground and then take away something that's there. Of course they use a drill instead of a gun, and take oil instead of a random rock. 13:01, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Could the title text be about cockroaches, a species which has been around for millions of years, and who also can survive for some time after their head is removed? 13:01, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Many geologists that work in sub surface mapping use guns (mostly heavy gauge shotgun or explosives) to cause vibrations that bounce off dense rocks or liquid (oil) so that they can map what the sub surface looks like. 14:59, 12 April 2013 (UTC) TMC

I don't get it. The "killing" and trophy collection is somewhat analogous to poking a whale with a pin then taking a scraping of its skin cells. 05:04, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

That kinda is the point: the utter ridiculousness of taking a trophy of the Earth this way. --Aaron of Mpls (talk) 08:30, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Trivia fact: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Geology department featured this comic the day of it's release. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The way the rock looks that Cueball takes a chunk out of, it almost looks like someone else got there first! Which adds to the joke of the silliness of the act. --Natezmatthews (talk) 22:11, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Maybe the truck's text doesn't need to be partly rewritten on the transcript -- 20:20, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

Thanks, maybe you can help to rewrite this overwhelming transcript. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:14, 2 June 2018 (UTC)