What If We Drained the Oceans?

What if we found the 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?

Oceanic water makes up 70% of the Earth’s surface. If we opened a portal about the size of a basketball court, it would take us hundreds of thousands of years to pump out the oceans. They hold over a billion cubic km (321 million cubic miles) of water. But what if we had a pump powerful enough to drain all the oceans in a minute? What would happen then?

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This video was in part inspired by Randall Munroe’s (xkcd) hilarious book “What if: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions”. Get it here: