American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said that if the Earth's rotation suddenly stops even for just one second, everyone on the planet would immediately die. The scientist said that if this happens, everyone would be hurled away at speeds of over 1,200 kilometers per hour.
The Earth completes its rotation every 24 hours at an average speed of about 1,600 kilometers per hour. Even though Earth is spinning at such a fast rate, living creatures do not feel it because they are rotating or moving with the planet. However, if the Earth stops rotating even for just a brief moment, it would be very disastrous.
When Larry King show discussed it
This doomsday scenario was discussed by Tyson during a previous interview session with American radio and television host Larry King. As explained by Tyson, everything that's not securely anchored down on the ground would be ejected at high speeds once the Earth stops moving. According to the astrophysicist, everyone and everything would be hurled away at speeds that are almost as fast as the Earth's rotation.
"That would be disastrous," he said during the interview. "We are all moving with the Earth at [1,200 kilometers per hour] due East. If you stopped Earth and you weren't seatbelt buckled to the Earth, you would fall over and roll [1,200 kilometers per hour] due East. It would kill everyone on Earth," Tyson added. "People would be flying out of windows and that would be just a bad day on Earth."
Like Being In A Car Crash
Tyson explained that the effects humans will experience during this catastrophic event would be similar to being in an extremely violent car crash. If a vehicle moving at high speeds suddenly stops due to an accident or collision, everyone inside that car who's not wearing a seatbelt will be thrown out of their seats or even out of the vehicle.
"Now if somehow we all slowed down, so anything not bolted to the Earth would slide due East at [1,200 kilometers per hour]," he stated. "That's what happens to you in a car if you hit a brick wall and you're not wearing a seatbelt, you keep going."
Humanity's Chances Of Survival
Tyson noted that there is no way to survive this kind of event especially if the Earth stops moving without any form of early warning. However, if for some miraculous reason humans are able to slow down with the Earth's rotation before completely stopping, everyone would be fine.
According to Tyson, instead of getting thrown away and dying, humans will only experience a very long day if they manage to slow down with the Earth. Of course, depending on how long Earth's rotation would stop, it might also have drastic effects on the planet since transitions between night and day will also cease.