Posted on July 20, 2017
World Jump Day was scheduled to be on this date in 2006. At exactly 11:39.13 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time - or possibly UTC, Coordinated Universal Time - different sources say different things!), 600 million people living in the Western Hemisphere of the Earth were supposed to jump.
At EXACTLY the same time.
The simultaneous jumping of so many people was supposed to move the Earth out of its orbit, into a new orbit, thus saving us all from global warming.
Hmmm...does that seem even remotely likely?
Of course not! The entire scheme was a joke.
I mean, you could call World Jump Day a hoax - but we usually use that word to mean a malicious lie rather than a good-humored prank...and it seems to me that it was more good-humored than malicious.
The creator of the World Jump Day hoax was Torsten Lauschmann, a German artist who is living in the United Kingdom. He considered the Jump Day prank to be an art installation!
He created a website purporting that there was an entire organization coordinating the jump event and featuring a counter of registered jumpers. The counter went up and down in the most unlikely way, and by the time set for the jump, the counter indicated that there were 600,256,820 registered jumpers. And that is a really, really unlikely number, given that it is more than half of all people in the entire world who used the internet, at the time.
Of course, IF the everyone-in-the-west-jump-at-the-exact-same-time plan had been serious, and if 600 million people had really done the jump, it wouldn't have changed the Earth's orbit. At all.
According to Wikipedia, the science of the situation is that we cannot change the Earth's orbit using the planet's mass (and the planet's entire mass includes all of the plants and animals on the planet, and so that includes all of us!) - UNLESS the mass were thrown off of the Earth so quickly that it reached escape velocity.
In other words, the jump stunt could've changed the orbit, a bit, if the 600 million people had all launched themselves into space and streaked out to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
But even if that happened, the Earth's orbit would only change a really little bit. Not a shift of a mile, or even a foot. Not a shift of an inch...but instead, the orbit would shift about the the radius of a single atom.
Um....yeah. Not going to solve global warming!
By the way, can you imagine the calculations of the new orbit that WOULD solve global warming? And then computing the amount of mass that would have to leave (or impact) the Earth to move it to that orbit? It would be a massive (pun intended) undertaking - something way more difficult, dangerous, and costly (not to mention impossible) than switching energy sources and other solutions people are working on right now.
In honor of World Jump Day, I offer some cool jumps: