Here’s What Would Happen If The Moon Collided With The Earth

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The primary responsibility of the Moon, astronomically and physically speaking, is the maintenance of tidal movement across the Earth. The continuous spiraling pattern that the Moon takes in circumnavigation of our world draws the oceans’ waters in a constant undulation that can range from a small change between high and low tides (perhaps less than a meter) to a significant range in the tens or dozens of meters, according to the University of Liverpool’s National Tidal and Sea Level Facility.

While the Earth’s gravity locks the Moon into a steady orbit, the Moon’s competing gravitational pull draws the oceanic and sea waters toward it’s own pull, fluctuating back and forth on a total cycle of about 12.5 hours between high tides.

If the Moon were to come crashing toward the Earth, the first change that would be immediately noticeable is the immense alteration of tidal schedules and rise. Kurzgesagt reports that the Moon — if it could come crashing down on Earth — would continue to rotate in orbit, forming ever smaller circuits until it reached the planet. This would result in massive tidal momentum as the Moon continued to draw closer. Eventually, tidal waters would rush onto land in the form of tsunamis hundreds of feet tall before draining back out again in a kind of comedic, cosmic taunting (via Kurzgesagt). All this would leave the land barren as salt water would decimate crops, soil, and aquifers, even during periods of tidal retreat.

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