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  • [MUSIC]

  • Consider a cubic cow, living on a cubic hillside, under cubic clouds, on a cube

  • world. Could planet Minecraft actually exist?

  • [MUSIC]

  • With over 70 million copies sold and more than 100,000,000 players, the world of Minecraft

  • is huge. But it’s not infinite.

  • Thanks to some quirks of your computer’s mathematical code, the Minecraft Overworld

  • is limited to a width of 68.7 billion meters, for a total area of 4.7 quadrillion

  • square kilometers or about 9 million times the surface area

  • of Earth.

  • Of course, that’s just one face. All six sides would have an area of over 28 quadrillion

  • square kilometers, more than 4,000 times the surface area of the sun.

  • Near the World Border, about 30,000,000 meters from the center of any Minecraft landscape,

  • things start to get very weird. Living stuff just sort of disappears.

  • On a cubic planet, this makes sense. Gravity would only be oriented straight up and down

  • at the center of each face. The closer we get to any horizon, the more of the planet’s

  • mass that would be under and behind us, and although that would make gravity slightly

  • weaker towards the edge, we’d get the odd sensation that we were walking uphill.

  • That angled gravity would end up drawing air and water away from the edges. Viewing our

  • cubic planet from orbit, we’d see six bubble atmospheres, one in the center of each face.

  • On the surface, we’d only be able to travel so far before we simply walked right out into

  • space.

  • [MUSIC]

  • Ah, there’s nothing quite as beautiful as a cubic sunset. Unlike on Earth, the Overworld’s

  • sun and moon are always oriented directly opposite of each other. One explanation is

  • that the Overmoon is actually a neighboring cubic planet, locked in its own synchronous

  • orbit with the Cubesun but that doesn’t explain the stars.

  • In Earth’s night sky, the relative positions of the stars and moon change each night as

  • we travel around the sun. But in Minecraft, the night sky always looks the same. This

  • can only mean the Overworld is at the center of its universe, orbited by a fixed sun, moon,

  • and stars. Clearly, Copernicus would not be a ‘crafter.

  • Since the sun and moon pass directly overhead each day, we can conclude that the polar axis

  • of our cubic planet passes directly through the center of two of the six faces. These

  • polar faces would only ever see dim twilight, and their bubble biomes are most likely frozen

  • wastelands, devoid of complex life. But the other illuminated faces of our world could

  • be home to three unique Overworlds of their own.

  • In 1884 a Swiss astronomer claimed to have discovered a cube world just like this, orbiting

  • beyond Neptune. Spoiler: he was wrong. Very, very wrong.

  • With my sincerest apologies to Superman, Bizarro and Minecraft players everywhere, the laws

  • of physics say cubic planets and cubic ducks are sadly impossible.

  • Having enough gravity to rearrange into a sphere is one of the criteria for being a

  • planet. Gravity wants to pull an object’s mass into the smallest volume possible, and

  • to distribute that gravity as evenly as possible among that mass. The best shape for that? A

  • sphere.

  • If a gas planet like Jupiter, made mostly of hydrogen, were just 80 times more massive

  • than it is, it wouldn’t be a planet anymore. Its gravity and internal pressure would be

  • so high that elements like hydrogen would begin to fuse to helium at its core it

  • would turn into a star.

  • For a rocky planet to turn into a star, to fuse heavier elements like silicon, it would

  • have to be about 8 to 11 times more massive than our sun.

  • Our cube world’s volume would be 3.2 x 10^23 cubic kilometers, and at a density similar

  • to Earth’s, its hexahedral mass would be nearly 900,000 times that of our sun. The

  • only things that massive in our universe are - supermassive - black holes.

  • These large black holes are likely found at the center of most galaxies, surrounded by

  • incredible amounts of heat and radiation. Like all black holes, they contain so much

  • mass, so much gravity, that even light can’t escape.

  • So, a cubic Overworld might be impossible

  • in this universe, but if Minecraft has taught us anything, it’s a universe of its own.

  • And there, who knows what might be possible? Stay curious.

  • This episode was sponsoredby dropbox

  • No matter what your create, whether you write it, draw it, mix it, or test it,

  • Dropbox makes it simple to work the way you want.

  • That’s why over 400 million people around the world use Dropbox to work together

  • on any file, with anyone, from anywhere. Dropbox. All Yours.

[MUSIC]

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Could Planet Minecraft Actually Exist?

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    Amy.Lin posted on 2017/04/10
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