Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles [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.