Did you know that if a marshmallow hit the Earth at close to the speed of light it would produce a crater several miles across?

Nope. Nor did I—

But as impressed as I was with the science…

418929_10151160572261041_849428367_nI didn’t find it nearly as exciting as learning of a sentence in Les Miserable which contains 827 words. As far as I’m aware, Victor Hugo was no astronomer, so I am therefore compelled to suggest that NASA employees like Sten Odenwald should know better than to publish such lunacy. It does make it pretty obvious why he’s on the big-bucks though. Anyway, can you imagine such a thing surviving re-entry? Never mind the whole speed thing. Perhaps on a body with a low density atmosphere, but Earth? Or, if it could somehow accelerate from zero to warp-speed before the desk and my face stop…

I’ve decided after careful thought that I’m not convinced, despite the fancy sums— but if there are any budding mentalists out there who’d care to show me the errors of my tiny brain, you’ll find me at the back of the Astronomy Café with Wile E. Coyote, a lucky dip of astro-comical fries and a calculator…

And certainly no mention of the French!

It’s all just chalk and cheese, numbers and stuff—

And that’s me looking unimpressed. I can’t really fake sincerity, but I’m working on it…

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8 thoughts on “Did you know that if a marshmallow hit the Earth at close to the speed of light it would produce a crater several miles across?

  1. Margaux N.

    It’s funny how you read those so called facts on the internet. If a marshmallow would, for some reason, travel in the speed of light I sincerely think it would melt before it hits the surface of the Earth! I know much solider objects would.

    Reply
    1. Just a Little Background Noise Post author

      You might be on to something there you know. I mean Baby Superman’s spaceship barely made it in at least three different films, probably more if you count TV! 😀 This wouldn’t have been so good had it been from a less disreputable source, but it’s NASA. I love it when even the hypothetical woods can’t be seen!

      Reply
    1. Just a Little Background Noise Post author

      That’d be cheating though! I’d see the the little anthropomorphic marshmallow scooting along on his beam of light; it’d be in a vacuum but entirely audible which wouldn’t be weird at all 😮

      They’d be numbers would be flying here and there, which would be absurd to think you could keep up to crunch the numbers. And all the time I’d be hanging elephants by the tail with daisies and then the monkeys – actual monkeys not the band. There are always monkeys when I close my eyes. Always…

      Reply
    1. Just a Little Background Noise Post author

      A-ha, a semiopathic chef perhaps? 😀

      Robert McKee once said that the secret to good comedy is, ‘no puns, no puns, no puns’, but I’ve never quite reconciled with the last one, mainly because one of my best friendships in the world is built on them.

      Very good though Sir…

      Reply
  2. bgddyjim

    I’ll file the marshmallow hypothesis in a special file drawer in my melon: sometimes it takes an intellectual to write/say something so stupid.

    Don’t care what the math says, that a marshmallow would make a hole in a chunk of rock, let alone a crater is just silly. What kind of idiot would go to the expense of testing that? Oh, wait… This is NASA and the US government.

    Maybe they should come up with a mathematical equation that shows the stupidity with which they can waste money in relation to marshmallows and the speed of light. They can call it the Perot Equation: That giant sucking sound you hear is ‘stupid’ at the speed of NASA.

    Reply
    1. Just a Little Background Noise Post author

      Haha, yes quite right! The reason I like this one is because of your first point… The chap, quite rightly determined the potential energy contained in a marshmallow, should it just so happen to get a bit of a shift on… Hypothetical bsurdities from reputable sources are always worth a snort!

      I take it you’re a fan of Beligian detectives – he’s retired now I think, but would no doubt’ve got to the bottom of it… at the governments expense of course.

      Gotta love NASA!

      Reply

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