World Jump Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The World Jump Day was an event scheduled for July 20, 2006 at 11:39.13 UTC, at which time the organization claimed to have 600 million people from the western hemisphere jump simultaneously. They claimed this would move the Earth out of its orbit, and into a new one, one that would not cause global warming. The site was a hoax,[1] an art installation by Torsten Lauschmann (claiming to be a Professor Hans Peter Niesward from the Institute for Gravitational Physics in Munich), and in no way serious. The German student association Lambda Omega Lambda provided hosting and programming services.

Origins and participation[edit]

T-Shirts for the World Jump Day

According to DNS lookup information, the site worldjumpday.org is hosted in the UK, on UK2.[2] Before that, it was registered to Torsten Lauschmann. Lauschman is a German artist currently living in Glasgow.

This hoax has been put forth in the "media" before, as an item in the Weekly World News in 1993, according to this link. The idea is also noted in the feature film Pay It Forward. A school kid outlines his plan to create a website encouraging all the kids in China to jump up and down at the same time. To this his teacher, played by Kevin Spacey, remarks: "The goal being to knock the earth off its axis.."

The idea is also used as a key feature in the cult UK TV show Danger Mouse. In a classic season 10 episode, 'The Intergalactic 147', Danger Mouse and Penfold manage to convince world leaders to jump to the left to roll the earth out of the way, so as to not be potted into a black hole, in a bizarre game of intergalactic snooker.

The counter for the site, measuring registered jumpers, was also inaccurate. The number of registered jumpers would go both up and down. For a point of reference, at 21:37 on 18 July 2006, it was at 598,196,296 but just 15 minutes later it had dropped to around 598,106,000.[3] Less than 12 hours before the event the site's counter read that there were 600,256,820 registered jumpers, over 50% of all internet users.[4][dubious ]

Science[edit]

Even if it were to be taken seriously, World Jump Day's claim was completely unscientific and was widely discredited.[5][6] There are a number of reasons to reject the thesis:

  • It is impossible to permanently change the Earth's orbit using the planet's own mass (which includes that of the world's population) unless such mass is ejected from the Earth at escape velocity (see Newton's third law of motion). The center of gravity of the system containing the earth and its population of humans will remain in exactly the same orbit it was always in throughout the jump. However, for the very brief moment when the jumpers were in the air, the Earth's orbit would have been moved a tiny bit - only to be restored to its exact same location by the force of gravity acting between the jumpers and the planet while they were in the air.
  • Even ejecting such mass from the Earth (or colliding to it from outer space), the resulting energy would be equivalent to only 2% of the energy released by a modern hydrogen bomb, shifting the Earth's orbit just a small fraction of the radius of a single atom.[7]

Timing[edit]

The World Jump Day website gave the jump time as 11:39:13 GMT, but the countdown on the same site was (as of May 6, 2006) counting down to 10:39:13 GMT. There seemed to have been a confusion between the GMT or UTC time and the UK legal time 11:39:13 which takes into account daylight saving time. However, the countdown was adjusted to reach zero at 11:39:13 GMT.[citation needed]

  • A reminder e-mail with additional information advised jumpers that they should strive for a jump at least 2 minutes in duration.
  • At 11:20 GMT, the website server crashed; the results of the jump will not be published until August 10, according to the website.[8]
  • On July 14, 2007, the website stated that analysis has shown that the World Jump "has not caused any permanent changes" in the orbit or rotation of Earth, but suggests that the jump may have caused a slight drop in the average global temperature of the Earth.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scottish Arts Council - Archive - Artist: Torsten Lauschmann
  2. ^ Geo IP Tool - View my IP information
  3. ^ Upon packet sniffing when loading the website, the following text was revealed: &count_jumpers=599187280&&count_jumpers_real=248086&
  4. ^ http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm World Stats
  5. ^ Bad Astronomy Blog » World Jump Day: hopping madness
  6. ^ http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_155.html Cecil Adams from StraightDope.com on cataclysmic shift
  7. ^ http://www.madphysics.com/ask/world_jump_day_debunked.htm An explanation behind the faulty physics of world jump day
  8. ^ http://worldjumpday.org/ says "The jump is over. We hope you had a good landing. We are currently calculating the results and will be back in a few days."
  9. ^ http://worldjumpday.org/ Retrieved on 2006-08-25.

External links[edit]