Destroying the Earth

This is a fascinating—and detailed—analysis of what would be required to destroy the earth: materials, methods, feasibility, schedule. While the DHS might view this as a terrorist manual and get it removed from the Internet, the good news is that obliterating the planet isn’t an easy task.

Posted on March 15, 2005 at 5:30 PM10 Comments


Anonymous March 15, 2005 5:58 PM

I would say “Um, how could the DHS /possibly/ take this seriously?” but stranger (stupider?) things have happened.


Darrel March 15, 2005 6:11 PM

All I can say is that smart people have way to much time on their hands! We really need to find a way to gainfully emply these people….

Davi Ottenheimer March 15, 2005 7:11 PM

funny. clearly, unless you own a death-star, destroying the earth is far harder than making it totally uninhabitable. the threat of and vulnerability to destruction is low, therefore the risk is low.

compare that to preventing the insecurity/deterioration of habitat. the threat to earth’s extremely vulnerable habitat is high…

clive Robinson March 16, 2005 11:04 AM

Just one note he is talking about destroying the earth, not humanity which is a much easier task as the author puts it,

“This is not a guide for wusses whose aim is merely to wipe out humanity”

One geologist once refered to humanity humourosly as a “an unplesant but short lived skin disease that blights the earth”

Jarrod March 18, 2005 11:33 AM

A while back, I took the listed nuclear arsenal of the United States, combined with some calculations on the effects of nuclear weapons, and determined that, assuming approximately the same destructive capabilities exist in the Russian arsenal and precise placement of the warheads for maximum effect with no overlap, about one million square kilometers of land could be severely affected (read: essentially destroyed). That’s out of about 149 million square kilometers of land. Pretty paltry, in a twisted way. 🙂

another_bruce March 24, 2005 8:59 AM

i have a small, working death star. suspended from a blimp and powered by 50 car batteries wired in parallel, it fires coherent gravitons (i.e., a gravity laser) at the target. tested successfully on a gazebo, a hot tub and three outhouses so far, this technology unfortunately does not seem to be scalable. problem is, the target accelerates rapidly toward the death star, striking it at about mach 1 and destroying it, so each death star is a one-shot baby. the mixture of car battery disintegrata and the contents of the outhouse pit makes for an extraordinarily toxic residue. i am collecting protection money from 74 accounts who don’t want this happening on their land.

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.