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The Earth is Smoother than a Snooker Ball


Yes, it's true, amazing as it may seem, that the planet Earth is smoother than a snooker ball. Indeed, even including the Himalayas, the surface of the Earth is smoother per scale than a snooker ball!A blue snooker ball pictured as if it's been Scaled-up to be Earth-sized!The Earth

So, if you could make a perfect model of the earth the size of a snooker ball, it would be smoother than an actual snooker ball? Yes. It's true.

Well how can that be?

OK, the highest point on the Earth is Mount Everest, which is about 28,000 feet, or 5-6 miles. And the deepest part of the ocean is the Mariana Trench, which is about 7 miles deep. So, the biggest difference is at most 13 miles. On a sphere which is 8000 miles in diameter (24 thousand miles in circumference), that's about one part in 600.

Now, for a snooker ball to be smoother than that, at a couple of inches in diameter, it would have to have no craters, lumps, or scratches bigger than three thousandths of an inch.

On inspecting an average snooker ball, it's clearly got features on its surface bigger than 3 thou'!* Incidentally, a well-used snooker ball was used. This is only fair, as the Earth is also a well-used well-worn sphere of considerable age!

So, therefore, the Earth is (per scale) smoother than a snooker ball!

Terraformed VenusThe next interesting question is, if you could magnify a snooker ball up to the size of the Earth, what would the geography and landscape of it look like?! It would surely have surface features more extreme than the Himalayas and the Mariana Trench! Current speculation suggests that an Earth sized scaled-up snooker ball would have some very deep canyons which would stretch for thousands of miles, and there would also be some notable impact-craters. Here you can see some snooker ball geography, complete with deep features in the surface.

On the left is a version of the terraformed Planet Venus for comparison.

* a thou' is a thousandth of an inch. Therefore 3 thou' means three times as big as one thousandth of an inch.Some of the geographical topology features of a snooker ball (ie of the order of 1/300 inch). Although the thou' is an oldfashioned measurement, it's a convenient size for feeler gauges and other fine measurements in engines. Maybe we should have measured the snooker ball in metric.

Incidentally, Zyra.org.uk was the originator of this page, in the Truths section, so if you see a stolen version then that's a case of plagiarism. A while ago there was an incident of such plagiarism at Yahoo, but the good news on this is that Yahoo have finally got their act together and got this (and seven other cases) sorted out! Well done to Yahoo! A second Well Done to Yahoo came at a later date after a polite discussion in which they un-banned the site (it had earlier been classified incorrectly as a site of no merit on account of having a great many pages).

You're welcome to LINK to this page! It's got a deep-linking policy so it is safe to link to. Make sure you get the address right! It's www.zyra.org.uk/smoother.htm

However, if you are considering stealing the whole page and pasting it into your blog, please DON'T! Instead, here's what to do: Copy the following paragraph (which you're welcome to do) with link...

Yes, it's true, amazing as it may seem, that the planet Earth is smoother than a snooker ball. Indeed, even including the Himalayas, the surface of the Earth is smoother per scale than a snooker ball! To find out more about this, see www.zyra.org.uk/smoother.htm

Oh, now it's Google that's getting things wrong. How could they think that the page of Snooker Ball Geography is more about "The Earth is Smoother than a Snooker Ball" than THIS page, which is actually about that and is called "The Earth is Smoother than a Snooker Ball", is another matter. Google is looking like falling from favour now the search results are becoming naff, and it may be that there is a need to Replace Google

Also see the Google Problem