October Question: Bizarro World

When I was a kid, I used to read a lot of comics, which back then only came in dead tree format. In the classic Superman comics, there was a character that came from Bizzaro World. Bizzaro World was just like Earth, but instead of being spherical, it was a giant cube. So here is the thought experiment.

Imagine you were on a cubical planet, with the same mass as Earth, with the same atmosphere and oceans. Think about the following questions (hint – think about what “down” means):

  1. Where would all the water go? Remember, water accumulates in lower places, yet all six sides are flat.
  2. What would happen when you cross an edge? Would you simply flip 90 degrees?
  3. Imagine you are standing in the center of one of the sides. You decide to walk to the corner. What would happen along the way?

Bonus question. Imagine the following scenario: Earth is nice and spherical, however the moon is now a cube. Because the moon is tidally locked to the Earth, the same side always faces the earth. Let’s assume the side facing Earth is one of the square faces. The question is, what would the phases of the moon look like from Earth? Here is a drawing to help you visualize.


Feel free to post any questions you may have, I will try to answer them.


Images provided by Yahoo! Images and Classroom Clipart. Images not to scale. Also, the Sun does not really smile.

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