What If?

Randall “If That’s My Real Name” Munroe, author of the xkcd website, recently released a book titled What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions About Disneyland. In the book, Munroe (who has degrees in both rocket science and artistic minimalism) takes a serious look at what some might consider to be frivolous, science-centered Disney questions.

A few of our favorites include:

  • What would happen in the Mark V Monorail was accelerated to relativistic speeds?
  • What would happen if guests maintained their rotational velocity after exiting the Mad Tea Party?
  • If the Monsanto House of the Future were built today but everything in it was still projecting the same amount of time into the future, what would it contain?
  • If every teenager at Disneyland on a typical grad nite had a straw, how long would it take them to drain all of Disneyland’s water features?
  • If all of the Disney parks went to war with each other, which would win?
  • What if Disney’s Animal Kingdom was, in every possible literal sense, a half-day park?
  • How much additional ink would be used over the course of all history if Disney used capital letters when referring to “it’s a small world”?
  • How many neutrinos has the Matterhorn absorbed during its entire existence?
  • If the perimeter of all Disney parks lengthened by 1% every hour, how long would it be before everyone was living in Disney World?
  • If all of the Autopia cars were merged into one super Autopia car, how fast could it go?
  • Would the economy of Liberia be improved or harmed if all Liberian dollars were replaced with Disney dollars?
  • If all Disney World attractions were removed and nothing but Ellen’s Energy Adventure copies built, how many copies could there be without necessitating changing any of the parks’ footprints?
  • How much additional damage can a human in a Winnie the Pooh costume take compared to a naked person? What about a princess dress? Tinker bell?
  • How hard would a child have to hug Mickey Mouse to compress him enough that the tidal effects of his personal gravity field became significant?
  • How would Mission to Mars have been different if it really went to Mars?
  • How long could an optimally designed and constructed animatronic Abraham Lincoln operate without human interference if elected President?
  • What if there were rifts in the space/time continuum such that each non-Fantasyland/Toontown Disneyland land actually existed in the time period it represented?
  • What would it cost to replace all the world’s birds with Tiki Room birds?
  • How long a strand of DNA would it take to encode the entire Carousel of Progress show (current version)?
  • If all of the energy used to produce Disney fireworks displays around the globe was turned to curing disease instead, how many lives could be saved?
  • How would the world be different if the rate of computer-science innovation was equivalent to the rate of Jungle Cruise joke innovation?
  • What would happen if one person ate the most expensive adult meal on the menu at every Disney World restaurant within 24 hours?
  • What if everyone who had ever visited Disneyland visited tomorrow? Including the dead ones?
  • What current Disney attractions could be built and operated in Disney Antarctica?
  • If everything proceeds just as it has been for the last ten years, at what point will Disneyland tickets be worth more than gold?
  • If one child’s smile is one “awesome unit,” how much more awesome is Disney than Universal?

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