the shower question
After overhearing someone complaining about how long someone else had been in the shower, punctuated with the observation “They’re going to run out of water soon”, it got me to thinking.
How large would the shower have to be to drain the Atlantic Ocean over the course of a typical ten minute shower?
I would guess it would have to be miles high and definitely something you could see from outer space.
The question would be; could we build it? Do we have the technology and resources?
I know some of you would ask “Why would we want to?” but I would counter “Why not?” In a few billion years the sun is going to absorb the Earth and extinguish all life as we know it so what difference does it make how we spend the time?
Why not build an enormous shower that drains the Atlantic Ocean?
We would, of course, build it in the United States because this is just the type of ‘swing for the fences’ project that Americans love. It would put everyone to work. Just think of the plumbing needed. Miles and miles and miles of the stuff.
We’d start somewhere in the middle of the country, let’s say Nebraska. We would need teams of engineers to figure out how to duplicate a shower that we all as Americans agree typifies the perfect shower, perhaps a poll could be taken in Better Homes and Gardens, and blow it up to the scale needed without losing any of its charm. I’m guessing that the footprint would take up most of Nebraska and might even bleed a little into Kansas. Once it got started and people saw the enormity of the task ahead of them we’ll need teams of politicians to remind them of why it’s so important that we build an enormous shower that drains the Atlantic Ocean. Would Mr. and Mrs. America buy in?
And then could we do it?
I mean physically do it.
Pump all of the water from the Atlantic, 82 billion billion gallons of water, into/through our shower. Think about it… a very daunting task. And then have the water drain into the Pacific.
If we could do it I can almost hear the American President; “To the millions of men, women and children in Asia that were swept away in what must have seen like an endless number of tidal waves and tsunamis, you have our sincere apologies. On the positive side of the ledger however… we did it!”
A shower that can be seen from space and would eventually be stumbled upon by some alien race that would fly up to Earth just to take a closer look and wonder to themselves “What were they thinking? What needed washing that was so damned huge?”
Right there we would have accomplished something. Something real as a species. Meaningful.
An enormous shower that drains the Atlantic Ocean.
Sure, the sun is going to swallow it up eventually but until that time it would be something we could be proud of.
An enormous shower that drains the Atlantic Ocean with nothing huge to wash.
I implore you to close your eyes and imagine it finished. Looking up at it. How it could possibly be built.
Just the scale of the undertaking makes my head spin. The pyramids? The Great Wall of China? The Chunnel? The Large Hadron Collider? Child’s play compared to the United States of an Enormous Shower That Drains the Atlantic Ocean.
Imagine the roar as 137 billion gallons of water fall from the sky every second when it’s finally turned on. Niagara Falls? Please. That’s only 75,000 gallons a second. This would be like 1.8 MILLION Niagara Falls.
If you’ve ever been to Niagara Falls I think you’re the picture. The enormity of it.
But could we do it? If every American put all of our time and effort and money into, make it a generational project, could we really build it?
I just don’t know.
But we’ll never know until we try and the first step to trying is giving it some serious thought. The more you truly think about it actually building such a thing the more you’ll understand how I can’t stop thinking about it.