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So imagine you're looking at the world map. More specifically, the left half (when the world map is cut along a vertical line, so the half stretches from the left edge of a current world map to a longitude around France/Germany). I will refer to this half as half A. Ignore the other half (half B) for now.

Half A is essentially split into four land masses of land, which lie in the four corners of A. Imagine four North-America-shaped (but small enough to fit four) land masses in the four corners. These land masses are separated by oceans (but this is irrelevant).

Half B. This is where I'm unsure. Essentially, a really large meteorite came and it knocked off that half of the world. I mean, it didn't go all the way to the core, it just removed the crust. So Half B is essentially just extremely mountainous and jagged land which is half-flooded with the rest of the world's oceans.

My Question: Is this possible? Could the meteorite have caused all of this?


Don't worry about the climate or whether the planet is habitable. I've got that part sorted.

The world is the Earth in the 23rd Century, so the land masses have to roughly be the same shape (the shapes can't change drastically to make my planet possible).

My World Map (please ignore my drawing skills)

The left half is what I'm referring to as half A and the right as half B. Even though my map suggests that there's only water in half B, there's a lot of mountainous land which is just flooded in places (but not completely). The shape of the land masses should be a bit like North America, but there's no other requirements. The border of halves A and B is roughly at the same longitude as France/Germany.

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  • $\begingroup$ I would suggest posting an image illustrating your idea. Some people may have difficulty visualising maps. $\endgroup$ – Olga Dec 29 '17 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ One drawing is worth a thousands words. Never heard it? $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Dec 29 '17 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch I'm pretty sure it's 'a picture is worth a thousand words' :-) I'm on my Mac right now and I haven't got any apps like MS Paint (long story but I can't install anything on my Mac right now). Until I get a graphical design app, I can't post my map. $\endgroup$ – Adi219 Dec 29 '17 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Olga I completely agree with you but I can't draw anything right now :-( $\endgroup$ – Adi219 Dec 29 '17 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ @AdiC I am not sure your image is very helpful. Perhaps if you use an actual map and draw on it we could better understand the changes you want to make to the Earth geography. $\endgroup$ – Olga Dec 29 '17 at 18:36
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I take this question to ask: could one have all the land masses crammed together on one half of the globe and nothing but ocean on the rest.

Yes.

panthalassic ocean and supercontinent Gondwanaland http://www.pnas.org/content/114/8/1806/F1.expansion.html

This is a map of the Permian earth. The land is all together and the rest is ocean.

You could do the same: have shallow seas separate your hairball continents and then a big deep ocean.

As regards the prospects of converting the Earth as it is to that layout by means of a huge impact, I am much more skeptical.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've read something meant as a critique to Tolkien once. The Tolkien bits are murky both in my memory and in that text (but I'll keep the names for clarity), but the geology looked solid to me. It basically said if you take Aman as a metaphor, there is basically one continent on Arda. As it is geologically modern, even if prehistoric Earth or Earth-like planet, there should be a yet another continent or a huge mountain in the middle of the continent we know. So either is Aman really existing, or we don't know something about geography of Middle-Earth, or JRRT screwed up. $\endgroup$ – Oleg Lobachev Dec 30 '17 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ Back to the point: there should be some insane geologic development that tore the continents apart in our geologic history. These huge volcanos and very strong earthquakes need to be reflected in the story. Another possibility: the continents have separated already, similar to our present day Earth, then you have further patches of land somewhere. $\endgroup$ – Oleg Lobachev Dec 30 '17 at 0:47
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If you're talking about the Earth specifically, then no, it wouldn't end up looking like that. Let's make some wild assumptions.

  • The meteor hit hard enough to materially change a hemisphere, but didn't destroy the life-bearing qualities of the planet. (This is an extinction-level event that would kill every living thing on the planet, but she's resilient, that Gaia of ours, and seeds could, maybe, sprout eventually. Let's assume they do.)

  • The meteor did not vaporize all the water or the atmosphere (that might be stretching a bit, but let's roll with it).

On the hemisphere where the impact occured you'd have a whomping big hole surrounded first by a ring of mountains and then scattered debris. After the water filled back in, you'd have a massive ocean surrounded by an archipelago ring of mountains. Beyond that you'd have islands everywhere.

On the exact opposite side of the Earth from the impact, the land would have been raised due to the force of the impact traveling through the earth. Given the size of the impact we're talking about, I'd assume a small continent would appear (if in ocean) or a thousand-or-more mile wide bluff would appear if on land with an escaprment surrounding it. It's more complicated than what I'm about to suggest, but think of what it would look like to stretch out a piece of rubber and then press your fist to the middle. That "raised land" is kinda what we're talking about.

As for the rest of the opposite-hemisphere continents. Well, they'll be affected, but not to the extent your'e proposing. I wonder if the water draining into the impact crater wouldn't lower the ocean overall, leaving basically one fairly big continent on the opposite side.

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