(Widdershins is a Scottish term which means "contrary to the sun's course".)

It's quite simple: part of the worldbuilding is that certain people are forced to travel around the globe perpetually eastwards, albeit at quite a slow rate - let's say about 20 miles a day on average, varying. I figured this would give a complete circumnavigation of the globe in about one calendar year. Obviously, (for part of the journey) this would result in a slow foreshortening of the days while they move eastward.

Anyway, my question is what effects might that have on human behaviour, psychology, circadian rhythms etc?

It seems to me a slow enough transit that we'd adjust quite easily, but I'm wondering if there's anything else you might need to consider?

The mechanism for transit will be vehicular, so there could easily be a technical solution to any issues - I just need to know about them.

Many thanks, PH

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    $\begingroup$ Next to nothing. The marginal change per day is negligible. $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Sep 6, 2018 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ The user in the questions I linked (TrEs-2b) asked a whole series of questions about these peoples in question, follow links to find them all. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Sep 6, 2018 at 13:46
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think there would be a physical or mental issue with slightly shortened days, but the constant travel would definitely change their lives. First of all, they couldn't have a permanent home, or any sense of stability. It would be hard to imagine what kind of jobs they would do. Their lives would have to be pretty disciplined to move every single day (I'm guessing they aren't allowed to take ten days off and make it up by moving 220 miles in one day?). If this is something they're not born and bred to, the adjustment would be hard and may drive many to despair. $\endgroup$
    – workerjoe
    Sep 6, 2018 at 13:48
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    $\begingroup$ Occasionally they might cross paths with a North-Going Zax or a South-Going Zax, but other than that I think they'll be fine. $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2018 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


Assuming that they need exactly 1 year for a circumnavigation, and that your globe world has 365 days per year, it will shorten the average day by less than 4 minutes[1]. And 4 minutes off each day is definitely nothing that would have an effect on behaviour, psychology or circadian rhythm.

There are other things that will have way much more impact on these things, like adaptation to diverse climate zones, language barriers, and a great variety of cultures. But I will not go deeper into that as it is not what was asked.

[1]: circumnavigating the globe eastwards adds 1 day to the whole year, you will have 366 days in the same time. Each day is only 365/366 of it's original length, the difference equals to 4 minutes (the original day has 1440 minutes, shorter day has 1436.07 minutes).

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    $\begingroup$ At the OP's stated travel rate, circumnavigation would take about three years, rather than one. $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Sep 6, 2018 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @jdunlop That would mean the average day is 1.3 minutes shorter. I wont edit my answer because OP said he 'figures this would give a complete circumnavigation of the globe in about one calendar year'. $\endgroup$
    – kscherrer
    Sep 7, 2018 at 7:32
  • $\begingroup$ @jdunlop - quite so, my calculations were incorrect. They'd need to do 60+ miles per day for a complete circuit in a year. $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2018 at 14:20

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