In the terrible movie LA Apocalypse the planet's core destabilized causing the fault lines to erupt, magma spilled out, earthquakes going every 5 minutes. Eventfully things were resolved by detonating a nuke in LA (typical American Logic - aliens on the doorstep? nuke'em. Foreign country going to launch a full scale attack? nuke'em. Planet's core isn't working? nuke it).

However assume for instance that the core de-stabilization of the core and the effects on the world was predicted and someone (government maybe?) thought it be a good idea to prepare by finding a spot which will be the least affected by the coming crisis but also be the easiest to build a new settlement (open ocean is a fine idea but you'd need to build an ocean platform first which itself has its own difficulty).

So where on Earth would this place be? and what (if any) difficulties would the people of this settlement still face with the destabilized core?

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    $\begingroup$ What does a "stable" core mean? How could its lack cause such issues? If you want a "real" answer, you should clarify the nature of the phenomenon. If you want cartoon physics, you can make up something just as bad as the nuke: hide out at the north pole and treat it as a giant raft. Uncover Santa's secret cloaked bunker and convince him to help. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Jun 1, 2015 at 6:30
  • $\begingroup$ Comet headed toward Earth: nuke it. Meteor: nuke it. And your missing "nuke em" link; Foreign country launching an attack: nuke em. I'm still waiting for the movie where they nuke the grocery store because they ran out of my favorite breakfast cereal. $\endgroup$
    – user458
    Jun 1, 2015 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ It does seem like Americans like blowing stuff up the most, but they are not the only contributor. $\endgroup$
    – user458
    Jun 1, 2015 at 8:16
  • $\begingroup$ @fredsbend LA Apocalypse was bad in my opinion so i tried to add some humor to the question with other examples where the US used a nuke to solve a problem remembering that in The Core the plan was to detonate nukes in the core to fix it. i couldn't remember any movie where the use of a Nuke would solves a foreign country except Dr Strangelove but the nuke that was deployed was more of a mistake deployment the US did try and stop $\endgroup$
    – Memor-X
    Jun 1, 2015 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ @JDługosz i have no idea, the logic in LA Apocalypse was flimsy (because there was an apparent build up occurring of pressure and they fixed it by first leveling the city with fighters then detonating a nuke they had planted), all they said was that the "Core has destabilized" and as we see is Magma rushing to the surface and destroying the Holywood sign and also stopped all land traffic from exiting the city and there were earthquakes almost every 5 minutes, but i assumed that the lack of explanation was due to the fact it was already widely known what would happen $\endgroup$
    – Memor-X
    Jun 1, 2015 at 22:23

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer: I haven't seen the movie, and neither Wikipedia nor TVTropes has an article on it, so I'm guessing about what's going on based on your question and the extremely bare-bones IMDB plot synopsis.

Assuming that the major plate boundaries are splitting open clear down to the mantle, the answer is: nowhere. A map of the Earth's tectonic plates, showing how the vast majority of plate boundaries are underwater

See how virtually every one of those plate boundaries is underwater? When water meets magma, you get steam explosions. When water meets magma along hundreds of thousands of miles of faultline, you get steam explosions sufficient to blow the atmosphere off the planet. A very rough calculation based on the numbers on this page gives an energy release of 2*10^18 J per kilometer of plate boundary, equivalent to a Tsar Bomba every ten meters, and a total energy release, conservatively estimated, as similar to that of a dinosaur-killer asteroid impact.

If you really wanted to try surviving, your best bet is probably to dig a bunker in the middle of Siberia -- it's as far as you can get from oceans and fault lines.

  • $\begingroup$ And yet earth is still habitable... I think you may be a little off on this one. There are magma islands being grown right now. You'd see some surface action but most boundaries would "reseal" as the mama hardened upon exposure to water. Only where you have huge reserves pushing magma up would you see much going on... $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2015 at 8:07
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    $\begingroup$ @IsaacKotlicky, there are magma islands being grown right now. There are not currently a quarter-million kilometers of plate boundary opening up simultaneously by whatever magic Hollywood decided to use this time. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Jun 1, 2015 at 8:23
  • $\begingroup$ I'd like to add that it is believed that the Earth's magnetosphere is generated by the molten core churning. If this is true, and much of the core is damaged, then the magnetosphere could be affected. That in turn, allows more solar radiation to the surface, which breaks down the atmosphere and kills living things. $\endgroup$
    – rdtsc
    Jun 2, 2015 at 17:19

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