Experiment 87171 is a gelatinous cube that takes up a space of exactly 27 cubic centimeters of volume (meaning that each dimension is exactly 3 cm in length).
It was created by the Helix corporation, an extremely corrupt business that exists in my world. The irony about them is that, when they make things that are supposed to be harmless, they end up being deadly. When they make things that should be deadly, they end up harmless. They wanted to make their own brand of gelatin. Instead, they made gelatin monsters.
Basic facts about the cube are the following:
- Hydrophilia-Despite having no sentience of their own, the cubes naturally seek out any water source or source of moisture that is within a three-meter radius. Once they make contact with that source, they drain it until there is no more moisture left in that body or object.
Because of their love of water, they are also pyrophobic. Extreme sources of heat are their only known weakness and fire is the only thing that kills them.
Mitosis-Once they absorb approximately 30 milliliters worth of water, the cubes will then split in half and become two cubes with the exact same dimensions and abilities as the others. This process is not instantaneous. One doubling occurs every 30 minutes exactly.
Shape Changing-Since they are gelatinous, these beings are able to change their shape at will. They are able to squeeze through any opening provided it is 3mm in thickness or more. Anything less than that and they will be unable to get through the opening.
At the start of the story, the scientists start out with approximately 100 of these cubes in a scientific facility near the Atlantic Ocean. The cubes got loose and sought out the nearest and largest body of water that they could find. All 100 of them found the ocean and jumped right in.
I am assuming that this would be enough to cause an extinction-level event in the world at large. But, in order for the drama to be realistic, I need to know long it would take before things got to that point. I need a baseline for what will happen if the heroes do nothing.
Thus assume no one knows what to do, every effort to stop the cubes is fruitless, and these things just multiply indefinitely. The only thing people can do is run and hide.
Cubes can move approximately 1 meter every 3 seconds and keep that up for 1 hour. Then they stop for 3 hours and start moving again for an hour, so on in an endless cycle.
With the following information about the cubes, how long would it take before their multiplications end up killing every last human on the planet, either directly or indirectly?
This question is about human deaths. Animal deaths would not count in this scenario.
This question is regarding the human death toll. Specifically when the human population would reach 0 due to these cubes.
My Current Ideas
Considering that there is doubling involved, I know that it would be an exponential growth problem, so if we assume constant growth it would be 100 cubes at hour 0, 200 30 minutes later. 400 a whole hour later and so on, but the math would get significantly more complicated after that.
Killing off the fish supply would definitely speed up the deaths of people, though I have no idea how much it would increase the rate.