I've seen many iterations of this question, though they've focused on the effects entailed.

Let's pretend the earth has been ripped in half, as if some colossal force grabbed the northern and southern hemispheres and pulled them apart without leaving any scars besides the rift between the two halves. Now, let's pretend we were able to watch this unfold from the Moon (which is unaffected by the occurrence) and pause time the instant the two halves stopped moving, but before they began collapsing into spheres (in fact, let's say there's some force preventing them from doing that).

Is there some way to get a 3D model of this, perhaps via some simulation or something? It definitely wouldn't be a clean split, so there would be some debris that would end up suspended.

In fact, now that I think about it, I feel like I've seen a movie where a planet, moon, or asteroid was destroyed due to an explosion at the core that manifested as a shockwave along one plane, effectively splitting it in half. I could probably get the info I need from those plus some guesswork.

Any insight is appreciated!

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  • $\begingroup$ To be clear, your question is about obtaining a 3D model depicting such an event? $\endgroup$ – ApproachingDarknessFish Oct 6 '16 at 3:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. I will edit the question to put that in bold. $\endgroup$ – Octotroph Oct 6 '16 at 5:11
  • $\begingroup$ I think if Earth is consist of mostly liquid(molten part), this will depend how quick both hemispheres are separated. Like cracking an raw unfertilized egg(more ethical) in micro-gravity but this time the immerse pressure buried for almost eternity might explode like putting the egg inside a microwave oven. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Oct 6 '16 at 5:39
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    $\begingroup$ There's no possible way that the moon would be unaffected by this without a lot of handwaving. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Oct 6 '16 at 16:04

The inside of the planet is molten. If you grabbed the Earth with two 'hands' sunk into the crust, and pulled with enough force, you would rip the crust apart. But the center would be more like trying to rip apart a viscous liquid. Have you ever tried to rip a blob of mayonnaise in half? (Note: I haven't) That's what it would look like. It wouldn't come apart in two neat sections. You would see chunks of crust flying in every direction, amorphous blobs of core separating then gravitationally pulling themselves into spheres before recombining into a molten blob of former earth.

If you cut the earth in half, as with a giant light saber, then the two sides of the core would immediately seal themselves back together by the force of gravity, and probably you would have a ring volcano circling the earth at the 'cut' point as fiery magma shot up through the newly made hole.

I don't think there is an actual physics based way to split the Earth into two nice halves.

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  • $\begingroup$ I wish to back this answer up further. The Earth is a molten core planet, which has relatively thin crust around it. I think best to describe it similar to a Ferrerro ball (the sweets), just it has inner circulation of molten core, and the crust is not 1 or 2 piece, but a set of tectonic plates, like a soccer ball, just bigger chunks. These plates are constantly moving very slowly by time along faults (e.g. San Andreas Fault). So this is the object to be "torn". After describing these, maybe best to imagine it as a wax ball. Torn it as you please :) $\endgroup$ – Sonic Oct 20 '16 at 14:31


Take any decent model of the earth (you should be able to find plenty online).

Load them into a 3d modelling package, for example the free and open source Blender.

Get a fracture tool or plugin for Blender. Again there are a wide range to choose from, Google is your friend, and it will depend on how you want the fracturing to happen and how many pieces you want.

Apply the fracture tool to the planet.

You will then need to do some work to model or paint the inside of the planet but it will give you the surface shape and fractured crust.

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