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Suppose that one of the 4 elements (earth, water, fire, air) will cease to exist in 20 years.

What will happen to the world? And what will happen to humankind?

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closed as too broad by James, Frostfyre, Pavel Janicek, Mołot, Josh King Mar 6 '17 at 15:08

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome to the site! Unfortunately, "open-ended, hypothetical questions" don't work well in our format (see more here: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask and here: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask). Can you narrow this down to something we can answer more concretely? $\endgroup$ – MissMonicaE Mar 6 '17 at 14:31
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    $\begingroup$ Currently your question is too broad. Is there an aspect of societey that you are especially interested in? That would help to narrow it down. Otherwise your question might be put on hold for some time. This is a standard procedure around here to make sure questions fit the guidelines and that edits to a question don't invalidate existing answers (we are a little different from other SEs). After some edits your question can be reopened. If you have any questions don't hesitate to @Username us to ask, or go to Meta or (with 20 reputation) to the chat to ask for help. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Mar 6 '17 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ This might be more answerable if you narrowed it down to one element, and specified what you mean by that element 'ending'. Does it just mean that all manifestations of that element disappear? Because I'd think if earth disappeared, there would be no world or humankind left. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Mar 6 '17 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ Fire is more of a process than something you can just take away. Also, can you just ignite things back? Easiest with Earth. Everybody dies, no one left to care ;) $\endgroup$ – Mołot Mar 6 '17 at 14:53
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    $\begingroup$ The question assumes that there are 4 elements. But this was found to be wrong quite a long time ago, as @Necessity says there are 115. It's like asking "What if the density of the Ether was reduced?" when we know the Ether doesn't exist. You must first build a world, including the physical laws, where there are 4 elements and go from there. e.g. "Wood burns so wood contains fire". What happens to wood if all the fire disappears. Does it just refuse to burn or does it look completely different? Does it lose its heat and become icy to touch? It's up to you. $\endgroup$ – colmde Mar 7 '17 at 10:03
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Earth disapears; The earth earth beneath us will literally disapear and we die.

Water disappears; Humans are about 70% water, so we die. Even excluding that, we don't drink for 3 days, we die.

Fire disappears; it would take a max of 18 minutes(probably) to freeze to death.

Air disappears; We suffocate and die.

We would die any which way.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was going to answer but you pretty much sum everything up. $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Mar 6 '17 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ Does the sun count as fire? It's more of a thermo-nuclear reaction... $\endgroup$ – colmde Mar 6 '17 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ @colmde Scientically, fire is the reaction of fuel, oxygen and heat. So the sun is not a fire. However if you look at it from The Elements, the sun is a Yang Fire. So... (shrug). $\endgroup$ – Necessity Mar 6 '17 at 17:37
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    $\begingroup$ Actually, that wouldn't be right by the greek version of the elements(the four elements), it would be aristotle's fifth aether. However I never did like that version, so I am a bit bias. $\endgroup$ – Necessity Mar 6 '17 at 19:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot Agreed, Science has 115 Known elements :) $\endgroup$ – Necessity Mar 6 '17 at 20:03

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