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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    – Secespitus
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 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. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2017 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
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 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. $\endgroup$
    – komodosp
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 10:03

1 Answer 1


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.

  • $\begingroup$ I was going to answer but you pretty much sum everything up. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ Does the sun count as fire? It's more of a thermo-nuclear reaction... $\endgroup$
    – komodosp
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 16:35
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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
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 19:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Necessity Science has nothing to do with the four elements $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 19:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot Agreed, Science has 115 Known elements :) $\endgroup$
    – Necessity
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 20:03

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