When I was but a boy who was still years away from learning how to self-medicate against insomnia, I would be up all night watching Mr. Show reruns on The Comedy Network. And while there are hundreds of sketches burned into my memory from those sleepless nights, the sketch above has always made me wonder: What would happen if we blew up the moon? \
According to SpaceAnswers.com, blowing up the moon is theoretically possible. It would require approximately 30 trillion megatons of Acme-brand TNT, but it is possible.
Why would we need so much firepower to destroy a dumb, defenceless rock in the sky? Because if the Moon isn't completely obliterated, the remaining fragments could likely coalesce back together into a hideous oblong-shaped, Moon-sized object with a similar gravitational effect on the Earth, orbiting around us in a most mocking manner.
Once bombarded with all our bombs, the Moon bits left, too small to bond together, would begin to spread out and they would begin raining down on Earth. Cities would be destroyed, countries wiped off the map, but the initial vengeance would prepare us for the inevitable barrage of space junk the Moon currently protects us from.
The few Moon particles that did not barge through the atmosphere to rain terror down here on Earth would eventually enter orbit around the world, forming a ring like Saturn's. Sure, it would be pretty (from space), but periodically, for the rest of Earth’s life, meteorites would break from the ring and slam into the surface.
But what about the surfers?! Won't someone please think of the surfers?!
With no Moon, the oceans would become much calmer. The Sun's gravity would still push and pull the water but the oceans would for the most part become serene and beach bums around the world would be forced to find a new hobby. Oh the humanity!
Furthermore, the churning of the oceans and the circulation of nutrients that comes with the rise and fall of the tides would cease and water-based life would struggle. Between a thousand and a million species would go extinct. Not that us land-dwellers would really notice. We'd be too busy living in constant fear of death from above and since we never even bothered to discover all the ocean's creatures before we turned our wrath on the moon, it would be no big deal, right?
The Moon's devastation doesn't end there, though. Blowing up the Moon would mean Earth's orbit and rotation would wobble, since there would no smaller celestial body with its own gravitational pull to act as a stabilizer. Over time, the Earth would wobble more and more, sending our seasons into turmoil, which really isn't all that different from the current changing climate.
So while it is a funny premise for sketch comedy, blowing up the Moon is not a good idea because, ultimately, the Moon has inspired some delightful music and without that big, glowing wheel of cheese in the night's sky serving as a muse to musicians around the world, we truly would be lost.