In a study published last week in PLOS One, Florida researchers have uncovered a new hybrid species of termite formed as Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus) and Asian subterranean termites (C. gestroi) do the deed.
For decades, it’s been accepted that jumping in a hypothetical hole through the earth would take 42 minutes to traverse the entire diameter. A new, more realistic calculation however, taking into account varying earth densities, shows the trip would actually take only 38 minutes.
This common physics classroom and cocktail party question is as impractical as it is audacious. Imagine a tunnel through the core of the earth connecting opposite sides of the planet; London to the Anitpodes islands for example. What would happen if something went down that ultimate rabbit hole? The somewhat troubling engineering and physics problems are of course ignored. The 3 million atmospheres of pressure and 6,000 degrees of celsius at the core are all but insurmountable if not completely so. To simplify matters further it is also generally assumed that all air has been evacuated from the tunnel as well.