Friday, July 21, 2006

How One Man Tricked 600 Million People Into Jumping At The Same Time To Alter Earth Orbit

Yesterday, six hundred million people were supposed to jump simultaneously. World Jump Day is a designated day where everybody in the world jumps at once to knock the earth into a new orbit.

The scientific background of the whole idea is a bit shady, but here it is anyway

For a person to jump off the surface of the Earth, Newton´s Third Law guarantees that the Earth will feel a reaction force equal and opposite to the force generated by jumping. This then to an excellent approximation cancels the impulse of the force generated on impact. The only effect of 6 billion jumping human beings will be lots of sore kneecaps and a few stress lines in concrete all over the world, and the Earth´s days changing ever so slightly in duration.

Dr. Hans Peter Niesward, from the Department of Gravitationsphysik at the ISA in Munich claims that on this day "Earth occupies one of the most fragile positions in its orbits for the last 100 years." According to the site, the shift in orbit will "stop global warming, extend daytime hours and create a more homogeneous climate."

Niesward's theory has at least one major flaw: Niesward doesn't really exist. He is a character created by Torsten Lauschmann, a German-born artist living in Scotland. Lauschmann — a live performer, filmmaker, DJ and photographer — may be best known for his work "Misshapen Pearl," described as a "phenomenological investigation of the streetlamp's function in our consumer society."

In 2005, Lauschmann encouraged scientists and bloggers from around the world to discuss World Jump Day.

"He thought it would just circulate among friends, but it quickly seemed to morph. Within weeks it was global — people in Australia were talking about it on the radio," said Neil Mulholland, a reader in contemporary art theory at Edinburgh College of Art. "The more it was discussed, the more people joined the site, and it crashed several times."

The site now claims to have just under 600 million jumpers registered for the cause. But will people jump out of environmental activism or a commitment to the bizarre? Is the jump as important as the buzz it's created?

The folks at have constructed an anti-World Jump Day manifesto, complete with equations drawn up to dispute the validity of Niesward's — or Lauschmann's — theories.

Supposedly based on "seismographic recordings ranging from impacts of comets to the simultaneous movement of the audience at the 2002 World Cup Final," the site uses graphs, bell curves and diagrams to support its hypothesis and directs the user to several prestigious science and environmental sites, none of which mention World Jump Day or support any of its assertions.

One word of caution: The site tells those of us living in the eastern part of the United States to jump at 6:39:13 because we are five hours behind GMT, but that is not true in July. Because of daylight savings time, Lauschmann has a part of the United States that jumped an hour early.

(Based on articles from GeekLife, MadPhysics, GameShout and Google News)


Blogger Richard Akintokun said...

Its a pity I did not hear about it in time as. I would have gotten a few mates and work colleagues to jump as well. I feel If i heard about it prior reading your site, I would might not have believed it but may have convinced a few work colleagues to jump. It would have been fun seeing them all jump and finding out they had been tricked.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Gem-X.Tv said...

Or..the opposite

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard of this before but did not know when the "jump" day was. Had I known, I could have posted it to my site and I may have jumped, back into bed for an extra millisecond of sleep.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Porpon said...

Hi WeirdTechNews,

I have a quick question about one of your article. Can you please e-mail me at:


12:24 AM  
Blogger Zeid Nasser said...

So? What happened on Thursday?

Did the 'earth move'?

2:01 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I heard of this, but found it too stupid to participate.

8:34 PM  
Blogger said...

OMG and people actually did this???

8:42 PM  

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