What would happen if the Earth stopped spinning?

Blog Post created by rcarmichael-esristaff Employee on Jul 17, 2009
This map illustrates (the very impossible, but intellectually exciting) scenario of the Earth standing still.  If the Earth stopped spinning, the only remaining force that could affect our oceans is gravity.  Oceanic water would migrate to the polar regions where the Earth’s gravitation forces are strongest create two large polar oceans.  In a few areas, such as the Gulf of Mexico, the ocean’s water would pool to form giant inland seas.

Following the global ocean shift, a new and enormous continent would form around the equatorial region.  The red line in the image below represents the global divide in hemispherical watersheds of the two great oceans.Contributed by Witold F.