Why don’t we feel the earth’s motion?

Danish asks: Why don’t we feel the earth’s motion directly?

What a great question, Danish!  I’ve never thought about this, so I had to look it up.  And the answer is fascinating!


The easy way to answer you is to ask what you feel when you’re in a car or an airplane.  Have you ever noticed that you feel it when it accelerates or turns, but never at all while it’s moving steadily?  That’s the same thing as happens with the earth.  As long as its rotating at a constant rate, we don’t feel it at all.  Even though that constant rate is about 1000 miles or 1,700 kilometers, an hour!!!


And of course this isn’t just about how we feel it.  When an earthquake happens, even far far away from the epicenter, buildings and trees will shake.  But they’re never being affected by that incredible speed that they’re being whipped around at all the time – just because it’s steady!


There’s a great lesson in this, Danish.  People and dogs can get used to almost anything, even real craziness, as long as it’s steady.  This explains how lots of people have survived wars, slavery, genocide, etc., and how lots of dogs have survived cruel owners.


But how much better life can be when things are good!  Then we can enjoy the changes, like in that fun song that goes

“I feel the earth move under my feet

I feel the sky tumbling down

I feel my heart start to trembling

Whenever you’re around!”


May that be the only way you feel the earth move, my friend!



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neetika chowdhry - May 27, 2014 Reply

I read in my geography book that we don’t feel it because of the gravitational pull of the earth

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