Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Many of the early xkcd comics were not normal webcomic strips, but instead postings from Randall's sketch book. This is one of those.
- [A sketch of a landscape with sun on the horizon]
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Interesting... when I first saw this sketch years ago, I assumed that the body of water was frozen and the "river" was a crack in the ice. -- mwburden
126.96.36.199 22:41, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
More likely the dark areas are the watery areas. That would explain the original comment: people asking "why the river?" were only making it too clear to Randall how he missed to convey what he meant. The confusion largely comes from the land being completely flat.
188.8.131.52 18:27, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
- Since he's changed the title text to say that the river is running through the ocean, you seem to be incorrect. Grahame (talk) 06:26, 18 October 2013 (UTC)Grahame
However, a river is made of fresh water and the sea is made of salt water. The Amazon river entering the ocean is an example.
Besides, some sea currents are called rivers. --Chvsanchez (talk) 23:54, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I would like to point at that if you look to the left of the sunset(sunrise?) you can notice the dark branching lines that much resemble the rivers on a globe or map. --Para (talk) 20:32, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
There's an impossible figure since the rivers/cracks on the left-hand side imply that the light surface is solid, while the dark area on the right-hand side implies that the light surface is liquid (reinforced by sunset reflected on the water, and the ocean in the title). Nathan Hillery (talk) 15:09, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
With the sun directly on the horizon, the ocean wave tops will reflect the colour of the rising/setting sun. The stretch of ocean between the observer and the sun appears to be preferentially illuminated. The rest of the ocean appears to be relatively darker. The illuminated ocean doesn't have sharp boundaries. Variations in wave action, wind direction and current give shape and texture to the illuminated area. The net effect can be described as a 'river of light' on the ocean or "a river flowing through the ocean." --DP9000 (talk) 01:09, 16 February 2016 (UTC)