Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(Adjust instructions now that we've got articles for every comic)
Line 29: Line 29:
 
* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
 
* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The missing explanations are listed [[List of unexplained comics|here]]. Feel free to help out by creating them! '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]]'''.
+
* [[List of all comics]] contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed [[:Category:Incomplete articles|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
 +
 
 +
* We've actually now created pages for all xkcd comics but if you've arrived here early and a new comic hasn't been explained, you can create it: '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]]'''.
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
Line 36: Line 38:
 
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
 
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
  
Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.
+
Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited). Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.
  
 
If you need assistance from an [[explain xkcd:Administrators|admin]], post a message to the [[explain xkcd:Community portal/Admin requests|Admin requests]] board.
 
If you need assistance from an [[explain xkcd:Administrators|admin]], post a message to the [[explain xkcd:Community portal/Admin requests|Admin requests]] board.
  
 
[[Category:Root category]]
 
[[Category:Root category]]

Revision as of 15:13, 20 June 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have an explanation for all 5 xkcd comics, and only 0 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Geochronology
'The mountains near here formed when the ... Newfoundland ... microplate collided with, uhh ... Labrador.' 'Ok, now you're definitely just naming dogs.' 'Wait, no, that's actually almost correct.'
Title text: 'The mountains near here formed when the ... Newfoundland ... microplate collided with, uhh ... Labrador.' 'Ok, now you're definitely just naming dogs.' 'Wait, no, that's actually almost correct.'

Explanation

Ponytail is describing the origin of some rock formations to Megan and Cueball. She apparently forgot the names of the microplates and the age when the subduction occurred, so she substituties them with names of dog breeds (Dalmatian, Laika and Pomeranian) to seem knowledgeable and impress her audience.

Although no microplates or geological ages with these names exist, this is not obvious for people outside of the field, as dog breeds are often named after geographic regions. For example Dalmatia is the name of a region in Croatia, and a microplate named after it could exist (possibly as a fragment of the former Adriatic Plate). Likewise, a Laika Plate could be named after the Laika Island in Vanuatu (although the dog's name is the Russian word лайка, literally meaning "barker", and unrelated to the island). Geological ages are often named after place where the first rocks dating from the age were found e.g. the Devonian is named after the English county of Devon, while the Permian is named after the Russian city of Perm. Thus, a Pomeranian Age named after Pomerania, a region on the Baltic Sea split between Poland and Germany, might reasonably exist.

So the comic concludes in the caption with one of Randall's many tips, this time a geology tip, about how it is possible to pretend to be more knowledgeable regarding geology by just inserting dog breeds names instead of real names as no one remembers the names of all the microplates.

The title text highlights this problem: At first it seems Ponytail continues using dog breeds to name microplates, but the explanation is actually almost correct: The dog breeds Labrador and Newfoundland are named after the two Canadian regions Labrador and Newfoundland respectively. Geologically, Labrador is the easternmost section of the Canadian Shield, the ancient core of the North American continent. In contrast, Newfoundland (especially western Newfoundland) was formed from terranes, the remnants of a series of plates that collided with - and subducted beneath - North America. Some geologists have assigned the name "Newfoundland Plate" to one of these former microplates that Newfoundland now comprises. However, the title text explanation is not likely to be entirely accurate, because the most significant mountains in Newfoundland are the Long Range Mountains, which are the northernmost of the Appalachian Mountains, created when Africa and North America collided to form Pangaea; no mountain range is identified as being the result of the collision of the Newfoundland Plate with North America.

Subduction was featured in a previous comic 1388: Subduction License.

Transcript

[Ponytail is gesturing toward some rock formations in a grass field while addressing Megan and Cueball who are looking down at the rocks, Cueball with a hand to his chin.]
Ponytail: This bedrock likely formed as the Dalmatian microplate subducted under East Laika during the Upper Pomeranian.
Cueball: Ah, yes.
[Caption below the panel:]
Geology Tip: There are so many microplates and ages that no one remembers them all, so in a pinch you can bluff with dog breeds.


Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  • We've actually now created pages for all xkcd comics but if you've arrived here early and a new comic hasn't been explained, you can create it: Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited). Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, post a message to the Admin requests board.

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?