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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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<big>''Welcome to the '''explain xkcd''' wiki!''
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
We already have [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-3}}''' comic explanations]]!</big>
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We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
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Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the explain xkcd wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an [http://www.xkcd.com xkcd] web comic, it should be here.
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<div style="float:right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em">{{Special:ContributionScores/10/7/nosort,notools}}<div style="font-size:0.85em; width:25em; font-style:italic">[[Special:ContributionScores|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 [[Special:UserLogin/signup|here]].</div></div>
  
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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.
  
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*Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
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*[[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!
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== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
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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.
 
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Please only submit material directly related to&mdash;and helping everyone better understand&mdash;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 posting such are at risk of being blocked.
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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.
 
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Revision as of 03:05, 4 September 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have an explanation for all 1504 xkcd comics, and only 0 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Squirrel Plan
[Halfway to the Sun ...] Heyyyy ... what if this BALLOON is full of acorns?!
Title text: [Halfway to the Sun ...] Heyyyy ... what if this BALLOON is full of acorns?!

Explanation

Squirrel cosmology

The joke is that these particular squirrels are ambitious but misguided, like the characters in the myth of Icarus and Daedalus, or the Tower of Babel. The squirrels' understanding of astrophysics is lacking, regarding the distance to the sun and appropriate transportation to reach it (in addition to the need to resist the sun's heat and exist in the vacuum of space). It can be seen as a joke about how limited the knowledge of humans still is regarding many advanced topics of science. The idea of taking a balloon to the moon or the sun might not have been immediately rejected even a few hundred years ago. And the fanciful notion of a sun filled with acorns (the ultimate object in a squirrel's reality) is reminiscent of many early human ideas about heaven and celestial objects, even the common old myth that the moon might be made out of cheese.

The title text reveals that "halfway to the sun," 75 million kilometers from all known acorns in our universe, the airborne squirrel seems to jeopardize the entire mission because he wants to test if the balloon itself is full of acorns. Basic observational skills will tell anyone that acorns do not float, but the idea follows the logic stated by the squirrels: If the sun, being so magnificent, must be full of acorns, then a balloon powerful enough to take a squirrel to the sun must also be powered by something amazing, like acorns.

In the real world helium balloons cannot escape the stratosphere. Perhaps the squirrel only thinks he's halfway to the sun. Or maybe the acorns in the balloon are pushing on the quantum vacuum virtual plasma.

Alternate hypothesis: this scene is almost identical to a scene found in the recent movie Kingsman: TSS.

Squirrels in xkcd

Squirrels are often used in xkcd and What if? comics as a way of avoiding reality. Maybe Randall is going through a tough time this week.

Comics:

What if?:

Blag:

Trivia

It is commonly believed that real squirrels use their tails as parachutes, although as yet "there have been no observational studies on the aerodynamics of free-falling squirrels."

Transcript

[There are three squirrels. One is suspended from a balloon. The other two are sitting on the ground, looking up at it.]
Squirrel to the right: Once you've chewed a hole in the sun, shoot the balloon to fall back to earth, then pull the parachute ripcord to land.
Squirrel tied to balloon: Are you sure it's full of acorns?
Squirrel to the right: Look how bright and magnificent it is! What else could be in there?

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!
  • If you see that a new comic hasn't been explained yet, you can create it: Here's how.
  • We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go here.

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.

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