Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Title text: But instead of hitting the ocean, you should land in an overheating hot tub on a sinking cruise ship, sending it crashing through the floor into the burning engine room as the ship goes under.
|| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Please write an introduction to the individual places explanation.|
Table of celestial bodies and like Earth places
|| Place on Earth
| Pluto, Moon, Mercury
|| Mt. Everest at night
|| Pluto, Moon and Mercury are relatively small, rocky bodies with practically no atmosphere and relatively slow rotation. Therefore their surfaces not illuminated by Sun will cool down to very low temperatures (around 100 Kelvins), making their nighttime hemispheres desolate, dark and cold places. Randall proposes the summit of Mt. Everest as the place on Earth that will emulate the conditions most closely. It is a rocky, desolate and cold place. Even though it is not the coldest place on Earth, it is the highest point on land, therefore it has the lowest atmospheric pressure. It cannot be compared to the near-zero pressure and 100 Kelvins conditions on the aforementioned bodies, but it is as close as we can get on Earth. The top of Mt. Everest has an air pressure just 1/3 of what it is at sea level, and the oxygen levels are so low that they are barely survivable (a few people have reached the top without oxygen tanks, but others have died after losing their supply), making it as close as you can get on Earth to the near-vacuum found on these worlds.
|| Mt. Everest at noon under a tanning lamp
|| As explained above, Mt. Everest is as good emulation of Moon surface at night as we can get. During the Moon's day, its surface gets about as much Sun's radiation as Earth, because both bodies' distance from the Sun is almost the same. The Earth's atmosphere, however, stops most of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. A tanning lamp is a device emitting mostly ultraviolet radiation.
|| A lava flow at a volcano at noon
|| A heat-shrink wetsuit in a blast furnace
|| The average surface temperature on Venus is around 470°C (870°F, 740 K), and the pressure is 92 bar (by comparison, pressure on earth is only about 1 bar). A blast furnace is a bit too hot (the blast itself is 900 °C to 1300 °C (1600 °F to 2300 °F), and they can reach 2000 °C) but either temperature is enough to kill you in seconds - if the pressure doesn't crush the life out of you first.
|| Mt. Everest at sunset
|| Waist-deep in an outgassing Siberian swamp
|| Titan is one of the promising worlds for life - given that its surface temperature is −180°C (−290°F, 95 K), that says a lot about how inhospitable the rest of the solar system is. The chemistry of the planet is interesting - there are lots of nitrogen compounds and hydrocarbons, and the atmosphere is mostly nitrogen and methane. Similar compounds are produced by rotting material in swamps, hence the comparison. One key difference though is that on Earth, swamps are mostly water. On Titan, they're liquid methane. Siberia also has some of the most extreme temperature differences on Earth, while Titan is just consistently cold. Randall is presumably referencing Siberia's Pole of Cold, the coldest point in the Northern hemisphere having reached −71.2 °C (−96.2 °F). Not quite Titan levels of cold, but certainly deadly enough.
| Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
|| Jumping from a high-altitude baloon over an Antarctic Ocean winter storm
|| This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
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