Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 22:31, 12 April 2024 by (talk) (Rules)
Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 2935 xkcd comics, and only 7 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Ocean Loop
I can't believe they wouldn't even let me hold a vote among the passengers about whether to try the loop.
Title text: I can't believe they wouldn't even let me hold a vote among the passengers about whether to try the loop.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an EXCITED ROLLER COASTER ENTHUSIAST - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Upon hearing the term "ocean loop", many people think of horizontal ocean gyres or ocean currents. This comic illustrated a vertical, rather than horizontal, ocean loop.

The comic shows a large construction, rising out of the sea to dwarf a nearby cruise ship. It involves a submerged water-jet sending water up out of the surface and round a rollercoaster-loop-like water-flume trough. The scale is such that it seems that the ship, once caught in the necessarily powerful stream of water, is intended to be propelled around the inverting loop before "safely" exiting at the other side.

Apart from various other issues regarding large "loop-de-loops", the stream of water required to maintain this setup would be acting upon the nearby water and so the nearby ship is probably already close enough to be drawn into the loop (with the best option left being to deliberately steer into it, rather than risk being swept uncontrollably into the structure), assuming that it isn't already caught in the tug of the water-jet's inward flow.

Even assuming a "successful" loop (the stresses, and rotation, inflicted by the loop are likely beyond the design limits of such a vessel), the emergence back into the relatively calm and stationary waters beyond the exiting outflow would be a severe challenge to navigation. On the positive side, due to the nature of buoyancy, if the loop structure itself is capable of withstanding the force of the water being forced round it then it should be equally capable of withstanding the passage of the ship, unlike an impromptu rail-based loop which might stand up on its own but then shake itself apart when the first carriage is sent around it.

Not only would there be problems for the engineers, ship and navigators, the "ride" wouldn't be pleasant for the ship's passengers in any way. Many of the passengers would suffer extreme injuries from the changes of velocity (up to 230 mph based on a loop radius of 3 x ship length) and rotation (unlike rollercoasters, or even airplanes during simple take-off and landing, passengers aren't normally strapped down). It is possible that the initial extreme undercurrent would likely capsize the ship. Depending upon where in the ship you were, the centripetal forces and the ships rotation may not match for all passengers, forcing anyone not properly secured out towards the bow or stern. As well as the passengers, this also is relevant to all unsecured items (e.g. knives and forks would go flying off tables), as well as the dangers of breakable glass, liquids and many other dangerous objects which could create hazards even (or particularly) against those who have strapped themselves down to prevent their own movement through the ship.

Because of all these safety concerns, the bottom text, "I don't know why the cruise line fired me", suggests that someone in the company immediately realized this would not be a good idea, and seeing as cruise ship operators prioritize safety over whatever "thrill" or "uniqueness" this loop brings, either due to their good heart or because it's illegal [citation needed], shut down the concept immediately. The title text, "I can't believe they wouldn't even let me hold a vote among the passengers about whether to try the loop", implies that someone with a sadistic nature (maybe Black Hat?) actually built this loop and had a ship ready to try it. The title text also suggests that not only are those in charge of the ship skeptical about sailing into this loop, but that they are worried that opening the decision-making process to the passengers might favor the exciting risk over the well-founded reason of the staff. However, cruise ships generally don't function as democracies even outside of absurd situations such as the one depicted.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[A cruise ship approaches an enormous loop-de-loop flume. A large jet of water is being propelled into the loop-de-loop.]
[Caption below the panel:]
I don't know why the cruise line fired me.


  • This trivia section was created by a BOT
  • The standard size image was uploaded with a resolution/size larger than the supposed 2x version.
  • This may have been an error.
  • At the time of posting, the image was massive, 4760 x 4295 pixels.

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 and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!


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.