m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

BDO of the Day: Globus Cassus

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Today’s Big Dumb Object (BDO) is the Globus Cassus, a sort of incomplete Dyson Sphere made by sucking the magma out of the center of the Earth to build a much larger, inverted and punctuated structure around it. Unlike your typical science fiction BDO, it’s the invention of Swiss architect and artist Christian Waldvogel (who thus neglected to use the appropriate magical materials to hold the megastructure together).

Globus Cassus (CC BY-SA 3.0) unattributed art from the defunct website globus-cassus.org (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Although the creator wrote a book, put some information about it on his own site and created an “open source” wiki devoted to it, nowadays the site is under construction, the wiki is gone, the book is rare, and the best resources are the Wikipedia entry and an old Damn Interesting article. According to Wikipedia’s numbers, the Globus Cassus would be almost as large as Saturn, with about 200 million square miles of habitable land in addition to oceans, windows, and large uninhabitable regions of low gravity. The moon would remain in place.

The cited diameter (about 50,000 miles) is not enough to produce adequate gravity at the Earth’s current angular velocity. (The structure is built in geosynchronous orbit.) It’s not clear from what remains on the internet whether the intention was to speed up the Globus Cassus at some point during construction, perhaps after the Great Rains—the point at which the Earth is depleted enough that the oceans (and atmosphere) “wander outwards” onto the Globus Cassus.

While not a particularly practical way of transferring the biosphere, the Great Rains are certainly the dramatic high point of the Globus Cassus project.