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What Would Really Happen If The Moon Disappeared

Most people probably wouldn’t notice if the moon went AWOL — at least not at first. According to Astronomy, people living near the oceans would see an immediate change in low and high tides, with their size decreasing by more than half. Tide change would dramatically impact ecosystems along every coastline, with sea creatures like barnacles, crabs, mussels, and starfish likely going extinct (via Royal Museums Greenwich).

Land animals, especially nocturnal ones who rely on moonlight to hunt, would be so confused they would eventually die out from starvation. Since all of Earth’s ecosystems rely on each other, a chain reaction that starts with the extinction of coastal sea life would lead to humanity’s struggle to survive. Astronomy goes on to note that the Earth tilts on its axis at 23.5 degrees because of the moon’s gravity. Without the moon, we could expect that tilt to rocket anywhere from 10 to 45 degrees, which would change Earth’s seasons and climate. Closer to a zero degree tilt would result in having no seasons, and a more significant angle would result in extreme weather changes, possibly even inducing a new ice age. 

Humans rely on both seasons and climates to plant and harvest crops. Removing those patterns established over thousands of years would sharply reduce humanity’s ability to grow and produce food. In the end, the moon is a required partner in the cosmic dance of life. Without it, life on Earth would eventually come to an end, and we’d lose all those wonderful NASA toys sitting on its surface. 

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