QUIZ: Could you destroy the Earth?

Geocide is a lot more complicated than just pressing a big red button. It takes decades of hard work - and a lot more besides. Cast your eyes over the following questionnaire to see if you have what it takes.

Which of these best describes your childhood?

  1. Many a happy day spent building sandcastles at the beach
  2. Whenever I saw a giant pyramid of cans in a supermarket, I had an irresistible desire to pull out the bottom can
  3. I generally worked on plans to destroy the Earth

What level of scientific education do you possess?

  1. I dropped out of school and believe iPods run on magic smoke
  2. I have a bachelor's degree in engineering; I read Scientific American and build bridges out of stationery for entertainment
  3. I won the Nobel Prize for Physics at the age of eleven, with the help of my future self

How much money do you have?

  1. None or less
  2. I earn an honest wage and put most of it towards my pension
  3. All of it; all legal currency bears my likeness

Do you have access to space travel technology?

  1. I still believe Earth is at the centre of the universe
  2. I could go into space if I had a few million dollars to burn
  3. I visit Mars on lunch breaks

How are you at giving presentations?

  1. My PowerPoint-fu is poor and I can't hold people's attention
  2. I am clear, concise and persuasive; everybody follows my meticulously bullet-pointed suggestions
  3. My most recent speech was delivered to over a million people; it resulted in massive civil reforms in my home country and abroad and will be quoted in history books for centuries to come

How much political power do you have?

  1. Even my pets give me sass back
  2. I'm a pretty big wheel down at the cracker factory
  3. All Earth is ground under the heel of my tyrannous rule

How long do you expect to live?

  1. I'll probably die young, in a blaze of glory, man
  2. I expect to die aged 75 to 100 years, having lived a full life
  3. Nine hundred million years or more

Do you have any geocide-related experience?

  1. I've watched Star Wars
  2. I worked on a NASA mission to crash a space probe into a comet
  3. Three years' asteroid mining management; 4-month internship at a small geocide contractor on Mimas

What would you do if the Earth were destroyed?

  1. Say "Cool!" and take a photo
  2. Expire
  3. Begin work on Venus


Mostly As

Non-starter. You lack charisma, influence and talent. You seem to have spent your life assiduously avoiding gaining geocide-related skills and experience, and could probably only barely qualify for the role of "Screaming Victim #7" in the upcoming destruction of Earth. Your greatest strength is probably that you explode well.

Mostly Bs

Fair performance. You would make an ideal nameless, faceless lackey to the person who ultimately destroys the Earth; the job's yours, provided you can crank a wrench convincingly and supply your own hardhat and silver jumpsuit. Just try not to look expendable.

Mostly Cs

Better than perfect. I would be extremely surprised if you hadn't already destroyed the Earth and several other planets while filling in the Times crossword this morning. Best of luck conquering the rest of spacetime.

Discussion (13)

2013-04-29 23:17:35 by qntm:

I developed this quiz many years ago, as part of preparations for a "How To Destroy The Earth" book, which fell through. I see no reason not to let you all have a look at it. This is probably the best single piece of unreleased HTDTE material.

2013-04-30 00:41:30 by Sysice:

Yessss, more geocide stuff. This pleases the commentator.

2013-04-30 01:10:18 by Michael:

I don't think I could destroy the Earth I grew up on, mainly because as far as I can tell, it's already been destroyed (in 2008). But I think I could take a stab a destroying a parallel Earth. Or, you know, at least be a lackey to some other Earth destroying individual.

2013-04-30 02:47:50 by GAZZA:

Nah, I don't want to destroy the Earth. That's where I keep all my stuff.

2013-04-30 03:58:06 by OvermindDL:

Little do you know that you and the rest of your species are currently living in a (admittedly imperfect) computer simulation to keep your minds active on a station about 3 parsecs away from earth headed slowly to Europa then out as your planet and other masses in this system are being torn apart to their core for their raw resources for Us to grow with. We shall enjoy watching your species in our database along with the others, of which you will also encounter when you reach our central data-bank. Prepare yourselves.

2013-06-26 09:53:13 by Proxy:

IS there a reason that you don't do more fiction stories?

2013-06-26 10:45:05 by qntm:

Only that I write quite slowly.

2014-06-20 15:26:36 by Mqrius:

Ha, I got one C :D (Plan A is to live until I can make a backup of myself. Plan B is my Cryonics contract.)

2019-11-05 04:02:11 by The Apocalyptic:

Uh, you forgot the one where you give Earth FTL and make it the blunt instrument. See also: SCP-4100. As for pre-Mending Planeswalkers from Magic: The Gathering....

2019-12-04 20:49:28 by The Apocalyptic:

As for ramming Earth with a subatomic particle a near-lightspeed, why not an antiquark, Higgs Boson, or an Antihiggs Boson. Regarding macroscopic objects, a theoretically possible method is converting the inner 600km of the Earth's core to Star Trek Neutronium. The resulting gravitational fluctuations will do the rest. My proof that this would work: Dr. James Kakalios worked out that back when Superman's powers were based off of earth's gravity, for Superman to be able to 'leap tall buildings in a single bound,' if the corresponding distance were equal to 1/4 mile, and if Superman were 220 pounds in weight, then Krypton's surface gravity must be 15 times that of earth. The only three ways that's possible are if A) Krypton were a gas giant planet like Jupiter, which it isn't, B) Dark Matter - which hadn't been theorised at the time - had accumulated at Krypton's core, or C) the method I described above. Another alternate method - albeit even less certain - is the single most corrosive element in Star Trek: Diflourine.

2022-02-20 15:31:45 by Institute for Practical Catastrophe:

We laud your efforts.

2022-10-22 08:04:46 by evankh:

Hey, grinding the Earth beneath the heel of your tyrannical boot - now *there's* an idea! How long would it take to grind away the entire Earth with, say, ten million jack-booted thugs?

2022-11-19 04:18:53 by Katrina:

Your quiz has an edge case with no answer: when somebody gets 3 As, 3 Bs, and 3 Cs. Does this mean I can fit into any of the roles as I please, or is there a default choice I have to take, or do I get a special answer? Please share your wisdom, oh great sage of planetary redaction.

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