What would happen if a blue whale was teleported 30,000 ft above the Atlantic?

My first feeling would be that someone would make billions of dollars as they would've just proven that their teleportation patents are the real deal by teleporting a huge marine mammal into space. But-then I realized the only people who would demonstrate such technology by killing a large animal are probably monomaniacal megalomaniacs bent on world domination and they probably aren't patenting that stuff.

So . . . the most likely outcome would be a lot of political upheavel and probably stock markets crashing. Seriously, some lunatic just teleported a massive whale into space. What is next, the Eiffel Tower? The White House? A well-adjusted person would probably prove their technology using an inanimate object or, to prove it works on mammals with no ill-effect, a simian in a pressurized space suit and a proper parachute. Teleporting a monkey 30,000 ft up and having it land safely would not only be humane but probably go a lot further toward making the inventor very very rich. It would be a black eye if the teleportation works but the monkey dies despite safety apparati-but far better than just throwing a whale into space.

My personal suggestion would be to test such technology on stuff like potted petunias first. If that works-seriously don't just jump to blue whales unless you can guarantee their safety. (Which I think you can't really do.)

In short-1) it is almost always best to listen to your advisors; 2) always surround yourself with smart advisors; 3) don't kill your advisors when they do their jobs and give you good advice; and 4) always run your plan by a 5 year old child-if they find flaws in the plan rethink it. In this case your advisors should tell you to not kill a whale; if they fail at that then the 5 year old should probably make you realize that other than being an interesting idea a whale falling 30,000 feet doesn't make that great of a point.


All of these questions are very difficult to answer for one very good reason:

Aerodynamics is really difficult.

We can do good analytical answers for perfect spheres falling in ideal gases - work out the terminal velocity and so on.

But whales aren't spheres [citation needed]

Whales have a very complicated shape - and hence the aerodynamics is very complicated. You can get a very rough answer - but it's likely to be out by 100mph either side.

Because of the difficulty in answering this one question - all your others become difficult too!

These are all great examples of questions which we can answer in principle but in practice it is computationally prohibitive to work out the actual answer!

If you gave me a supercomputer and a few weeks, I could get you an answer - but otherwise, it's going to be pretty unsatisfactory!

Of course - the real answer is, it meets a bowl of petunias, which for unknown reasons, thinks:

"oh no, not again"


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