What If: Scenarios that would change life on Earth and humanity

A perfect balance of events occurred for this planet to support life. That delicate state continues to this day where small changes can have huge impacts on the world. So what would it look like if things drastically changed? What if the Earth spun sideways instead? Or what would happen if all the ice melted overnight? We explore what would happen to Earth in these extreme scenarios. This is... What If.

What If The Earth Spun Sideways On Its Axis (00:28)

What If Insects Disappeared (05:15)

What If You Never Got Out Of Bed (09:00)

What If All The Ice Melted Overnight (13:53)

What If The Earth Stopped Orbiting the Sun (19:06)

What If All the Worlds Supervolcanoes Erupted (23:14)

What If Santa Delivered Presents in One Night (28:53)

  • Senate Republicans push back on calls for more impeachment witnesses
    Politico

    Senate Republicans push back on calls for more impeachment witnesses

    Senate Republicans on Sunday defended President Donald Trump and panned calls for witnesses to testify in the Senate impeachment trial, ahead of the start of the second week. In interviews on major networks, Republicans appeared unmoved by House Democrats' opening arguments for Trump's removal and reiterated that the Senate should not seek new evidence. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a strong Trump ally, warned on Fox News' “Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo” that calling in witnesses would create only more havoc.

  • Google 'When did Kobe Bryant die' and it lists day of deadly crash as 'date of assassination'
    USA TODAY

    Google 'When did Kobe Bryant die' and it lists day of deadly crash as 'date of assassination'

    A Google search for "When did Kobe Bryant die" on Sunday night, listed Jan. 26 as the former NBA star's "date of assassination" rather than "date of death." The result, which mentions the "date of assassination" is for a Wikipedia page about Bryant's life and career. The word "assassination" did not appear on the Wikipedia page, which does have a note that it is "being heavily edited because its subject has recently died."

  • German Auschwitz prosecutor recalls powerful tales from Holocaust survivors
    Reuters

    German Auschwitz prosecutor recalls powerful tales from Holocaust survivors

    Of the hundreds of testimonies he heard from survivors of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, retired German prosecutor Gerhard Wiese says the one that touched him most was of a Jewish father who had tried but failed to save his twins from the gas chamber. The father had offered his children to Josef Mengele, the Nazi officer known as the Angel of Death for his inhumane genetic experiments focused on twins, hoping they stood a better chance of survival. But Mengele waved them away to the gas chamber, said Wiese, the last surviving prosecutor of the Auschwitz trials which took place in Frankfurt in the 1960s of hundreds of ex-members of Adolf Hitler's feared SS group for their roles in the Holo...

  • What's in a Moon Name?: A Guide to Lunar Labels
    Popular Mechanics

    What's in a Moon Name?: A Guide to Lunar Labels

    Your guide to watching the moon... in all its forms. From Popular Mechanics

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Needs to Learn Economics
    The National Interest

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Needs to Learn Economics

    On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. sat for a discussion with author Ta-Nehisi Coates. She dropped a number of shocking statements—statements that elicited nothing but murmurs of agreement from Coates.

  • China virus death toll rises to 56, total cases near 2,000
    AFP

    China virus death toll rises to 56, total cases near 2,000

    The death toll from a virus in China has risen to 56 and the number of people infected across the country is nearing 2,000, authorities said Sunday. Fifteen more people have died and at least 688 new cases of the coronavirus have now been confirmed, according to the National Health Commission. Among the new deaths, 13 were in Hubei, the province at the heart of the outbreak, while Shanghai reported its first death.

  • Plane goes down in Taliban-held territory in Afghanistan
    CBS News

    Plane goes down in Taliban-held territory in Afghanistan

    A plane crashed Monday in Taliban-held territory in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, south of the capital, Afghan officials said. Ariana Afghan Airlines denied reports that it was one of its passenger jets that had come down. Provincial government spokesman Arif Noori told CBS News' Ahmad Mukhtar the plane appeared to have been a flight between the southern city of Kandahar and the capital Kabul, about 200 miles to the north.

  • Sanders Goes After JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon in New Ad
    Bloomberg

    Sanders Goes After JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon in New Ad

    The jab continues criticism by the Vermont senator and presidential candidate after Dimon knocked socialism in an op-ed published last week in Time magazine as part of its coverage of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Are you kidding me?” a Sanders aide exclaims in the ad, which was posted on Twitter. The spot cites Dimon's pay, including $31.5 million last year, and says JPMorgan received bailouts after the global financial crisis 12 years ago.

  • Georgia inmate who came close to execution in 2017 dies
    Associated Press

    Georgia inmate who came close to execution in 2017 dies

    A Georgia death row inmate whose planned execution was halted in September 2017 by the U.S. Supreme Court after his lawyers argued his death sentence was tainted by a juror's racial bias has died, according to the state Department of Corrections. Keith “Bo” Tharpe, 61, died of natural causes Friday, Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Joan Heath confirmed in an email Sunday. In 1991, a jury convicted Tharpe of murder in the September 1990 slaying of his sister-in-law, Jacquelyn Freeman, and sentenced him to death.

  • From 'Trump train' to 'Yang Gang': Meet the conservatives and swing voters who have fallen hard for Andrew Yang
    Business Insider

    From 'Trump train' to 'Yang Gang': Meet the conservatives and swing voters who have fallen hard for Andrew Yang

    Andrew Yang is the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who, according to Insider polling data, is the favorite among voters who haven't yet decided whether they're voting Republican or Democrat. During a recent campaign stop in New Hampshire, Insider spoke with a number of right-leaning voters who have become passionate Yang supporters. A common trait among the right-of-center Yang supporters Insider spoke with was a resentment over being labeled racist because of political leanings.

  • 'I stand with Greta': Mnuhcin's wife defends teen activist after husband tells her to get a degree
    USA TODAY

    'I stand with Greta': Mnuhcin's wife defends teen activist after husband tells her to get a degree

    Louise Linton, the wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, appeared to side with climate change activist Greta Thunberg – whom her husband had belittled during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland – in an Instagram post that she then deleted, according to screengrabs of the post shared on social media. Thunberg, 17, also attended the gathering last week of the world's top political and business leaders, where she called on the world to divest from investments in fossil fuels. When asked about her demand, Mnuchin quipped, "Is she the chief economist?

  • Reuters

    Taiwan to inspect travellers to enforce mask export ban, will permit personal use

    Taiwan will inspect people leaving the island to ensure they are not breaking a temporary ban on exporting face masks amid an outbreak of the new coronavirus which started in China, but people carrying them for personal use will be exempted. Taiwan, which has close economic and cultural links with China even though political ties are strained, has reported five cases of the coronavirus and has stepped up inspections at airports and stopped most Chinese visitors from coming. A total of 81 people have died, all in China.

  • 'Doorbell Ditch' Prank Led to Crash That Killed 3 Teens, Officials Say
    The New York Times

    'Doorbell Ditch' Prank Led to Crash That Killed 3 Teens, Officials Say

    A man who the authorities contend deliberately crashed his car into another one on a Southern California road last Sunday, killing three of the six teenagers inside, did so because the group had played a so-called doorbell ditch prank on him, prosecutors said this week. The man, Anurag Chandra, 42, faces several murder charges for his role in the Temescal Canyon Road crash, which the Riverside County District Attorney's Office said Thursday occurred after the boys played a doorbell ditch prank on him. In a doorbell ditch, also commonly known as a ding-dong-ditch, a person rings a doorbell and tries to run away before anyone opens the door.

  • France's Barracuda Attack Submarine Is Changing How Paris Views Military Power
    The National Interest

    France's Barracuda Attack Submarine Is Changing How Paris Views Military Power

    Key point: The Barracuda has facilities to accommodate up to twelve naval commandos. On July 12, 2019, French president Emmanuel Macron celebrated the imminent launch of France's first new nuclear-powered submarine in over a decade—the Barracuda-class vessel Suffren. A few weeks later on August 1, the Suffren finally took to the water as its drydock in Cherbourg, France, was flooded.

  • How the world discovered the Nazi death camps
    AFP

    How the world discovered the Nazi death camps

    Images of what the Allies found when they liberated the first Nazi death camps towards the end of World War II brought the horror of the Holocaust to global attention. Many of the ghastly pictures were at first held back from the broader public, partly out of concern for those with missing relatives. The concentration and extermination camps were liberated one by one as the Allied armies advanced on Berlin in the final days of the 1939-1945 war.

  • Public anger grows over coronavirus in Thailand, with eight cases of the illness
    Reuters

    Public anger grows over coronavirus in Thailand, with eight cases of the illness

    The health minister in Thailand, the country with the most confirmed cases outside China of the new coronavirus, called an emergency meeting on Sunday with the transport and tourism ministries amid rising public discontent over the government's handling of the illness. "We can control the situation and are confident in our ability to handle the crisis," Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters. The number of cases of the disease in Thailand rose on Sunday to eight.

  • Bloomberg

    Bloomberg Offers Few Details to Back Up Trillions in Spending

    Bloomberg has released almost 20 proposals since joining the race on Nov. 24: $1.2 trillion for infrastructure. If Bloomberg comes out of Super Tuesday among the Democratic race's top tier, there will be increasing pressure on him to explain how he's going to pay for his policies, said Don Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who hasn't endorsed a 2020 candidate.“There will be a great hue and cry for him to add substance to his proposals and do it very quickly,” Fowler said. Bloomberg's campaign says that it plans to release further details about the tax proposal as soon as next week and that it will show how he plans to pay for his proposals.

  • Paula White, Trump's spiritual adviser, calls for 'satanic pregnancies to miscarry'
    Yahoo News Video

    Paula White, Trump's spiritual adviser, calls for 'satanic pregnancies to miscarry'

    Paula White, a controversial televangelist who joined the White House in an official capacity last year, is arguing that the content of a sermon she delivered on Jan. 5, which mentioned adversaries of President Trump and soon after advocated for divine forces to cause the miscarriage of babies in “satanic wombs,” was taken out of context.

  • GOP Senator: Trump tweet not a 'death threat' against Schiff
    The Week

    GOP Senator: Trump tweet not a 'death threat' against Schiff

    Lankford told CNN's Jake Tapper during Sunday's edition of State of the Union that he doesn't consider the tweet a "death threat," which Tapper said Schiff has been receiving. Tapper wondered why Lankford wasn't bothered by Trump's words when he was offended by Schiff's comment earlier this week about how he had heard Republican senators were warned they're heads would end up on a pike should they defy Trump.

  • Photos show the horrors of Auschwitz, 75 years after its liberation
    Business Insider

    Photos show the horrors of Auschwitz, 75 years after its liberation

    Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Auschwitz I, the first camp to undergo construction, was initially created for three reasons: to imprison enemies, to use forced labor, and to kill certain groups of people. Markus Schreiber/AP Sources: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Auschwitz‑Birkenau Memorial and State Museum Construction of the largest camp, Auschwitz II, also called Auschwitz-Birkenau, began in October 1941. Electrified barbed wire divided it into 10 different sections.

  • Racist threats rattle students, faculty at university
    Associated Press

    Racist threats rattle students, faculty at university

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Three months after a set of anonymous, threatening, racist, antisemitic and homophobic emails sent a wave of fear through the sociology department at Wake Forest University, the department chairman says he's still waiting for university leaders to announce a meaningful response. Alarmed by what he deemed white supremacist terrorism, chairman Joseph Soares canceled sociology classes for a week. When they resumed, Wake Forest police officers were stationed outside classrooms and the building itself.

  • USA TODAY Opinion

    Energy efficiency slows climate change, saves money. Why haven't we embraced it more?

    One contributor to high electric bills is wasted energy. To cut energy costs, you might have made changes around your home such as switching to light-emitting diode light bulbs, adding insulation, or replacing outdated appliances or heating systems. If so, you have already participated in energy efficiency, which simply means reducing waste.

  • To Combat the Soviets, the U.S. Almost Built Its Own "Skyfall" Nuclear Powered Missile
    The National Interest

    To Combat the Soviets, the U.S. Almost Built Its Own "Skyfall" Nuclear Powered Missile

    Key Point: Thankfully, Washington decided the weapon would not be necessary in the Cold War standoff. After days of speculation by Western analysts that a deadly accident on August 8 that briefly spiked radiation levels in northwestern Russia was tied to tests of an exotic nuclear-powered “Skyfall” nuclear-powered cruise missile, Russian sources confirmed to the New York Times the explosion of a “small nuclear reactor. While there's a tactical rationale behind Russia's development of a fast, surface-skimming cruise missile with an unlimited range as a means of bypassing American missile defenses, it strikes many analysts as an inordinately expensive, extremely technically challenging, and—ev...

  • Chinese Uighurs in Saudi face impossible choice
    AFP

    Chinese Uighurs in Saudi face impossible choice

    His eyes brimming with tears, a Uighur student in Saudi Arabia holds out his Chinese passport -- long past its expiry date and condemning him to an uncertain fate as the kingdom grows closer to Beijing. The Chinese mission in Saudi Arabia stopped renewing passports for the ethnic Muslim minority more than two years ago, in what campaigners call a pressure tactic exercised in many countries to force the Uighur diaspora to return home. Half a dozen Uighur families in Saudi Arabia who showed AFP their passports -- a few already expired and some approaching the date -- said they dread going back to China, where over a million Uighurs are believed to be held in internment camps.

  • Philippines lowers volcano danger level
    Reuters

    Philippines lowers volcano danger level

    Philippine volcanologists on Sunday lowered the alert status of a volcano near the Philippine capital to 3 from 4 to indicate a "decreased tendency towards hazardous explosive eruption". Authorities also narrowed the exclusion zone around the Taal volcano, which sits in the middle of a lake about 70 km (45 miles) from Manila, to seven kms from 14 kms (4-8 miles). However, authorities said the lowering of the danger level "should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased".