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Sci-Tech

Here's what would happen to you if you encountered a small black hole

Correct: You'd die. But aside from that, what would happen if a black hole the size of a nickel suddenly appeared on Earth? A new video explains.

Could you survive being close to a black hole the size of a nickel? Seriously though, how grisly would your death be and what would such a phenomena mean for the future of the Earth?

A new video from the folks at Kurz Gesagt posted July 16 tries to answer those questions with some helpful animations. The video explores a few different assumptions, as the impact of the black hole would depend on whether its size was based on the mass or width of a nickel. Either way, if a black hole developed anywhere near you, you would certainly die, but the impact on the Earth would be drastically different.

The video argues that a black hole with the mass of a nickel would radiate away all of its mass almost instantly, leading to an explosion about three times bigger than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Needless to say, that would devastate a good portion of the Earth, but it's nowhere near as destructive as a black hole that's as wide as a nickel.

A black hole as wide as a nickel would be slightly more massive than the Earth, and would devour the entire thing, leaving nothing but a flat disk of hot rock in its wake. The black hole would then take the Earth's place orbiting around the sun, but not before sending several asteroids into the solar system to crash into various planets for the next few million years.

But you and the rest of humanity will be long dead by then, so what happens after that really doesn't concern us, right? Watch the video above to get a better sense of black-hole science and why we should thank our lucky stars that the likelihood of such an event happening on or near Earth is astronomically small.