What If Humans Built a Planet?| Unveiled


What If Humans Built A Planet? Humanity’s search for earth-like other worlds
seems to know no bounds. We’re now able to photograph the farthest
places in our own solar system, but also to locate other, far more distant planets with
the potential to support life… all in the apparent hope that one day we could live somewhere
else in the universe. But might there yet be another answer to our
seeming need for a second home? This is Unveiled and today we’re answering
the extraordinary question; What if humans built a brand-new planet? Are you a fiend for facts? Are you constantly curious? Then why not subscribe to Unveiled for more
clips like this one? And ring the bell for more fascinating content! To build a planet, we have to know what constitutes
a planet first of all. According to the International Astronomical
Union, there are three criteria that a celestial body has to meet to be one… It has to orbit a star; be big enough to have
sufficient gravity to force it into a spherical shape; and also be big enough to clear away
any other similarly sized objects in its orbit – with that last point being primarily what
led to Pluto’s demotion to a dwarf planet, in 2006. So, based on these entry-level qualifications,
could we ever truly create our own world? Before we even attempted to do so, we’d
first need to have mastered our own planet; to have become a Kardashev Type I society. At that stage we’d know everything there
was to know about the way that Earth worked – being able to predict the weather, control
natural disasters, and harness every single speck of energy available to us. And then we could use that knowledge going
forwards. In this particular alternate reality, Earth
stands as a kind of planetary blueprint; a “completed” project to inspire something
else – with that “something else” being a new planet altogether. Seeing as a Type I civilization on its way
to Type II will have also made greater progress in terms of exploring the rest of the solar
system, we’d by then have know-how gained on other existing planets to draw upon, as
well. And, thinking optimistically, we’re already
beginning to take our first steps toward achieving this. Projects like the Artemis Program (a majority-NASA
initiative to get us back to the moon) as well as various plans for a crewed mission
to Mars could well change our scientific and technological perspectives forever. Should we succeed in reaching somewhere like
the Red Planet, we could be well-practiced in how to build sustainable colonies on alien
landscapes in just a few decades. For the most part, though, our ambitions for
visiting other planets amount to terraforming them – that is, making them as Earth-like
as possible. But, were we to just go ahead and build something
new from scratch, then there’d be no need to terraform because we’d create exactly
what we wanted from the outset – with the ideal size, temperature, atmosphere and layout. It really could be “the perfect place”…
but obviously dreaming it up and actually doing it are two totally different things! To construct an entire world where once there
was nothing, we would need a lot of help from the sun. Typically, planets form as bits of matter
circling a star accrue over millions of years and condense into a spherical body. So, a star is key even then. But, we could – theoretically – build one
much faster than what’s naturally expected… According to a mid-2000s study by aerospace
engineer Mark Hempsell; were we to (in a future time) set up a massive fusion reactor close
to the sun, we could harness its hydrogen and fuse it into far heavier elements like
platinum and osmium – and use those as building blocks for our new planet’s core. By now we’re stretching far closer to Kardashev
Type II capabilities – where we control whole star systems – but that’s what we’d need
to get started. From there, to generate aspects like rotation
and convection, we’d need to subject our sphere of new matter to incredible levels
of heat and centuries-long periods of cooling, all while attempting to build an optimized
atmosphere to both allow for life and cocoon us from radiation. By the time we’d somehow achieved all of
that, we’d had to have surpassed even Type II, and be well on our way toward Kardashev
Type III capabilities. But what if we wanted something before then? Before we ascended to unheard of levels of
intelligence? We could go about building a planet in a different,
much simpler way… opting for a massive metal structure something
like the iconic Death Star – only even bigger and without custom-building it for a life
of evil. Instead, our metal world – let’s call it
the Life Star – would take artificial living to whole new levels. Everything from sky colour to oxygen levels
would be in some way mechanised, with apparently “natural” landscapes actually built to
precise specifications. It might not seem as though a structure like
this could ever qualify as a genuine planet but, going by the AIU’s criteria, if we
somehow built it big enough it would satisfy all of the requirements. Quite how we’d afford to make and maintain
the place, though, is another question entirely! So, maybe there’s a midway point, here;
a middle ground between a crisp new planet from nothing and a clunky metal world from
something like “Star Wars”? Arguably the best course of action would be
to start with massive enough celestial bodies already in existence – like moons or asteroids. Though again we’d need some far future technological
capabilities the like of which we don’t currently possess, say we could extract multiple
objects from the Kuiper Belt or even the Oort Cloud… and, then, say we could smash them
together, forcing them to combine, before leaving them to develop their own shape and
gravitational influence while orbiting at their new distance away from the sun… If we ever could (and ever had the time) do
all of that then we would, again, have forged ourselves a new planet; earning ourselves
an absolute blank canvas to create a new world. From there, we’d add life… probably taking
a “Noah’s Ark” approach to import animals and plants from Earth. Seeing as we would have custom-built our second
planet to harbour whatever living conditions we needed, by the time it came to actually
living there then the transition should be simple. This place would be just like Earth or could
even be an enhanced version of Earth – where the environment is always rich with whatever
life needs at the time. To take it a step even further, if we really
were in a position to design whole worlds, then could we also be set to “design”
the creatures which inhabit it? Any civilization capable of creating a planet
would, after all, have a god-like influence on what exactly happens there. But, let’s not cosmologically run before
we can walk (or even crawl). As fantastical as the idea of birthing new
planets may seem, it still is just that – a fantasy. Which isn’t to say that something like it
might not one day be necessary… Should Earth ever become uninhabitable for
any reason, then humanity will need to relocate to somewhere. If the other solar system planets don’t
suit, and we’re unable to develop faster-than-light travel to take us to any of the possibly Earth-like
planets we’ve identified in other star systems… then perhaps the “Life Star” really will
be needed. If not, then a wholly artificial Earth would
at least serve as the ultimate in social experiments – granting its human creators a chance to
watch and record exactly how the evolution of life plays out on it… and to determine
how closely its history matches Earth’s own. In terms of technological achievements, it
would surely be the grandest of all. And that’s what would happen if humans built
a planet. What do you think? Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments, check out these
other clips from Unveiled, and make sure you subscribe and ring the bell for our latest
content.

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