Sciency Words: Spaghettification (An A to Z Challenge Post)

Today’s post is a special A to Z Challenge edition of Sciency Words, an ongoing series here on Planet Pailly where we take a look at some interesting science or science related term so we can all expand our scientific vocabularies together. In today’s post, S is for:


I have noted that in thought experiments involving black holes, it is traditional to enter the black hole feet first. Therefore, let’s jump feet first into a black hole and try to imagine what happens.

According to a recent paper in the Journal of Physics Special Topics (my all time favorite physics journal), there’s a reasonable chance you’d remain conscious, at least for a while, after crossing the black hole’s event horizon.

That is, assuming the black hole’s mass is greater than 19,000 solar masses. Apparently the more massive a black hole, the longer you’ll last before you pass out. The authors of the paper also assume you were in relatively good health before entering the black hole.

As you continue to fall toward the center of the black hole—a point of infinite density called the singularity—you’ll be accelerating so fast that you’ll start to lose consciousness. The human heart really struggles with pumping blood when you’re experiencing such high G-forces.

And honestly, that’s probably for the best, because things are about to get super weird. The gravity inside a black hole is so intense that, in essence, your feet are falling significantly faster than your head, and the rest of your body is being stretched out in between.

As you keep falling toward the singularity, you become so stretched and elongated that you look less and less like a person and more and more like a spaghetti noodle. And so this process is called—I kid you not—spaghettification.

Next time on Sciency Words: A to Z, if you didn’t like death by spaghettification, how do you feel about death by thagomizer?

P.S.: Other recent papers from the Journal of Physics Special Topics include:

I think you can see why this is my all time favorite physics journal.

8 thoughts on “Sciency Words: Spaghettification (An A to Z Challenge Post)

  1. If ya wanna find-out
    about plantoids,
    ya better not delete this, dear:
    you gotta lotta worlds
    in thy own galaxy that have
    yet to be explored and you
    CANNOT do that
    if you dont know Jesus…

    This is a ‘Catholic’
    prayer for everyone
    which means ‘Universal’ –
    say the 2-3 minute prayer at
    6pm everyday:

    “And the angel of the Lord
    declared unto Mary and she
    conceived by the Holy Spirit…”
    [Hail Mary, full of Grace…]

    “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be
    it done unto me according to Thy Word”
    [Hail Mary, full of Grace…]

    “And the Word was made Flesh…
    and dwelt among us”
    [Hail Mary, full of Grace…]

    “O God whose Only Begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of Eternal Life, grant we beseech Thee, that through mediatation upon this Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they offer and obtain what they promise through the same Christ our Lord. Amen”

    God Almighty has a plethora
    of rewards that await each of U.S.
    who proclaim this quaint message.

    trustNjesus, earthling.
    God bless your indelible soul.
    Yes, Im an NDE.
    Any questions?

    Google+: kold_kadavr _flatliner

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure how to respond to this except to say that I feel quite secure in my spiritual beliefs. Studying space and science has only served to strengthen my beliefs and free me of more earthly concerns.

      Liked by 1 person

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