If the Earth stopped spinning, the oceans would divide, a megacontinent would emerge at the equator, one day would last one year, and our now-ellipsoid planet would become spherical. But we can finally build that freeway from Jakarta to Houston!

From the Environmental Systems Research Institute, the firm that mapped out this projection:

As a consequence of rotational slowdown, the outline of the global ocean would continuously undergo dramatic changes. Equatorial waters would move toward polar areas, initially causing a significant reduction in depth while filling the polar basins that have much less capacity. As regions at high latitude in the northern hemisphere become submerged, the areal extent of the northern circumpolar ocean would rapidly expand, covering the vast lowlands of Siberia and northern portions of North America. The global ocean would remain one unit until the rotation of the earth decreased to the speed at which ocean separation would occur. The interaction between the inertia of huge water bodies and decreasing centrifugal force would be very complicated. As the consequence of steady slowdown of earth's rotation, the global ocean would be gradually separated into two oceans. Obviously, the last connection will be broken at the lowest point of the global divide line, located southwest of the Kiribati Islands. Since the current western Pacific Ocean is a plane, land would emerge quickly because there would be no chance that water would be exchanged between the two circumpolar oceans after the initial split. The area of final separation between the two oceans would be the simultaneous emerging and drying of territory extending for hundreds of kilometers.


The Earth isn't going to stop rotating anytime soon, so this situation is strictly academic. We imagine that our Canadian, Tasmanian, and Chicagoan friends are happy about this.

[ESRI via Strange Maps]