The 24 Hour Day Might Cease to Exist Due to Earth’s Increasingly Fast Spinning

By: Alec Donaldson | Last updated: Oct 09, 2023

Some days you may feel the day went by so fast. Well, you are not alone. The Earth has reportedly been spinning faster than usual. Due to this abnormal rotation, scientists say we may have to totally remove a second from time.

This number may sound very negligible, but it probably affects more than we imagine. The causes of this recent phenomenon are a result of a number of things.

Earth's Normal Rotation

Scientists have been recording the rotation of the Earth since the 1960s. When the Earth rotates, it takes exactly 86,400 seconds to complete one rotation—this speed accounts for our daily 24 hours.

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Source: @Marsradar/Twitter

However, things seemed to have taken a different turn when scientists recorded the shortest rotation ever on June 29, 2022. The Earth had rotated fully in 1.59 milliseconds less than it normally would take, and that day was recorded as the shortest day since recording began.

Mother Earth Gives a Surprise

Prior to the new record set in 2022, scientists had also recorded a lesser amount of time taken for the Earth to complete a rotation. In 2020, multiple records were broken, with the last record dating as far back as 2005. 

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This phenomenon is considered surprising as the Earth has been spinning slowly for the last few decades. In fact, scientists have been adding leap seconds to time to keep the atomic and solar time in check. 

A Difficult Decision to Make

Leap seconds are only ever added to the last day of June or December, with the last one reportedly being added Dec 31, 2016. Now the world’s timekeepers have to decide what actions to take in keeping atomic and solar time as it was. 

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Source: Getty Images

The decision may come down to deleting one second from time. According to some scientists, this action may lead to disruptions in time as we know it. 

Ripple Effects of Mother Earth’s Change

There are many factors that can be attributed to the cause of the Earth’s fast rotation. This includes everything from climate change to changes at the Earth’s core. An increase in the speed of the Earth can lead to an increase in natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding in many parts of the world. 

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Source: NASA Climate Change/Facebook

Faster rotation would also lead to changes in plant and aquatic life, because they would have to adjust to the new time schedule, which may pose quite a problem.  

Should We Be Concerned?

Many people have raised concerns due to this, but researchers claim the recent increase in the Earth’s rotation poses no risk to humans. 

Source: Getty Images

According to scientists at NASA, it would take a serious hit to Earth or millions of years for it to spin so fast that it would lead to fatalities. We may lose a second, but it changes nothing for people who spend hours doing absolutely nothing anyways. 

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