Planet Earth – the place we all call our home – rotates on its axis with a 23.5-degree tilt. Planetary scientists think that an early solar system collision of some sort may have knocked into the Earth to cause this tilt, but have you ever wondered what this planet would be like if it spun sideways at a 90-degree tilt instead.
Assuming such a thing could ever happen, one of the most notable changes to the planet would be the changing of the seasons. Earth’s tilt plays a significant role in the seasonal changes throughout the year, and a 90-degree tilt would certainly change which areas would experience snowy Winters and which areas would experience warmer Summers.
The tilt adjustment would also change which parts of the planet receive 24-hour sunlight; this already happens in some parts of the world today because of the current tilt situation, but a 90-degree tilt would put the entire United States in this range, changing the way humans and wildlife alike produce and respond to natural sleep hormones.
Perhaps more alarmingly, a tilt adjustment would wreak havoc on the North Pole’s ice, melting it and causing severe floods around the world’s coastal cities. The change in global warmer water coverage would also trigger a higher number of powerful storms, which would endanger many.
As it would seem, this much of a shift in the world’s natural tilt would catastrophically change its habitability. That said, we’re just happy that the Earth doesn’t rotate on its side…