• Gem Science: Steven V. the Earth

    Zottgrammes on Tumblr did some really cool math/science about Steven Universe. Just how far under the ocean is Malachite? Could a human survive in space the way Steven did in Ocean Gem and Space Race? Check out the cool facts below!

    Steven v. the Earth

    Hello! I was thinking about the environments Steven has been exposed to in SU because I have way too much free time.
    Updated! Thanks to wise pointers from anon! Thank you anon!


    If Malachite is at the bottom of the ocean (avg. 2mi., or ~4.2km), then the water pressure around her is ~6000 PSI. Water pressure increases linearly at 14.5 PSI for every 10m you submerge. That’s about the weight of 6 cars being held up by your thumb!
    But we saw in Chille Tid that there was still some light in the water. Generally, sunlight penetrates down to ~200m before it begins to rapidly fade. So if Malachite was at 200m, then she’s under ~290 PSI, or about the weight of 6 cement bags held up by your thumb. Again, apply that pressure all around you.
    But the human body is largely water and water is nearly incompressible, the biggest impact would be on the other stuff in the body that is compressible - ie. the air! The lungs would nearly collapse! At the same time, the great pressure would cause water to rush into your lungs!
    In either case, Malachite must be very, Very tough!
    For the record, the deepest any human has dove without some form of pressure chamber (ie. called freediving) is ~215-250m. But even then, divers begin to ascend almost immediately, as staying down there too long can cause your body to absorb too much nitrogen. If you absorb too much nitrogen, you’re at risk of the bends, which is when the nitrogen in your body fizzles out and blocks blood vessels! Divers have to ascend slowly to control how fast nitrogen is released.

    Strato-ling the edge

    We saw Steven also go up into space without protective gear in two episodes. First when Lapis brought him up to the her water tower and again when Pearl tried to show him the universe.
    In both cases, we saw the curvature of the earth, into the blackness of space, and there was still a noticeable effect of earth’s gravity. They were probably at an altitude of ~40km (see the Red Bull Stratosphere jump for reference). That’s just outside the ozone layer. This means you’re being pelted by all of the sun’s radiation that would normally be absorbed by ozone! In other words, you’re at very high risk of mutations to your DNA, getting cancer, and severe burns to your skin!
    At this level, the atmospheric pressure is ~1/1000th of sea level. There’s barely any oxygen! So you’d suffocate soon. The liquids in your body will begin to “boil”, or turn into gasses, because there’s no pressure to hold their molecules together to stay in liquid form! Internal organs, skin, and body would expand because of the lack of pressure and the expanding liquids/gases. It’s gonna be very painful!

    Believe in Steven!

    But in the end Steven was no worse for the wear. Perhaps Steven is more gem than human! At least, his physical form.
    Of course, this is being all too serious about the physical conditions of the environments in a fictional cartoon show! Take this all with a grain of salt!


    Twitter: Emerald