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Yes this is apparently a hoax. The Earth isn't exactly spherical, but it's pretty close. The water doesn't make a huge difference:
originally posted by: Sremmos80
Also from the comments.
This is what the Earth looks like with all the water gathered up. The big drop is all the water; the next biggest is fresh water in the ground, lakes, swamps, and rivers; the smallest is just fresh water from lakes and rivers.
See Time Index 1:20 to see how Alaska doesn't fit into this idea at all, but if you took Neal Adams seriously at all you should probably watch the whole 9 minutes.
originally posted by: cooperton
Counter-Animation for proof please. Regardless, I am not that concerned.
Even with the water removed, the lumps are so small they are within the tolerances for the smoothness of a billiard ball:
originally posted by: TerminalVelocity
OP You had me thinking this was another Flat Earth thread with that title.
Yes, the Earth certainly is not a smooth or perfect sphere, but is a very lumpy looking thing, especially when you remove the water.
Well, smoother than the maximum tolerances for the billiard ball anyway.
OK, first, how smooth is a billiard ball? According to the World Pool-Billiard Association, a pool ball is 2.25 inches in diameter, and has a tolerance of +/- 0.005 inches. In other words, it must have no pits or bumps more than 0.005 inches in height. That’s pretty smooth. The ratio of the size of an allowable bump to the size of the ball is 0.005/2.25 = about 0.002.
The Earth has a diameter of about 12,735 kilometers (on average, see below for more on this). Using the smoothness ratio from above, the Earth would be an acceptable pool ball if it had no bumps (mountains) or pits (trenches) more than 12,735 km x 0.00222 = about 28 km in size.
The highest point on Earth is the top of Mt. Everest, at 8.85 km. The deepest point on Earth is the Marianas Trench, at about 11 km deep.
Hey, those are within the tolerances! So for once, an urban legend is correct. If you shrank the Earth down to the size of a billiard ball, it would be smoother.