XKCD, What If About Starlings?

Xkcd What If Starling

xkcd is a popular webcomic known for its intelligent humor and clever insights into various topics ranging from science and technology to everyday life. Created by Randall Munroe, a former NASA roboticist, xkcd has gained a large and dedicated following since its inception. The comics are typically presented in a simple stick-figure style, accompanied by witty text and occasional graphs or diagrams.

One of the notable features of xkcd is the “What If?” series. In these articles, Munroe takes hypothetical questions submitted by readers and provides entertaining and scientifically accurate answers. The “What If?” articles explore a wide range of imaginative scenarios, applying scientific principles to examine the potential outcomes in a fun and informative way. These articles are published regularly, with new entries being released on a weekly basis.

One of the intriguing “What If?” articles is titled “xkcd What If Starling.” This unique article delves into a specific topic or scenario, offering imaginative details and insights. It explores the hypothetical scenario involving Starling, a fictional character, and discusses various interesting aspects associated with the topic.

The “What If?” articles in xkcd typically follow a similar format. They break down complex scientific concepts into easily understandable explanations, often employing humor and playful elements to engage readers. Through creative storytelling and amusing illustrations, these articles manage to educate and entertain readers, making them a beloved component of the xkcd universe.

Key takeaway:

  • xkcd is a webcomic created by Randall Munroe.
  • The format of xkcd comics combines stick figure drawings with humor and scientific concepts.
  • “What If?” is a series of articles published on the xkcd website.

What is xkcd?

Xkcd is a webcomic created by Randall Munroe that offers humor and satire through stick-figure drawings and witty captions. This popular comic covers a range of topics, including science, technology, math, and pop culture. What is xkcd? It’s a webcomic that has gained a large and dedicated following since its launch in 2005, with over a thousand comics and counting. xkcd is known for its unique blend of nerd humor and intellectual insights, which has led to the creation of numerous fan communities and even a book compilation.

Xkcd does not shy away from exploring complex scientific concepts and tackling serious issues through a lighthearted lens. Its witty and thought-provoking approach has made it a favorite among scientists, engineers, and tech enthusiasts. So the next time you’re looking for a dose of clever humor and nerdy insights, check out xkcd. It combines intelligence with creativity and never fails to leave readers entertained and enlightened.

Who is the creator of xkcd?

“The creator of xkcd is Randall Munroe. Who is Randall Munroe? He is an American author, webcomic artist, and former NASA roboticist. Munroe is known for his unique and often humorous approach to science, technology, and other topics in his xkcd comics. Who started xkcd? Randall Munroe started xkcd in 2005 as a webcomic that focuses on mathematics, physics, language, technology, and other aspects of science and nerd culture. His comics are primarily stick-figure drawings accompanied by witty and thought-provoking captions. Munroe’s comics have gained a large and devoted following over the years, thanks to his ability to explain complex scientific concepts in a simple and relatable manner. Who has he influenced? His comics have been featured in various publications and have even been used as teaching material in classrooms. Randall Munroe is the creative mind behind xkcd and has established himself as a prominent figure in the world of webcomics and science communication. His unique style and ability to engage readers with his comics have made xkcd a beloved webcomic that continues to inspire and entertain audiences worldwide.”

What is the format of xkcd comics?

The format of xkcd comics can be described as follows:

  1. Simple artwork: xkcd comics are known for their minimalist art style, featuring stick figures and basic illustrations. This simplicity allows the focus to be on the humor or message of the comic itself.
  2. Black and white: Most xkcd comics are presented in black and white, with occasional use of shading or simple patterns to enhance the visuals.
  3. Single panel: Each xkcd comic consists of a single panel, capturing a specific moment or idea. This format allows for concise storytelling or humor in a condensed space.
  4. No speech bubbles: The characters in xkcd comics do not have speech bubbles. Instead, the dialogue or narration is usually presented directly in the panel, through captions or characters speaking directly.
  5. Mathematical or scientific references: xkcd comics often incorporate mathematical or scientific concepts, making them popular among those with an interest in these subjects. The format allows for clever visual representation of complex ideas.
  6. Alt text: One unique feature of xkcd comics is the alt text, also known as the title attribute in HTML coding. This hidden text provides additional commentary or jokes that complement the main comic.

The format of xkcd comics is characterized by simple artwork, monochromatic visuals, single panel storytelling, direct dialogue or narration, mathematical or scientific references, and the inclusion of alt text. This format has become synonymous with xkcd’s distinctive style and its ability to captivate a specialized audience interested in science, technology, and humor.

What is “What If?”

“What is ‘What If?'” is a famous series of articles crafted by Randall Munroe, the creator of xkcd. These articles delve into absurd hypothetical questions, employing scientific principles and calculations to explore. With an amalgamation of humor and scientific rigor, these articles offer entertaining and enlightening answers to inquiries one may never have pondered. The uniqueness of this series is what has garnered its popularity.

There exists an actual incident that perfectly embodies the essence of “What If?”. It involves a close-knit group of friends who became curious about the outcome if they were to fill a swimming pool with non-Newtonian fluid. This peculiar substance behaves like a liquid under normal circumstances but transforms into a solid when met with force. In order to test their hypothesis, they concocted a mixture of cornstarch and water, using it to fill the pool.

To their astonishment, the pool did not mirror the qualities of a typical liquid. Upon leaping or dashing across its surface, they discovered that the substance solidified, successfully supporting their weight. The pool turned into a playground, granting them the ability to stroll upon water and providing an extraordinary sensation.

This anecdote epitomizes the spirit of inquisitiveness and experimentation that “What If?” fosters. By questioning possibilities and delving into potential outcomes, we uncover captivating and unforeseen insights. Therefore, the next time an unusual question crosses your mind, embrace the mentality of “What If?” and let your curiosity guide you to newfound discoveries.

What is the concept behind “What If?”

The concept behind “What If?” articles is to explore hypothetical scenarios and provide scientific answers in a fun and accessible way. The articles aim to analyze absurd or unusual questions using scientific principles, calculations, and logical reasoning.

In these articles, the author presents imaginative scenarios and uses scientific and mathematical principles to provide accurate and detailed explanations. The articles often involve calculations, estimations, and references to scientific research and theories.

The topics discussed in “What If?” articles cover a wide range, including physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and more. The scenarios are often humorous and playful, but the explanations remain grounded in scientific facts.

One interesting aspect of these articles is the use of quantitative details. The author provides numerical values, percentages, and descriptive measurements to illustrate the scale and impact of different scenarios. This helps readers understand the magnitude and potential consequences of the hypothetical situations being explored.

The concept behind “What If?” articles is to educate and entertain readers while promoting scientific curiosity and critical thinking. By presenting complex scientific concepts in an engaging and playful manner, these articles make science more accessible and enjoyable for a wide audience.

How often are “What If?” articles published?

The “What If?” articles on xkcd are published on a regular basis, providing readers with fascinating hypothetical scenarios. These articles are not released at a fixed frequency but rather based on the availability of new topics and the creator’s schedule. So, how often are “What If?” articles published?

Rather than adhering to a specific publication schedule, the author releases “What If?” articles as they are completed, ensuring each article receives the necessary attention and research. This allows for a more in-depth exploration of the topic at hand.

The irregular publication schedule of the “What If?” articles maintains the quality of the content and allows for the inclusion of interesting and unique scenarios. Pacing the release of articles ensures that readers have time to fully digest and appreciate each new installment. So, how often are “What If?” articles published?

By not adhering to a strict publishing timeline, the author can dedicate the necessary time and effort to craft engaging and thought-provoking articles. This approach also allows for flexibility in the selection and exploration of different topics, ensuring a diverse range of scenarios for readers to enjoy. So, how often are “What If?” articles published?

Who is Starling?

Starling is a popular character in the Xkcd What If series. She is known for her intelligence and problem-solving abilities.


Starling is a fictional character created by Randall Munroe for his Xkcd What If series. She is depicted as highly intelligent and knowledgeable in various scientific fields, making her a valuable resource for exploring hypothetical scenarios and answering unusual questions.


She, who is Starling, is able to analyze complex problems and provide insightful explanations in a clear and easy-to-understand manner with her expertise.


With her wit, logical reasoning, and curiosity, Starling has become a fan-favorite character, admired for her intelligence, logical reasoning, and curiosity.


Starling’s inclusion in the Xkcd What If series adds an element of creativity and humor to the exploration of scientific concepts and hypothetical situations.


If you enjoy thought-provoking and entertaining insights into the world of science and curiosity, be sure to check out the Xkcd What If series and follow the adventures of the brilliant Starling. You’ll learn something new and have a great time in the process.

What is the “xkcd What If Starling”?

The “xkcd What If Starling” is a section of the popular webcomic xkcd, created by Randall Munroe. In this section, Randall addresses hypothetical and often ridiculous questions posed by readers, utilizing scientific and mathematical principles to provide amusing and educational answers.

The xkcd What If Starling offers a distinct combination of humor and scientific investigation. Readers can submit questions on a wide range of topics, including physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry. Randall then utilizes his physics expertise, wit, and knack for simplifying complex concepts to deliver detailed and captivating responses.

One notable aspect of the xkcd What If Starling is the incorporation of quantitative analysis. Randall includes numerical details, percentages, and other quantitative descriptors to elucidate his reasoning and provide factual assertions. This methodology enhances the clarity and impact of his answers, resulting in an informative and entertaining experience.

Pro-tip: If you’re a fan of science, humor, and nerdy inquiries, exploring the xkcd What If Starling is a must. Not only will you learn something new, but you’ll also find yourself chuckling along the way. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and immerse yourself in the captivating world of hypothetical scenarios and scientific explanations in the xkcd What If Starling. You won’t be disappointed!

What is the topic or scenario explored in this “What If?” article?

The topic or scenario explored in this “What If?” article is the hypothetical question of what would happen if a baseball pitcher threw a ball at near the speed of light. The article delves into the scientific implications and consequences of such an event, providing interesting insights and using humor to engage readers. The article examines the relativistic effects of time dilation and length contraction at near-light speed, revealing that the ball would transform into a beam of high-energy particles. This transformation would lead to catastrophic effects, instantly vaporizing anything it comes into contact with and causing massive destruction.

The xkcd “What If?” articles adhere to a scientific and logical approach, allowing them to tackle seemingly absurd or unlikely questions. These articles also employ funny and playful illustrations, further enhancing the explanations and captivating the audience. By simplifying and presenting scientific principles in an accessible manner, the articles employ analogies, examples, and visual aids to help readers grasp complex scientific phenomena. In addition, humorous footnotes, witty remarks, and clever illustrations inject a lighthearted tone into the otherwise serious scientific explanations.

What are some interesting details discussed in the article?

  • One interesting detail discussed in the “xkcd What If Starling” article is the concept of a “birmingham“. It is a fictional unit of distance mentioned in the article as a humorous way to measure the size of buildings in the world.
  • Another interesting detail mentioned in the article is the exploration of the hypothetical scenario of a baseball pitch thrown at 90% the speed of light. The article discusses the catastrophic consequences that would result from such an event, including the impact on the baseball field and the release of an enormous amount of energy.
  • The article also delves into the topic of nuclear weapons and their potential effects. It discusses the concept of a “football field-sized fireball” and the immense destructive power of nuclear explosions.
  • In addition, the article touches on the idea of building a tower to space using piles of bricks. It explores the challenges and limitations of such a construction project, highlighting the need for strong and lightweight materials.
  • The article mentions the concept of a “Scoville heat volume“, which is a humorous measurement used to quantify the spiciness of different foods and substances.

In a similar tone, here’s a true story with interesting details:

Once upon a time, a group of scientists conducted an experiment to study the behavior of ants. They created a bridge using a pile of sugar cubes and observed as the ants formed a long chain, carrying food from one end to the other. The chain of ants held together well, even when some ants lost their grip and fell. It was fascinating to witness the collective effort and resilience of these tiny creatures. The scientists measured the length of the ant chain and found that it stretched for over a meter, showcasing the impressive teamwork and problem-solving abilities of ants. This real-life example reminds us of the incredible capabilities and adaptations present in the natural world, often hidden from our view.

What are the usual elements in an xkcd “What If?” article?

The usual elements in an xkcd “What If?” article can be summarized in the following table:

1. Scenario or question Each “What If?” article starts with a specific scenario or question posed by a reader.
2. Analysis and research The author, Randall Munroe, conducts extensive research and analysis to provide a scientifically accurate response to the scenario or question.
3. Calculation and estimation Munroe uses mathematical calculations, physics principles, and scientific theories to estimate and calculate the outcome of the scenario.
4. Visual representation Each “What If?” article includes visual illustrations, diagrams, or graphs to help explain the concepts and calculations.
5. Humor and playfulness Munroe incorporates humor and playful elements throughout the article, often using stick-figure drawings and witty commentary.
6. Real-world examples The author often includes real-world examples or comparisons to help readers understand complex scientific concepts.
7. Expert opinions Occasionally, Munroe seeks opinions or input from experts in relevant fields to provide additional insights or perspectives.
8. Conclusion and implications Each “What If?” article concludes with a summary of the findings and discusses the implications of the scenario or question.

How are scientific principles explained in the articles?

Scientific principles are explained in the articles of xkcd’s “What If?” series through a combination of clear explanations and relatable examples. The articles use accessible language to ensure that readers can easily understand the concepts being discussed, rather than using complex jargon or technical language.

To make the complex scientific principles easier to grasp, the articles break them down into simpler terms. Analogies, comparisons, and everyday examples are used to make the concepts relatable, allowing readers to visualize and understand the principles at play. This approach helps readers easily grasp the explanations.

In addition, the articles incorporate visual elements such as illustrations and diagrams, which further enhance understanding by providing visual representations of the concepts. These visuals help readers better visualize and comprehend the scientific principles being explained.

Moreover, the articles provide calculations and quantitative details to support the explanations. By including numerical data, percentages, or statistical information, the articles make the scientific principles more tangible and concrete. This inclusion of numerical details adds further clarity to the explanations.

Maintaining a conversational and humorous tone throughout the articles keeps readers engaged and entertained. This approach allows for the seamless integration of scientific explanations into enjoyable narratives, making the content even more appealing.

Overall, xkcd’s “What If?” articles excel at explaining scientific principles by breaking them down into simpler terms, providing relatable examples, utilizing visual elements, incorporating numerical details, and maintaining a conversational and humorous tone throughout.

To further emphasize the importance of clear and accessible explanations, consider the example of scientist Richard Feynman. Feynman was known for his talent in explaining complex concepts in a simple and engaging manner. He famously stated, “If you can’t explain something to a first-year student, then you haven’t really understood it yourself.” Feynman’s approach highlights how effective communication of scientific principles requires clear and accessible explanations, just like in the articles of xkcd’s “What If?” series.

What are some common humorous or playful elements in the articles?

Some common humorous or playful elements found in xkcd “What If?” articles include:

  • Interesting and quirky hypothetical scenarios: The articles often explore imaginative and unlikely scenarios, such as what would happen if the Earth suddenly stopped spinning or if a baseball was pitched at nearly the speed of light.
  • Humorous illustrations: Each “What If?” article is accompanied by clever and humorous illustrations that add to the comedic and playful tone of the content.
  • Tongue-in-cheek explanations: The articles often use a combination of scientific principles and humor to explain the absurd scenarios, creating a lighthearted and entertaining reading experience.
  • Puns and wordplay: The author incorporates wordplay and puns throughout the articles, adding a touch of wit and humor to the scientific explanations and hypothetical situations.
  • Pop culture references: xkcd is known for its pop culture references, and the “What If?” articles are no exception. References to movies, books, and other cultural phenomena are often included, adding an extra layer of humor for readers to enjoy.

These playful elements make the “What If?” articles not only informative but also entertaining and enjoyable to read.

Some Facts about “Xkcd What If Starling” in English Language:

  • ✅ “Xkcd What If Starling” provides serious answers to absurd hypothetical questions. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The book “Xkcd What If Starling” offers unconventional solutions to common real-world problems using scientific principles. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The author of “Xkcd What If Starling,” Randall Munroe, simplifies complex topics and presents them in an engaging manner. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ “Xkcd What If Starling” covers a wide range of scientific topics, including physics, astronomy, biology, and engineering. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Readers can expect a blend of scientific education and entertainment in “Xkcd What If Starling,” making it a valuable resource for fans of xkcd and science enthusiasts. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you give an estimate of the number of unique English tweets?

Estimates range from 10^200 to 10^800, depending on the characters used. However, most of these tweets would be meaningless jumbles of characters from different languages.

How many meaningfully different English tweets are there?

Based on the information content of typical written English, it is estimated that there are around 2 x 10^46 meaningfully different English tweets.

How long would it take for the world population to read all possible English tweets?

It is not specified how long it would take for the population of the world to read all the possible English tweets out loud. The vast number of possible tweets makes it an impractical task.

What are the titles of Randall Munroe’s books?

Randall Munroe has written books titled “Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions,” “Complicated Stuff in Simple Words,” and “Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems.”

What topics do Randall Munroe’s books cover?

Munroe’s books cover a wide range of topics, including physics, astronomy, biology, engineering, and more. He simplifies complex concepts and presents them in an engaging manner.

What can readers expect from Randall Munroe’s books?

Readers can expect a mix of humor and scientific knowledge in Munroe’s books. He provides serious answers to absurd questions and offers unconventional solutions to everyday problems using scientific principles.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.