The Earth May Explode In A (Yarn) Ball Of Fire If All Cats Meowed At The Same Time

By Travis Greenwood

Every morning, cats around the world pepper humans with meows. Food, chin scratches, an open door so they can poop in the neighbor's garden: These are just some of the needs they're trying to communicate.

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For most pet owners, it's a funny and relatable and annoying quirk of sharing their home with animals furry little jerks. But what if literally all of the cats — estimated to be 600,000,000 planet-wide — mewed in unison at the same exact time?

That's the (totally terrifying) concept behind an informative new video, embedded below, by YouTuber and high school teacher, Joe Howard.

If all cats meowed at the same time
credit: Joe Howard

Prompted by a classroom question from one of his students, Howard unspools the hilarious hypothetical and aural cat-aclysm with patience, humor, and charming, hand-drawn illustrations (including the header GIF above). Because the query is dependent on factors like distance and pressure that can't be readily quantified (or simulated in the real world), he reworks the challenge by grouping all of the caterwauling felines in the same place — at a con, a cat con! — to shape the answer in a more satisfying way.

"I don't actually know that much about sound, but I know enough to know that we're probably going to have to alter the conditions of this question, or else the answer is going to be a little disappointing."

While the final figure Howard arrives at, 133 decibels, leaves this writer somewhat nonplussed by the maths, it is louder, he notes, than "a rock concert", "a jet engine from 30 meters away", or per this decibel equivalent table, a gun shot.

Watch the whole thing right meow: