The Dr. Noodle Improbability

Dr Friedrich Noodle was the first Earth scientist to ever discover faster than light travel. Unfortunately, due to miscalculations and oversights he thought he had built a time machine.
Instead of opening a 4th dimensional rift through time, his machine opened a 4th dimensional rift through space. His invention in effect would take you to a random location within the universe. This was unfortunate, as most of the universe is empty space, and he had not thought to take the precaution of vacuum sealing his machine.
Now, if one were taken to a random spot anywhere in the universe, the chance of landing in a galaxy and not in the seemingly endless open space in between them is less than one in 6 billion (6,000,000,000).

Unfortunately, this figure is somewhat meaningless, as the human mind has a difficult time understanding large numbers. To help you grasp the vast unlikelihood of this event I will need the help of a volunteer.
Though unlikely this event was, Dr. Noodle did indeed land in a galaxy, a moderately sized spiral galaxy in fact. Unfortunately, this is only the first hurdle, and by far one of the easiest. Given that he landed in a galaxy, the Dr's chance of landing relatively near a star (within 10 AU or so) is about 1 in 1.6 trillion (1,600,000,000,000)
Now amazingly enough, Dr. Friedrich Noodle not only landed in a galaxy, but within 10AU of a star. Now given that he landed near such a solar system, it would still need to contain a rocky planet located within the habitable zone and capable of sustaining human life. Not only that, but he would have to land on said planet's orbital path. A feat with a probability of around 1 in 1.2 quadrillion (1,200,000,000,000,000)
Incredibly enough, he did indeed land on the orbital path of the perfect planet, one capable of sustaining human life. Even more incredibly, he managed to land within 1mm of the surface over a flat grassland with moderate temperature, and not anywhere inside the earth itself or dangerously high above the ground. A feat with a probability of nearly 1 in 12 quadrillion (12,000,000,000,000,000)
Let's just take it at my word that that last event was unlikely.

Now the real problem with opening inter-dimensional rifts with convertibles, is that even on the miraculous occasion that all the above chances are met (which they were), and you are not exposed to the vacuum of space (which the Dr. was not) your initial velocity most likely will not be anywhere near the same magnitude or direction as that of the planet you land on, or the atmosphere around it. This would most likely result in either an immediate crater in the ground below you, or your sudden annihilation by the high winds of the atmosphere around you.

Incredibly enough, Dr. Noodle managed to enter the atmosphere with a velocity within .001% of the magnitude and direction of the planet he landed on. Upon entering he felt nothing more than a slight breeze as the south wind gently brushed the top of his head.
Every single one of these near impossible events were met. And Dr. Noodle managed to land nearly perfectly on a life bearing planet. This is one of the most incredible feats of chance to have ever occurred in the universe, in fact, it should be downright impossible. I just wanted to make sure you understand that in some sense he was an incredibly lucky person of a degree that is mind boggling.

Now I say he was 'in some sense' lucky, because unfortunately, he still had a 50% chance of exiting the rift with his head oriented toward the sky...
Luck is all a matter of perspective I guess. Or more specifically in this case, orientation.

© 2006-2012 by Arad Kedar.