I had a great idea today for a toy (if that’s the appropriate term) based off of the Russian nesting doll idea. It would be somewhat educational for younger kids and just friggin’ sweet for the rest of us: a nesting doll version of the Earth. It would be spherical in shape instead of the traditional mild pear shape and have five layers as follows:
- In spite of the fact that I’m calling this a nested Earth doll, the outer layer would be a map of the night sky. Possibly with all the constellations lightly traced. It’d be cool to have it shown as if you were looking at the night sky from the “back” side, as if the stars were a layer around the planet that you could conceivably stand behind and see the stars in mirror image. That could confuse children, though, if they decide to try to use it as a guide to finding the constellations.
- The second layer would look like the Earth as seen from space, with the shapes of the continents generally visible through a layer of clouds.
- Next would be a more detailed look at the Earth’s surface — mountain ranges, deserts, etc. No clouds, just topography. Assuming it wouldn’t be practical to carve the mountains and valleys and whatnot to scale, use of color to would be used to make differences in terrain easily noticed.
- The fourth layer would be a map of the ocean floor. The continents would be represented by a flat, single color to denote their position, with details applied to underwater mountain ranges in much the same way as the mountains we’re more used to seeing were represented on the previous layer.
- The last layer would be much smaller than the previous layer. It would be the molten core of the Earth. A flamey orange color with darker spots like magma flowing out of a volcano.
Making it stand up would be a bit tricky. At first I thought of having a stand to cradle the sphere, to avoid flattening part of it to use as a bottom, but you’d have to have a cradle-stand for each of the nested spheres as well. Assuming flat bottoms on each layer, each layer should be painted such that the Earth is realistically tilted.
Awesome, educational toys FTW! There aren’t enough of them in the world.