Top 5 Movies That Feature Junk Science
Everyone goes to the movies to escape. A time for a fun filled adventure, a chance to experience something scary and maybe even perhaps to venture to a world of the impossible; to put it simply movies are a magical time. While there are some films that are impossible to ponder with regards to science fiction and fantasy, there are some movies that handle science the same way a cat responds to when you call them, they are ignored. While science fiction is forgivable to a degree, these are the movies where science wasn’t even considered into the equation. So, let’s count them down.
Kicking off our list is the sci-fi movie that has inspired countless films of its genre. Traveling into space, entering the unknown and exploring strange and mysterious worlds, Star Wars is as iconic as it is amazing to witness. Two crucial points stick out in the film as well as the sequels and prequels and that is being able to hear sound in space itself. Outer space is literally a vacuum with no atmosphere to retain the sound that we would normally hear on Earth. Sure, seeing the battles occur with no sound effects would be lackluster at best but that would be the reality.
Plus, whenever we see the Millennium Falcon soar through space it jumps through something called “hyperspace” (a shortcut in space sort of like the theorized wormhole) which occurs when the ship achieves the speed of light (which is 186,000 miles per second). To date, nothing man-made has ever achieved that speed. But in speaking of the movie, if any of it were true, none of the characters would live to travel to the galaxies and planets far far away. Time would literally kill them in the process, they’d have to be immortal to make it. Not to throw salt on the wound, but many more sci-fi movies that take place in space also feature hearing the sound of what happens in space. But why question the reality of anything in Star Wars? We’re here to have fun and travel to a place far far away.
Just admit that you knew this would be on the list. No one is denying that this Steven Spielberg adventure film, that is based off the book of the same name by Michael Crichton, isn’t a very unique idea. Bringing dinosaurs back to life is every kid’s dream although children may not realize that a dinosaur isn’t a plush toy or something to play with. First of all, DNA has a lifespan. Scientists estimate that the breakdown of DNA would take between 500-1,000,000 years. In fact, the oldest DNA sample on record was found in a layer of ice one mile below the surface of Greenland estimated between 450,000-800,000 years old. For humans, the oldest Neanderthal was found in a Belgian cave which dates to 100,000 years ago while the longest-lasting human DNA dates back to nearly 7,000 years ago which was found in Spain. Over time, the molecules in the DNA will break down. This depends on weather patterns, the organism itself and the place of where the DNA is actually located on the planet.
So, sadly even if you found the amber rock with that pesky mosquito, the DNA would be non-existent. To quote Dr. Malcolm, “Dinosaurs had their shot at life and nature selected them for extinction.” Based on what occurred in the movies, let’s stick with looking at the bones at fossils at the museums instead and allow our brains to do the rest for us.
The Day After Tomorrow
Director Roland Emmerich is known for his big-budget films that fill the screen with special effects and often goofy plots. The Day After Tomorrow is no exception but it does offer some good. It did raise concerns over global warming and the devastating effects of how the climate system of the planet could affect life as we know it. When the North Atlantic Current is disrupted (this contributes to our present weather patterns), it sends shockwaves (not actual ones mind you) across the planet leading to an increase in violent storms that are much more powerful than ever recorded. While the North Atlantic Current can technically shutdown, it hasn’t done so as of yet. Plus, if something this severe were to occur, the effects wouldn’t be present for a least several decades to hundreds of years.
The Earth itself can endure another Ice Age, but nothing of the sort as seen in the movie. It would take a cataclysmic event for something like that to occur, which would take years to unfold instead of hours or a matter of weeks. Nevertheless, The Day After Tomorrow did raise awareness of the effects of global warming and with outstanding special effects, it makes the film stand out even more. Just remember that global warming is real and weather can get worse but it will not happen in the short time frame as it does in the film but if we make the necessary changes to policy around the world, perhaps we can slow down this effect.
Michael Bay is a man who makes action look good on the screen. Eye-candy for the average movie-goer but in terms of bringing any sense of realism to his movies, yeah that’s not going to happen. Take this abysmal 1998 action flick that tells the story of an asteroid the size of Texas that is heading right for Earth and the only way that it can be stopped is for a crew of oil drillers to fly up in space, land on the rock and blow it up by planting nuclear warheads on it. You may want to read that again because it sounds so ridiculous.
First of all, if an asteroid of that size was even near the Earth or floating within the asteroid belt, NASA would’ve spotted it years ago! Additionally, space shuttles aren’t designed to land on asteroids and even flying nuclear weapons into space isn’t allowed from NASA because say the shuttle blows up during the initial flight; all that radiation would fall back onto the Earth and greatly impact any area it would cover. To put it simply, this movie features over 160 scientific mistakes. NASA even screens this film to new recruits to see if they can spot them all. Plus, isn’t it easier to train astronauts how to drill than sending oil drillers to become astronauts? Maybe I’m putting too much thought into this.
Oh yeah, this movie. The Core tells the story of how the core of the Earth stops spinning resulting in a loss of the ozone layer that protects the planet from cosmic radiation. Why did the core stop spinning? Well, it comes from a government funded program called DESTINI, which allows countries to trigger seismic events and in turn caused this to happen. First of all, earthquakes can’t disrupt the planet on that sort of scale and as far as scientists know, there isn’t a way for the core of the Earth to stop spinning unless of course another planet impacted us!
Even still, the answer to solve the problem is transporting nuclear weapons down to the core and detonate them in order for the spinning to continue. Oh they have a ship that’s built with the so-called “Unobtainium” which converts the pressure of drilling down into the Earth into energy which makes the ship stronger. Hmm. Plus, there’s a moment where the ship crash lands into a sort of crystal Grand Canyon deep in the mantle where pockets of these things exist. As far as science is concerned, once you get past the crust there’s nothing but liquid magma along with nickel and metal which is in liquid form as well. The temperature is nearly 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit and the pressure alone would be more than enough to not only kill you but vaporize you in nothing.
The suits that the scientists wear appear lighter than the astronauts wear in space and yet can handle everything in the core just fine. While the movie itself is a largely goofy affair, even the average movie-goer can see just how bad science is treated in this film. It’s not just bad, it gets a failing grade!