Sci-fi is one of Hollywood’s most popular genres thanks to a multitude of memorable creations like the lightsaber and the starship Enterprise. Between time-traveling Deloreans, dream machines, and the Force, viewers obviously need to suspend disbelief to become truly immersed in one of these fantasy worlds. However, some sci-fi flicks try to base their concepts in real science, only for scientists to disprove them. Here are Screen Rant’s 5 Sci-Fi Movie Premises Debunked by Actual Science.
Luc Besson’s slick action film features Scarlett Johansson as an unwilling drug mule who gains access to 100% of her brain’s capacity after being exposed to the substance. The movie bases its entire plot on the idea that humans exhibit only 10% of their mind’s power when they are awake. Unfortunately for Besson, this is a myth that has been disproven time and time again, with neurologists and even the Mythbusters saying it’s wrong. In actuality, people use “virtually” every part of their brain all the time. The sequences of Lucy beating up bad guys may have been fun to watch, but such a flawed concept makes it hard to take it all seriously.
Planet of the Apes
Fox’s iconic franchise, Planet of the Apes has been revitalized thanks to the recent films starring Andy Serkis. Those projects tried to ground the mythos in more factual science than before, but even they succumbed to an inaccuracy from the originals. Due to a slight variation in the FOXP2 gene, apes do not have the ability to communicate in speech, and they cannot freely move organs in the vocal tract, including the cords needed to form words. So while Caesar and company can talk to the humans they’re fighting against, we would have to find a different way to negotiate a peace treaty with an army of chimps if need be.
Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster wowed an entire generation of moviegoers by bringing dinosaurs back to life, but you can’t use the film to make your own t-rex or raptor pet. The process of extracting blood from fossilized mosquitoes is only slightly plausible considering a number of factors, and the actual cloning depicted is impossible. The most frequently used cloning method, nuclear transfer, involves the transfer of the nucleus of one cell into a second cell of the same species after that second nucleus has been destroyed. Unless life finds a way, there are no dinosaur cells available to complete the task. We’ll just have to make do with the movies – which is probably better.
I Am Legend
All Robert Neville wants to do is design a cure to save humanity from a deadly plague that wiped them out years ago, testing various versions and tracking his progress. However, there’s one crucial element that he overlooked. Since his blood (the basis for his cures) has no trace of the deadly virus, it would be useless in any kind of medication. Vaccines work because they contain those traces of whatever sickness they’re made for, infecting a patient with a weakened form of the illness so the body can recognize it and develop the necessary antibodies. As Neville was never infected, his blood did not possess any antibodies for the virus he was hoping to wipe out.
Michael Bay is not known for being grounded and realistic, but even he should have known better for this disaster film. A team of astronauts looks to save to world from a giant asteroid by dropping an atomic bomb inside of it. Based on the information provided in the movie (such as the asteroid’s size, trajectory speed, and location), their mission would have had to start in the outskirts of the Kuiper Belt outside of Neptune in order to have any shot of being successful. Science has shown that the h-bomb would have to be a million times more powerful than “Big Ivan,” which is the largest such weapon ever detonated on Earth. At least the Bayhem is fun to watch unfold, but it’s still a glaring mishap.