Godzilla's latest opponent is none other that the popular science guru himself, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Thanks to his hosting gig on the revival of Cosmos and his numerous appearances on talk shows, Tyson has become America's pre-eminent purveyor of all things scientific (sorry Bill Nye). In his spare time, Tyson uses his vast scientific knowledge to pursue the noble cause of debunking the silly and impossible things that happen in Hollywood movies.
Thanks to Tyson, audiences were set straight about the wild science-fiction business of Interstellar, back when the Christopher Nolan blockbuster hit theaters in 2014. Tyson has also recently shot down the Alien movies and Guardians of the Galaxy for not being entirely realistic in their depictions of space travel. Next up in Tyson's bad-science-blasting cross-hairs is the classic movie monster Godzilla.
Since the 1950s, Godzilla has been rampaging his way across movie screens, first as a man in a rubber monster suit and later as a full CGI creation. But according to Tyson, Godzilla could never exist outside of a fictional universe because the laws of physics simply would not allow for it. Essentially, a lizard-like being as huge as Godzilla would be too heavy for his limbs and would collapse under his own weight. Tyson explains it all in a video clip from his Star Talk Radio podcast:
One of Tyson's co-hosts in the snippet introduces the loophole that allows the Godzilla movies to get away with having a giant lizard who, in reality, would not be able to support his own weight: Godzilla was awakened by radiation and given super-powers. Like Spider-Man, Godzilla was altered on a sub-atomic level and is now capable of doing things that he should not be able to do, like stomp on buildings, breathe fire and withstand endless attacks with missiles, bombs and all the other weapons humanity can concoct.
In addition to Godzilla, Tyson also shoots down the majority of 1950s-style giant-insect movies, pointing out that insects are constructed in such a way that you can't scale them up to monstrous size and expect their bodies to still function. As Tyson explains, there's a reason big, heavy animals like elephants and plant-eating dinosaurs have massive, thick legs. So it seems, Jurassic World is still plausible.
Despite the impossibility of Godzilla, Legendary Films has big plans to bring back the character as part of their MonsterVerse, first in the 2018 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters and then in 2020's Godzilla vs. Kong. King Kong fighting Godzilla will no doubt make for great entertainment, even if in reality neither creature would even able to raise a fist because their bodies would simply be too weak.
Source: Star Talk Radio
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: May 22, 2020