If you hear the word Godzilla, you pretty much instantly get it. He is a giant lizard with atomic breath, and the ability to lay waste to an entire city. You love him, I love him, and he has become endlessly iconic on the big screen since his introduction back in the 1950s. Now, what if I told that you that a monster such as Godzilla could never exist in real life, because of his overall size and shape? Crazy right? There's science to back this up, and Neil deGrasse Tyson recently decided to drop some knowledge on all of us. He explained:
You're not going to have a Empire State Building-sized reptile, because it can't hold itself up. I don't know if they teach this outside of Physics 101, so as you get bigger, your volume grows...your weight goes up according to your volume. But the strength of your limbs goes up only according to this cross-sectional area, so it's a matter of area versus volume. Godzilla would collapse under his own weight into a puddle of guts. It's why heavy animals have thicker legs.
Well la-di-da, Mr. Scientist! Seriously, leave it to Neil deGrasse Tyson to ruin our collective fun when it comes to one of the most iconic Kaiju monsters of all time. The science behind why Godzilla could never exist seems quite a bit technical, but the basic gist appears to be the fact that the dimensions of the legendary reptile don't match up with how evolution would proportion a larger animal. If a monster like Godzilla ever actually existed, then he would immediately "collapse under his own weight." A giant monster could technically exist, but it would require much thicker legs to hold itself up.
Of course, because I am a glutton for punishment, I would also like to implore Neil deGrasse Tyson to explain why Godzilla's famous "atomic breath" could never work in real life as well. Please Mr. Tyson, you already ruined my childhood with your recent appearance on StarTalk Radio. Why not go one step further?
Then again, maybe it's for the best that a Godzilla cannot happen in real life. Based upon the destruction that we saw in Gareth Edwards' 2014 reboot (not to mention all of the action that we have been promised in the upcoming sequel), it sounds like a behemoth such as Godzilla is better left on the silver screen where the action is entirely make believe. The MonsterVerse appears to be coming together beautifully (particularly with the recent release of Kong: Skull Island), and will get even more intense once Godzilla and the giant ape duke it out in the aptly titled Godzilla Vs. King Kong -- which is set for a May 22, 2020 release.
Everyone's favorite (and apparently scientifically implausible) monster will return to the silver screen when Michael Dougherty's Godzilla: King of the Monsters debuts on March 22, 2019. Here's everything that we currently know about the burgeoning MonsterVerse. Beyond that, check out our movie premiere guide for more of 2017's most highly anticipated theatrical release dates.