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Why You Don't Want Invisibility

You don't actually wantthe power of invisibility. What would you do if youcould turn invisible? Most of the responses I've heard to that question are less than heroic. Many of them come downto sneaking into places you shouldn't be or borrowingstuff without asking. Of course, you could use the power of invisibility for good. It is one of the fundamental hero powers. But thinking about the scientificreality of this ability, I don't think invisibilityis something you'd even want.

Like super strength and super speed, humans have fantasized about the power of invisibility for a long time. Suddenly disappearing is the subject of great novels like TheInvisible Man by H.G. Wells, the 1933 movie of the same name, and of course the masterpiece Hollow Man starring Kevin Bacon. Many of these stories have considered the consequences of turning invisible, but I think that sciencehas even more to say. So why wouldn't you wantthis classic superpower? First, what is invisibil…
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Zombie Boxing | Because Science Footnotes

Jaguars, as British people like to call them are pound for pound the big cats with biggest bite; the most force. They have more bite force behind their cute little face fluffsthan tigers, than lions, than a big cat that rhymeswith big bears, oh my. And with that bite force,they use it to feed on the caiman alligator. How can a big cat bite into an alligator? Well, the jaguars, the jaguars they bite right behind the eyes of the caiman so hard that it goes through their skull, and into their brain. Jaguars bite so hardthat they bite brains, and it paralyzes the caiman,and then they drag it out of the river, and they feed on it.

How metal is that? And, jaguars, among other large cats, have really big toe beans,and I wanna touch them; touch their pads, but theywon't let me cause I'd die. (up beat electronic music) Hello, and welcome to another edition of Because Science Footnotes, the show where I take your comments,questions, and corrections from the previous weeksnerdery on thi…

Why You Don't Want X-Ray Vision

You don't actually want x-ray vision. What would the world be like if you could see through everything? That's the promise of the power, known as x-ray vision. Wanted to peep what's behind that wall, no problem. Also got you. Wanna see what goodies are inside of a safe? Easy. It seems like a simple super power with a lot of potential applications, but just like other classic powers, I think that if you evaluate x-ray vision scientifically, you wouldn't even want it.

What?X-ray vision has been a super power for longer than x-ray specs have been a creepy scam, and I think it's so popular because it's both powerful and easy to understand. Most of us have seen medical imaging using x-rays and so we know that x-rays can go through stuff, and so extending that ability to our eyesight is a lateral move. It's the kind of simplistic x-ray vision that you see characters like Clark Kent use in movies like Man of Steel. But like how x-ray specs were a let-down, real x…

How Spider-Sense Works

This episode of Because Science is brought to you by Destiny 2: Forsaken. I have a confession to make, I've been trying to scienceSpiderman for years now and every time I havebeen asked to look into the so called Spidey-sense, I've dismissed it out of hand without ever really looking into it. And now that I have, I have to apologize. I was so wrong. Spiders have tarsal claws down some of the most amazingsenses of any organisms on this planet. If Peter Parker had spider senses, they would definitely make him amazing. Ooooohhhhh.



Spiderman's Spidey-sensehas been a part of Peter Parker's webatoirsince the hero first swung into the pages of Marvel Comics all the way back in 1963. Since then, comics, movies and video games have depicted spider-senseas a feeling or premonition that something is about to happen or that something,somewhere is going wrong. It's an almost magical sixth sense without a solid biological backing. Like I said, you don'thave to look any furt…

The Predator Explained

This episode of Because Science is sponsored by Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Here's everything you need to know about the Predator. Keep moving boys, he's around here somewhere. (shushes) We're trying to get the jump on the deadliest humanoid this side of Andromeda. It's already wiped out half my Kyle. So just in case something happens to us, I'm gonna tell you everything that you need to know about the invisible, heat-sensing, glowing-blood monster that is the Predator. First appearing in 1987's classic, Predator, the extraterrestrial hunters later known as the Yautja, are arguably some of the most iconic monster designs in all of cinema. The aliens are extremely proficient killers who sport a combination of interesting biology and cutting-edge technology, while tracking down their exo-trophies. They may be inherently mysterious creatures but we can use science to de-cloak the Predator's most famous properties, before it's too late.

Let's start with…

Can Master Chief Survive Falling from Space?

This episode of Because Science is sponsored by Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Could Master Chief really survive a fall from space? ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ Ho science oh ♪ If you're going to fight off an alien invasion and stop the obliteration of all sentient life in the galaxy almost single-handedly, you better be seriously tough. And that's exactly what the Halo franchise's Spartan soldiers are. They are bigger, taller-- Take this!faster, and stronger than any other human fighter. But are these Covenant killers really so tough that they can survive a fall from space? This thought experiment comes from the opening mission of the long-lasting first-person shooter, Halo 3. In it, soldier John-117 jumps from the enemy ship, the Anodyne, as it's descending through the Earth's atmosphere.



According to the game and the Halo comics, Master Chief jumps out 2 kilometers above the surface and rides an improvised heat shield all the way down into the African soil below. The Chief takes a bea…

Beware The Phaser's Maximum Setting

Real vaporization is so much worse than science fiction shows. Everything in our best science fiction is more advanced, from the ships to the computers to the weaponry, but it's not just the weaponry itself that is advanced, it's the way that they dispatch enemies that's so futuristic. The most powerful sci-fi weapons can vaporize targets, reducing them to nothing but a flash of light and a puff of smoke, but almost no science fiction in media has shown you just how terrible and horrendous vaporizing someone would actually be, so let's do it. That's my directive. (upbeat music) Sci-fi weapons that vaporize or disintegrate matter have been around since the concept was introduced 120 years ago by the book Edison's Conquest of Mars.


Since then, movies like Mars Attacks! have put their own spin on the idea, and TV shows like Star Trek have been vaping for decades. Sick. There are many variations, but if these weapons are actually vaporizing people, we've never…