Jump to content

Bad science in fiction Hall of Shame


Recommended Posts

  • 4 weeks later...

In Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the movie features the Ulysses, a Steampunk submarine the size of roughy two aircraft carriers that can dive as deep as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In real life, a submarine of that size cannot dive that deep because the high pressure underwater would cause their hulls to implode (The bigger the ship, the more pressure it has to deal with). The Ulysses would have trouble getting even that deep because its steampunk engine would consume all interior oxygen if it dove underwater, and as a result the crew would all die of asphyxiation. Real-life diesel submarines exist, but ordinarily they can only use their diesel engines at or near the surface where they use a snorkel to draw in air. For completely submerged operation, most submarines use electric engines powered by batteries, but this greatly limits their submerged range

Another one is from Waterworld, who manages to multiply the stupidity, by having a fore-and-aft rigged Trimaran that is powered by wind so reliable the main character felt it wise to build a giant wind turbine on his mast. God only knows what would happen if the wind ever went slack and the sail slumped back into the turbine.

Yet another one from The Hunt for Red October: During one scene a torpedo is dropped by a helicopter on a submarine, but then remotely detonated by the helicopter's mothership prior to impact in order to fake the destruction of the sub. This is in reality impossible. The torpedo depicted in the movie is a US Mk 46, and once you have put one in the water (assuming it's working correctly) it will search for and then chase after its target until it either detonates or runs out of fuel. The film also portrays the caterpillar drive as making the submarine ultra-quiet because the propellor isn't moving. In reality a nuclear submarine's biggest noise source are the cooling pumps on the reactor. Real life diesel-electric sub is far quieter because they can totally shut down everything onboard for total stealth, with the tradeoff being a reduced underwater operating duration, unlike on nuclear sub, where you had to run the cooling pumps for the reactor to keep it cooled or risk of turning it into molten slag

Edited by ARS
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, ARS said:

God only knows what would happen if the wind ever went slack and the sail slumped back into the turbine.

He has webbed limbs and gills. He'll jump out, collect the debris, and try again.

But it also looks not clear why their compost pit is so tiny. I would expect their whole fortress full of pulp up to the wall edge, to grow enough food for all of them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/27/2019 at 11:05 AM, ARS said:

From Godzilla (1998):

1. The movie claims that heat-seeking missiles can't track Godzilla because, being a giant iguana, he's cold-blooded. An animal as huge as Godzilla would be warm-blooded simply due to the sheer mass of its body making heat take a long time to escape, much like the largest dinosaurs. The process is called gigantothermy and is already seen in animals like large crocodiles and sharks, all of which are tiny compared to Godzilla.

2. There is no way a human pregnancy test would work on a lizard, much less a giant radioactive lizard, as human (and mammal) pregnancy tests are searching for the presence of a hormone called Chorionic Gonadotrophin, which is only produced in placental animals, as the 'chorion' is another word for the placenta. Reptiles are not placental animals, and do not produce CG. Thus, the test wouldn't work. Even Nick notes that the test shouldn't have worked.

3. Iguanas, from which Godzilla mutated, are herbivorous (eat plants), not piscivorous (eat fish). Though to be fair, they aren't skyscraper sized, either. Also, The prologue shows nuclear testing in French Polynesia interspersed with shots of various lizards that implicitly live on the island chain. The only problem is that none of the shown species are native to French Polynesia (Marine iguanas are native to the Galapagos, Komodo dragons are native to Indonesia, the Chinese water dragon is native to mainland Southeast Asia, the green iguana is native to Central and South America, and bearded dragons are native to Australia) In fact, French Polynesia has no reptile species, native or otherwise, making Godzilla's origin something of a mystery. Also, despite the movie claims the origin of Godzilla is from the French nuclear test on French polynesia (Philippe and his colleagues planned to cover up their country's role in the nuclear testing that created Godzilla in the first place) the footage shown instead was the Operation Crossroads nuclear test (Specifically Able and Baker test), which is conducted by US and located on Bikini Atoll, almost 6000 kilometers away

4. When all the destruction from Godzilla's first appearance is looked over, the MetLife building is seen with a huge hole through it, implying that Godzilla somehow jumped through it. It looks cool, but it's still difficult to believe that it would be standing after that, especially with the entire middle section essentially gone. The remaining upper section of the building being held up by the perimeter structural members would have buckled almost immediately.

5. During the first helicopter chase, Manhattan doesn't have extremely high, Coruscant-style corridors of skyscrapers taller than Godzilla that stretch for blocks and blocks. Also, the way the movie potrays Apache helicopter is wrong on so many levels. First of all, Sidewinder missiles aren't possible to mount on an Apache, the warheads on Sidewinders are tiny compared to, say, tank shells. They contain only a couple of pounds of explosive, and wouldn't cause monumental damage to any building they hit; they would in no way would cause the top of the Chrysler Building to be chopped off, and probably wouldn't hurt Godzilla either (The Chrysler Building's destruction itself, while highly memorable, still sees the spire float very slowly and unconvincingly off its base, and then flattening like a pancake when it hits the streets). Anti-tank missiles like the Hellfire would be more practical; Sidewinders are designed for small, fast-moving aircraft. Apaches also don't have a pair of guns bracketing the cockpit; they have a single 30mm chaingun in a chin mount beneath the front of the fuselage. Ironically, attempts WERE made to increase the Apache's air to air capabilities by making it able to launch the Sidewinder, complete with test firings. These were ceased in favor of a modified Stinger missile design (also a heat-seeking design; every Stinger variant after the FIM-92A, including all ATAS variants, uses the same seeker head used in the AIM-9X Sidewinder). The Apaches is also depicted to carry far more weapons than realistically possible; real Apaches have two wing-mounted hardpoints that traditionally carry 70mm Hydra rocket pods on the inner pylons and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles in racks of eight on the outer pylons, with a 30mm M230 chaingun under the nose. The movie Apaches feature longer wings, fitting two sets of Hydra rocket pods on each wing, a Hellfire missile rack with wing-tip mounted Sidewinder missiles and forward facing chainguns under the cockpit windows, with the aforementioned undernose chaingun still there but unused. The film Apaches are also depicted as maneuvering more like jet aircraft, with sharp banking maneuvers while flying straight and flying forwards at high speeds, with multiple helicopters flying around each other with precision. The helicopter pilots seem to always stay at mouth-level of the monster they're attacking, despite the fact that Apaches can fly as high as 20,000 feet above sea level, meaning there was no reason for them to be flying that low to begin with.

6. The idea that Godzilla can disappear by burrowing into New York's subway system and sewers is ridiculous; the subway tunnels are not that deep under the streets, with the deepest station being 180 feet underground. Godzilla would have to burrow past the subway tunnels into the ground underneath to remain hidden, as his size would mean he would be disturb and collapse the streets and would be easily visible.

7. Godzilla is also shown diving into the Hudson River, where he is engaged by three US Navy submarines. The Hudson River is shallow; it can be anywhere from 32 to 200 feet deep at most depending on location, yet Godzilla is shown swimming well below the surface, and is nowhere close to the bottom as if he were out in the middle of the ocean. There is no way submarines would be able to conduct operations in the Hudson as well. On a side note, if you pause the movie at the right moment during the submarine scene, you can see that Navy officers on the submarines that engage Godzilla are shown wearing "SSBN" hats. SSBN is the US Navy designation for a nuclear submarine, which would be far too big and impractical for operations in the Hudson. A fast attack submarine (SSN) would be more appropriate given the situation.

8. The F/A-18 pilot that destroys Madison Square Garden is shown disengaging master arm and selecting LGBs which stand for laser-guided bombs. However he is shown selecting his plane's AGM-84 Harpoon missiles and stating that he has a good laser track on the target. The Harpoon is a radar-guided, anti-ship missile, not laser-guided. The Harpoon missiles that the F/A-18s use are also woefully impractical for destroying a large building, and would not be effective against a large stationary target such as Madison Square Garden, as the Harpoon is designed for anti-ship use. Harpoons are also not practical for engaging land targets; their seeker heads are designed for use over water, which has minimal obstacles and radar interference. Ground terrain creates a chaotic radar picture, which can confuse a Harpoon's seeker head. A variant of the Harpoon was developed for ground targets, but it didn't enter service until 2000, two years after movie's release. The F/A-18 squadron leader says to his wingmen before launching his missiles "save your Mavericks", referring to the AGM-65 Maverick air to ground missile. However, when shots of the planes are shown, none of the F/A-18s are shown carrying any such missiles. The lead F/A-18 is the only one that deploys Harpoons to destroy Madison Square Garden, yet without returning to base to resupply, is able to fire two more salvos of Harpoons from his underwing pylons at Godzilla on the Brooklyn Bridge.

9. Although the filmmakers apparently tried to make Godzilla more realistic in his design, ironically his more dinosaur-like design is far less plausible than the old bulky design. The traditional Godzilla design has pillar-like legs and is built in an upright stance with a low-center of gravity, with massive thighs and thick tail support that you'd expect for an animal weighing thousands of tonnes. This Godzilla has a sleek, raptor-like body held horizontally that basically threw all remaining logic out the window. No 300-foot tall bipedal animal would be able to hold a horizontal position all of the time.

10. The US Army inquiring what a Frenchman is doing at the scene of the clawed freighter. The problem? It's in Tahiti, a French overseas territory. The US troops are the ones who shouldn't be there. No wonder the French sent their secret service after them. Also, during the "Godzilla's footprint" scene, a geiger counter is shown beeping around the footprint, which implies it has a trace of radiation. With how long Godzilla spends tromping about Manhattan, he'd have turned it into a uninhabitable ghost island if he were at all radioactive like his Japanese namesake (And indeed, the original Godzilla WAS radioactive). And with the leftover fallout from the nuclear bomb tests, he should be.

What do you expect, it's a bad Film, and a bad Goji Reboot

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/30/2019 at 6:02 PM, ARS said:

In reality a nuclear submarine's biggest noise source are the cooling pumps on the reactor. Real life diesel-electric sub is far quieter because they can totally shut down everything onboard for total stealth, with the tradeoff being a reduced underwater operating duration, unlike on nuclear sub, where you had to run the cooling pumps for the reactor to keep it cooled or risk of turning it into molten slag

It’s not as straightforward. Look at these intake scoops on the lower left:

Typhoon_Illustration1900.jpg

5QU4CD4_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&f

Also note the retractable electric thrusters (two fore, two aft). So she would have doors.

gH7Vtbo_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&f

Spoiler

Also also an obligatory “who would launch an ICBM horizontally?”

KANYON-Size.jpg

 

 

Edited by DDE
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/30/2019 at 5:02 PM, ARS said:

God only knows what would happen if the wind ever went slack and the sail slumped back into the turbine.

When the sail is in use the turbine is folded and not spinning.

Don't you dis the trimaran, that thing is amazing. I want one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Shpaget said:

When the sail is in use the turbine is folded and not spinning.

Don't you dis the trimaran, that thing is amazing. I want one.

That said, IRL turbosails don’t have blades.

Alcyone_-_Jacques_Cousteau's_Turbosail_S

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasn't the Waterworld yacht just a sailboat with no turbines, just with a mechanical helper to quickly fold/unfold/redirect the sails?

P.S.
And why liquid on the lemon tree when there is a lot of fish around to make compost?

Edited by kerbiloid
Link to post
Share on other sites

In the famously hard sci-fi of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars, early on the colonists use Portland Cement to build roads around their habs. 

Portland cement is made from limestone, which would have to be imported to Mars.

Hydrating cement requires a lot of water.

 Because of low g and no ground water issues, why not just use crushed gravel? Or at least bricks, (which they discuss elsewhere).

It wouldn’t really  bother me if it wasn’t so explicitly mentioned, but I’m listening to it on audiobook while driving and I can’t remember where exactly it was mentioned to go back to it, and see if a reason was given.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Nightside said:

Portland cement is made from limestone, which would have to be imported to Mars. 

But there is a lot of calcite on Mars (several wt%), they should try a chance.

But indeed,

14 hours ago, Nightside said:

why not just use crushed gravel? Or at least bricks, (which they discuss elsewhere).

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, razark said:

and moisture in it would freeze and seal leaks.

Then winter ends, summer comes, the moisture melts and occupies less place (because water density is greater than ice density).
More liquid moisture leaks in.
Then summer ends, winter comes, the moisture freezes and bursts the crack from inside (because ice density is lower than water density).
Two or three years, and they need another asphalt road martian habitat.

Upd.
Oops, corrected typos with lower/greater. But you got the idea.

Edited by kerbiloid
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Then winter ends, summer comes, the moisture melts and occupies less place (because water density is lower than ice density).
More liquid moisture leaks in.
Then summer ends, winter comes, the moisture freezes and bursts the crack from inside (because ice density is greater than water density).
Two or three years, and they need another asphalt road martian habitat.

 

Perhaps? I had the understanding that mars is only slightly warmer than antartica.

 

Buy yea, guess you are right afterall.

 

Search Results

Featured snippet from the web

 
How hot is the surface temperature of Mars?
 
In the south, summers are hot and quick, whereas winters are long and cold. At the height of southern summer, temperatures can reach 20°C (68°F) by day but drop to –80°C (–112°F) at night. Even so, there is little 'weather' on Mars
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Spacescifi said:

At the height of southern summer, temperatures can reach 20°C (68°F) by day but drop to –80°C (–112°F) at night.

However, ground temperatures tend to be more stable and wouldn't vary as widely, remaining colder the deeper you went.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, razark said:

ground temperatures tend to be more stable and wouldn't vary as widely,

As well as roads. But they crack.
The same about uninhabited buildings (inhabited ones stay warm in winters).

Also, if the ground never melts, it's a permafrost. And the station is +25°C warm.
So it will be melting the permafrost, and they should either choose a dry place for building, or build it on the ground, then cover with dry mineral.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Jurassic Galaxy. (2019)

When your starship has crashed against a wild planet, and the dinosaurs are attacking you, first check if they cast shadows and collide with grass.
If they don't, take a sleep until the dinosaurs disappear.

You can follow this method any time when dinos attack you, even on the Earth.

Caution. May not work against dino vampires.

Edited by kerbiloid
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/30/2019 at 11:02 AM, ARS said:

Another one is from Waterworld, who manages to multiply the stupidity, by having a fore-and-aft rigged Trimaran that is powered by wind so reliable the main character felt it wise to build a giant wind turbine on his mast. God only knows what would happen if the wind ever went slack and the sail slumped back into the turbine.

Didn't catch this the first time around...  But it's not as dumb as it seems.   In last America's Cup race, the catamarans were traveling around 2 to 2.5 times the wind speed.  So if you could rig a turbine on the mast (to not interfere with the wings/sails, and I realize that's your point), then the speeds lost by the increased drag might be acceptable.  Of course, those were state of the art foiling cats, and not the 'lumbering' trimaran in the movie (although, the around the world solo trimarans racing today are fast beasts). 

On 6/13/2019 at 3:16 PM, DDE said:

That said, IRL turbosails don’t have blades.

That's because in that pic, they are one large 'blade'.  They're an airfoil themselves.  You might be thinking of roto-sails, which are just a rotating cylinder using the Magnus effect to create lift in the direction of travel. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 1st season of WESTWORLD, it turns out that everything has been happening on an island (shades of LOST), but most of the scenery in the show focuses on the arid terrain in the vicinity of the huge Colorado River around Moab, Utah. 

How could an island with the arid climate shown support a river the size of the Colorado? The real Colorado drains about 1/3 of the continental US. 

So, I have to ask - What is the biggest river on an island? (Google will only tell me about the biggest island in a river...)

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Nightside said:

In the 1st season of WESTWORLD, it turns out that everything has been happening on an island (shades of LOST), but most of the scenery in the show focuses on the arid terrain in the vicinity of the huge Colorado River around Moab, Utah. 

How could an island with the arid climate shown support a river the size of the Colorado? The real Colorado drains about 1/3 of the continental US. 

So, I have to ask - What is the biggest river on an island? (Google will only tell me about the biggest island in a river...)

I don't recall it being on an island per-se.

But I got the impression that the entire place was hand-crafted. I imagine the river starts just outside the enclosed park area where a pump is pulling it from the bottom of the river.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Nightside said:

WESTWORLD

Ah, that gives me an idea for a thread of its own. 

“Most contrived robot rebellions in fiction”

Right now I’ve got two candidates, the other being Detroit.

Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, DDE said:

Ah, that gives me an idea for a thread of its own. 

“Most contrived robot rebellions in fiction”

Right now I’ve got two candidates, the other being Detroit.

BSG, easy. Pick which version.

In the original, it was because Baltar was evil.

In the reboot, it was because ... uh ... I don't even think they knew why they were doing it.

"They [The Cylons] have a plan." Yeah sure keep saying that it may become true.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, DDE said:

“Most contrived robot rebellions in fiction”

The rebellion of Fassbender-2. A whole alien civilization is gone.
(Though, if have a look at their capital, it was an euthanasia).

Edited by kerbiloid
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

BSG, easy. Pick which version.

In the original, it was because Baltar was evil.

In the reboot, it was because ... uh ... I don't even think they knew why they were doing it.

"They [The Cylons] have a plan." Yeah sure keep saying that it may become true.

In the prequel Caprica you find that the Cylons programming is based on the consciousness of a surly teenage girl. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...