Godzilla in real life

Illustration by Andrew Rae
Date:24 June 2014 Tags:, , , ,

Godzilla is back in cinemas, and he’s big. Since his first awakening the radioactive, fire-spewing kaiju has grown 60 metres and put on more than 150 000 tons. Godzilla is now 30 storeys tall and weighs as much as a cruise ship. s biology. If Godzilla were real, he would be an incredible specimen.

Weight problems
Godzilla would weigh 146 000 tons, according to our keen analysis of the 2014 Godzilla toy and a formula developed by palaeontologists to work out the mass of bipedal dinosaurs.

0,00016 x (circumference of femur in millimetres) 2,73 = mass in kilograms
0,00016 x (Godzilla’s femur: 24 200 mm) 2,73 = 148 571 645 kilograms, or nearly 150 000 tons

We found out he would surpass the theoretical weight limit for land animals – 100 to 1 000 tons. The heaviest dinosaur, the 100-ton Argentinosaurus, stood 21 metres tall, was 35 metres long, and had four limbs to distribute its enormous heft.

At rest, Godzilla’s metabolism would generate 1,4 megawatts, or about as much power as that of a large wind turbine. On a rampage – smashing helicopters, knocking over buildings, fighting Mothra – he’d generate about 37 megawatts. That’s enough energy to fuel a town of 3 000 people.

Bad to the bone
The force on Godzilla’s bones is roughly 20 times greater than the force on a T rex’s, so his bones would need to be phenomenally strong – about twice as tough as some titanium alloys. Normal done has a tensile strength of 150 megapascals, but Godzilla’s bones can handle 3 000 MPa – the same pressure found at the base of Earth’s lithosphere, 100 km below the surface.

Godzilla’s cartilage would be about 12 times stronger than a human’s, preventing his knees from exploding like overripe tomatoes – and making him the envy of basketball players everywhere.

Thick skin
Godzilla’s exterior is tough. (Soldiers with rifles, really?) His crocodile-like hide would be embedded with osteoderms, or bony deposits akin to chain mail. Protruding osteoderms on his back and tail vent excess heat.

Life span: 2 000 years
Heart size: 20 metres across, weighing 100 tons
Blood volume:  2 million litres
Weight:  146 000 tons
Walking speed: 2,9 km/h

Video: Godzilla is here to save humanity, but could he exist?


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