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The Science behind Superheroes

A man from another solar system born under a red sun that has gone super nova has the ability to fly here on Earth. A mutant man is born with wings. A certain cigar smoking Canadian has the ability to heal at incredible rates. Superheroes capture our imaginations with what is possible. Let’s look at some of these superheroes and discuss what would happen if they really did exist._astonishing_archangel superheroes

Archangel comes from the Marvel universe with the ability to fly. Warren Worthington III was one of the original members of the X-men appearing in the first issue. What if he really did have wings? There are two things to point out. First, his bones would have to be hollow. Second, he would have to eat enormous amounts of food. Most birds have less dense bones than animals that don’t fly. That is due to weight. Having less dense bones allow them to stay light enough to maintain flight. If Archangel did exist he would have to have less dense bones to help him keep his weight down. He would also have to be constantly eating. Birds burn extreme amounts of calories. The humming bird has to constantly eat in order to maintain its flight. The same would go for Archangel.

wolverine superheroe   Wolverine has some amazing abilities. First, his sense of smell is akin to a bloodhound’s. Second, he has an amazing healing factor.  Our sense of smell comes from olfactory receptors in our noses. If someone were to be born with more receptors this would give them Wolverine like abilities. This isn’t farfetched either. A woman was recently discovered to have an extra color receptor in her eyes. Roughly, she’s able to see 100 times more colors than the average human eye. If the eye can have more receptors, why can’t the nose have more?

What about the healing factor? Scientists are still pushing the limits on how fast a person could heal. However, there are some hurdles to get over. The body’s metabolism would have to speed up to an extreme level. An incredible healing factor means generation a massive load of heat from all the chemical reactions happening. This also means the same problem that Archangel earlier would run into.  Wolverine needs to eat massive amounts of food in order to supply the increase rate of metabolism.superman superheroes

Could being born under a red sun give you strength here on Earth? The theory is that the decreased gravity here on Earth gives Superman’s body strength. Is this possible? In short, it is possible. Gravity actually changes with the size of a planet. If you could somehow lift 500 lbs on another planet twice our size, then you could expect to be able to pick up twice that amount here on Earth. However, this effect would decrease the longer Superman stayed on planet Earth. His strength might decrease in reality due to his body adjusting for the new force on his body. This also means that his body would have to be really dense. Meaning, he would weigh a massive amount because his body would have to be really thick in order to support holding his body up in a higher gravity planet.

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