The movies can be a great source of education as well as entertainment. Much of the current batch of sci-fi movies and tv shows, in particular, are doing great work in terms of explaining science and its principles to audiences.
However, it’s also important to recognize that some of the things the movies have taught us about science are just plain wrong. That’s not to be deliberately misleading, it’s to make sure that movies are entertaining.
These 10 things are examples of when that happened and the “knowledge” from movies mistakenly entered the mainstream. We’d bet that you won’t believe number four on our list.
10. Shotguns Don’t Work Like That
In the movies, somebody gets shot with a shotgun and “boom,” they’re flying across the room. In real life, if that really happened, then Newton’s Laws state that the person who pulled the trigger would also fly across the room in the opposite direction. Doesn’t happen, does it?
9. Lasers Can’t Be Seen
We do love the red light laser beams that appear in nearly every sci-fi movie but you can’t actually see a laser beam in real life. The only way that you could see a laser would be to put reflective particles in the air of the beam’s path. That would significantly reduce the efficiency of the laser.
8. Science Does Not Happen Quickly
Every time there’s an engineering, or biotech, or chemical disaster in a movie or TV show, it’s always resolved in a few short minutes. In real life, science doesn’t move at this incredible rate of speed. Inventions and improvements take years of hard work to come up with, they don’t happen on demand.
If you think that’s odd, wait until you read number 5.
7. Dinosaur Cloning Isn’t That Easy
Discovering dinosaur DNA wouldn’t actually lead to the manufacture of dinosaur babies. Jurassic Park aside, DNA degrades over time and as it degrades it becomes more and more difficult to clone. Dinosaur DNA would simply be too old to be viable for cloning procedures. Which is both sad and a relief at the same time.
6. Chloroform Isn’t A Good Knockout Drug
Chloroform in the movies is placed on a bit of cloth and then held over someone’s mouth. Two seconds later, they’re unconscious. While it’s true that chloroform can render someone unconscious, it takes a few minutes rather than a couple of seconds to work. Five minutes of kicking and struggling wouldn’t look good on TV – so they take a short cut.