The Impossible Anatomy of Godzilla
By Danielle Venton
Since his first awakening, the radioactive, fire-spewing kaiju has grown 200 feet and put on more than 150,000 tons. Godzilla is now 30 stories tall and weighs as much as a cruise ship. No actual animal could take the pressure of being so massive: It would overheat, its organs would implode, and it would need to mainline butter to get enough calories. For fun, we surveyed scientists to help us break down the beast's biology. If Godzilla were real, he would be an incredible specimen.
Godzilla would weigh 164,000 tons, according to our keen analysis of the 2014 Godzilla toy and a formula developed by paleontologists to work out the mass of bipedal dinosaurs.* We found out he would surpass the theoretical weight limit for land animals—110 to 1100 tons. The heaviest dinosaur, the 100-ton Argentinosaurus, stood 70 feet tall, was 115 feet 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 3000 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 bone has a tensile strength of 150 megapascals, but Godzilla's bones can handle 3000 MPa—the same pressure found at the base of earth's lithosphere, 60 miles 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.
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.
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