Question of the Week: Scientifically Unrealistic Superheroes

Question of the Week: Scientifically Unrealistic Superheroes

Every week we ask a question of our readers, to stimulate discussion and critical thinking about an issue or topic relating to science, skepticism, technology or religion. Our favourite comments are discussed on our weekly podcast, The Pseudoscientists.

Superheroes have been getting a lot of attention in the last decade or so. Sure, they’ve existed in comics for more than half a century, but since 2000 we’ve seen an explosion of superhero films (and film series), focused on comic mainstays like Batman, Superman, the X-​​Men, Spider-​​Man, Ironman, Captain America, and plenty of others. Advanced computer graphic techniques that have only been around for a little while are making superheroes more realistic than ever…

…or are they? Reboots, updates and modernisation haven’t necessarily made superheroes any more scientifically realistic — and everyone knows that superhero comics have always been fast and loose with scientific plausibility. But which superheroes are the worst in this regard? That’s what we want to know:

Which superhero is the least scientifically realistic?

Is it Superman, with his multitude of ridiculously poorly-​​justified powers? Or Ironman with his technologically-​​implausible suits? Or perhaps The Hulk, who should have turned into a seething mass of cancerous tumours long ago? Or maybe it’s someone else entirely… Let us know in the comments!

[Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo by marco40134]