If you’ve seen The Avengers, or even if you’ve seen any of the trailers (one is below), you’ll notice that The Hulk is shown leaping around New York like a flea, batting bad guys out of the air like it’s nothing. But how would that work in reality?
Okay, so comic books and comic book movies are far from reality. How did gamma radiation turn Bruce Banner into a shapeshifting monster? How does Iron Man pack so much stuff into such a lightweight suit? What exactly is in a super serum that can turn a tiny weakling into a super solider in a short period of time? It really doesn’t matter, because comics wouldn’t be comics without suspending a great deal of disbelief.
Now, there were a couple minor physics problems that kind of bugged me for a split second in The Avengers— not long enough to at all put off my overall enjoyment of the film— IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME. But there’s no way that an aircraft carrier can just lift giant rotors out of the water and generate enough thrust directly against the water to create that kind of lift.
Aaaanyway… so back to the Hulk. It’s pretty much been established through decades of comic books that the Hulk’s powers are almost limitless. There isn’t much he can’t smash into tiny bits, there isn’t much that he can’t throw around like it weighs almost nothing, and he can jump really really far.
Popular Science sat down to figure out exactly the math behind the Hulk’s amazing feats of acrobatics, and it’s an interesting read. Read it here
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