Godzilla between Fact and Fiction

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The science fiction movie Godzilla was a great success when it first came out in the mid-twentieth century. The movie's success instigated filmmakers to remake more than one film about the same story in different adaptations. Godzilla movies have, thus, become one of the most famous and most successful movies in the history of cinema. The idea of the films revolves around a genetic mutation that occurs in a type of dinosaurs that lived on an undiscovered remote island in the Pacific. That mutation results in the transformation of the dinosaur into a lethal amphibian monster that leaves its habitat and attacks populated cities.

Many Godzilla fans have wondered if the story could actually be true; if that creature has once lived and roamed Earth. Of course, it is not true. There was never a giant monster walking around, destroying modern buildings, breathing fire, attacking people, and throwing cars. Scientifically speaking, it is impossible for Godzilla to exist; a creature of Godzilla's size needs an enormous amount of food to survive. To clarify, if we thought of human beings as a proper food for Godzilla, then it will need to eat an average of 1900 persons a day to obtain the calories it needs to survive. That would result in a huge amount of energy, enough for a city of 3000 people; it would also produce sweltering heat that would cause the beast's organs to collapse.

Then, what has led fans of the movie to think of that assumption? It is the plot of the original 1954 Godzilla movie, which was based on true events; the traumatic effects of the nuclear bomb that America dropped on Japan at the end of world war II. The bomb's radiation caused the emergence of mutations and genetic changes in many living creatures. That is on top of completely destroying and annihilating the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Scientists have recorded these genetic mutations in many scientific researches, in addition to the horrific effects that perpetuated for decades, leading to the conclusion that, somehow, the story has an origin in reality. Although the story differes from a movie to another in the same series, and sometimes it is repeated, Godzilla stayed in people's minds as a mutant creature created by the atomic bomb's radiation.

Some anatomists even attempted to reach the dinosaur species from which Godzilla might have come, linking science to art and finding an interesting scientific topic. They found it anatomically impossible for Godzilla to belong to a certain species; the cinematic features of the beast are a mixture of more than one species, the most dominant of which is the Coelophysis dinosaur.

coelophysis

There is one remaining point to complete the plot of this amazing story: How did that dinosaur manage to survive and not go extinct with the other dinosaurs? Perhaps we will find the answer for this question in another new interesting movie of this series.

References

looper.com

observationdeck.kinja.com

smithsonianmag.com

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