Could You Survive MEN IN BLACK?
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Could You Survive MEN IN BLACK?

October 22, 2019

(suspenseful music, roaring) (booming) – I’m Jake, and before being
chased by a giant alien, I had two loves in my life:
science and movies. So, I decided to put myself
in one of my favourite films:
Men in Black, to see if you could survive it. Could you survive
the massive kick-back
from firing a tiny alien gun? Being in close proximity
to a galaxy condensed
to the size of a ping-pong ball? Or being swallowed alive
by a giant alien creature? Could you survive
Men in Black? (roaring) (suspenseful music) So just to catch you
up to speed, the giant alien that’s
pursuing us stole a galaxy the size of a ping-pong ball,
and in my attempt to retrieve it I kind of upset it, now it seems
dead set on eating me. (roaring) Oh, no. It’s right behind me,
isn’t it? No! Don’t look!
You’ll give away our position. I got this. This is your last chance,
you monster. Give me the galaxy. – Never. I’ll take it back to my planet
after I suck the flesh from your bones,
and eat your– (explosion)
(Jake): Whoa! (laughing) – Okay, that was…
that was my bad. You know,
when handling a firearm, you should always keep
your finger here, not here on the trigger
unless you actually intend
to shoot something. But, you live and you learn. And speaking of living… Could you live through
the immense amount of recoil from firing a weapon
like this? Let’s do an experiment
to find out. So, for this test,
using measurements that we were able to calculate
from the movie Men in Black, we want to see what would
happen to the body if you were hit with as much
recoil as the cricket delivers. So, here we have our dummy, which is about the same weight
and height as an adult human. Then we have our canister, and the canister is filled
with compressed air,
and a little extra nitrogen, which all builds up
at the end of this tube
generating pressure. That pressure then shoots this
into you, and that momentum
transfers into your body, which again is roughly
equivalent to what we saw
in Men in Black. So… let’s do it. Three, two, one… Second, actually.
Just to be clear, this metal plate effectively
represents the transfer
of momentum. Of recoil, from firing a weapon
like the cricket. Okay. And… fire! (impact) Our stand in cricket… transfers the full momentum
into your body, and slams your head
into the ground
in half a second, causing a serious concussion
and splitting your skull open. But is there a way
to survive this? Well, when a weapon
has a lot of recoil, generally a tripod is used
to help mitigate it. So let’s try this test again
with a tripod, and another way to lessen
the amount of recoil is by adding mass
to the weapon. So in this case… we are going to be
adding sand bags
to the tripod. Increasing the mass
should reduce the velocity. And we can see that
working here. The body is nudged
out of the way. But, if it were able to stand
it wouldn’t have been
knocked over at all. Unfortunately, in the movie,
they didn’t have weights
or a tripod, so… (impact) Now, in movies, when
a character gets thrown back, like in Men in Black,
or just a little while ago,
to me, what they’re doing
is called a “Pull Stunt”. And a pull stunt
is fairly straight-forward. There’s a harness on me,
they attach this right there, and then it looks something
like this. Whoo!
(crashing) (laughing) That was fun.
Back to the narrative. We need to get to headquarters
and give Em the galaxy. But first, I need to find
the galaxy. (splashing)
Oh. That was convenient. (engine starting) Em. I’m on my way. You’re gonna love headquarters.
There’s aliens everywhere,
agents, it’s really fantastic. (car beeping) (mysterious music) (door clanging shut) Where is everybody? – What are you doing?
We gotta get out of here! The whole place
is gonna explode! – I gotta go talk to Em. So many stairs. (panting)
Oh, there’s more stairs. Em. Where is everybody? – All the aliens are fleeing
Earth, ’cause they think
it’s gonna get blown up. (sighing)
Like that would be
the first time? (Jake): So it’s just you and I? – Unfortunately, yeah.
And we might not be here
much longer. Couple of hours ago,
the Vulgarians broadcast
a message saying that they would
blow up planet Earth if we didn’t get them back
the galaxy. – Wait… You mean
this galaxy?
– That’s the one. – How did they even get
a spiral galaxy to fit
into such a small volume? – Mmm, very good question.
But more importantly… How much does it weigh? (Jake): H-How are we standing? Where’d the furniture go? – Imagine a cloud of gas
floating in outer space. If we wanted to compress it
to fit it in a smaller space, we could do so,
but at a certain point, the pressure in the core
would be so great, nuclear fusion would occur. (explosion) A star would be born. Interesting things happen
when you compress stuff a lot. But we don’t just want
to compress a cloud of gas. We’re talking about
compressing an entire galaxy, and galaxies are massive. For example, our galaxy,
the Milky Way, is 200,000 light-years across. It contains hundreds
of billions of stars, and at least 100 billion
planets. That is a lot of mass. How much would all of that
weigh? Well, depends
what you weigh it on. But, its mass, whoo! We’re talking a mass equal to about 1.2 trillion
solar masses. That’s about 20 tredecillion
kilograms. That’s a big number. Okay, that much mass
compressed into something
the size of a ping-pong ball, you wouldn’t have a nifty
little tchotchke, no! You’d have a black hole. A black hole with a diameter
of more than half a light-year. We would be inside it
right now. The entire Earth would be sucked inside.
Our solar system
would be gone. But since that’s not happening
right now, since we’re safe, and because the laws
of physics say doing so
would pretty much be impossible, I think it’s safe to say
that a galaxy in your pocket is impossible.
We have nothing to fear. – Oh. Well that’s great. – Or do we? An advanced alien civilization
may be able to collapse
a galaxy down to the size
of a ping-pong ball without changing its shape,
and without removing
any of its mass. If aliens could do that
with an entire galaxy, and fit it in a ping-pong ball,
they may also be able to,
at all times, access its energy. And how much energy
is inside an entire galaxy? Every second, there’s enough
radiant energy from a galaxy to boil Earth’s oceans… 258.9 billion times. – So it seems like the best
option is to get this thing
off of our planet, before they, or it,
destroys all life as we know it. – Yeah, that would probably
be a good idea. – Where did the furniture
come from? – The Vulgarians have told us
where they want to meet you. I’ve sent those coordinates
to your car. – I won’t let you down. – Close the door. (door closing) – Oh… Mm-hmm. (suspenseful music) – Ah. London looks a lot
like Los Angeles. (chittering)
(Jake): You… – I’ll take that galaxy back. – Didn’t I blow you up already
though? I mean, I think there’s still
some of you on the bottom
of my shoe. – Aww, you think she was
the only one of us
on this planet? How do you think
we create so much content
so frequently? We’re all Rosanna Pansino. – Weird, but uh… Don’t move! Put your hands on your head. – If you insist. (intense music)
– Ah… (roaring) Well, this sucks… (music stops)
Ugh! Ah, ah, yeah. Alright. So, obviously
in Men and Black, and what just happened
to me, when you get eaten
by a giant insect-like creature, you end up in its stomach. But in the movie, when we see
the inside of the stomach, it’s closer to what we imaging
a mammal stomach to look like,
which is this: an organ filled
with digestive acid. And if we were actually eaten
by an insect, it would
look like this: an insect’s stomach breaks
its food down by a grinding
action instead of using acid. Basically, it pulverizes
its prey. Not only has a human being
never been eaten whole
by an insect, as far as we know,
but insects are so small, it’s difficult to film
how they digest food. However, we did find a device
to help us visualize what that
process would look like, if a human were swallowed
by a giant insect. A woodchipper. (soft piano music)
We’ve chosen the woodchipper because its circular spinning
blades and grinding action provide a compelling
and comparable representation of what happens
in the proventriculus; the insect’s stomach. The metal teeth
of the woodchipper shred the incoming food
in a similar manner
to the denticles; or the teeth
of the proventriculus. It’s this action that turns
the insect’s food into pieces
small enough to be digested. The denticles are made
from sclerotin;
a hard material, which is interestingly the same
substance that makes up
its shell. In addition to sharing
a similar motion in toughness, the blades also have a slight
claw-like bend to them. Akin to the shape
of the denticles. While an exact version
of the proventriculus
and its denticles doesn’t exit on a large scale,
the woodchipper provides
an oddly captivating insight to what would happen
if I had actually been eaten by a three metre tall insect. All that being said,
it does look really cool. While an insect’s stomach
employs an active digestive
process, a mammal’s is far more
passive. As we can see here
in this time-lapse, the digestive acid
works slowly on the food, breaking down the enzymes
until all the nutrients
have been leached from the meat. Leaving a disgusting sludge
to be passed from the body. To really see how the acid
breaks down the flesh and bone, please enjoy this top down
time-lapse set to the overture
from the Barber of Seville. (Barber of Seville Overture
playing) (Jake): Ew… So, neither of those options
really seem good for me, so I think I’m just gonna
get out of here. (explosion, splashing) Ugh! It’s gross! It’s so gross! Should really be more bothered
by this. (alien grumbling) Oh. Hey. I think, uh… I think this galaxy is for you. Should I just…? You don’t
really have hands. Should I just throw it
at you? Alright. (alien grumbling)
Cool. Yeah, I know, it took a while,
’cause I was eaten by an alien. (alien garbling) So… We’re good?
Earth’s good? Sweet. No, you can… You can go to Taco Bell
yourself, I’m not really hungry. Alright, have a nice trip, then. Alright, I think you might’ve
seen a little bit too much. That? That was just swamp gas. I’m gonna need you to
look right here. And as always,
thanks for watching. Vsauce! I’m Jake, just in case
you forgot when I neuralyzed
you. Just joking. That wasn’t real,
it’s all movie magic. And speaking of movie magic,
if you wanna see how we made
those incredible VFX, like that alien row and that
other floating alien we saw at
the end, there’s a behind the scenes that
chronicles how we did that. It’s
really fantastic. In addition to that, there’s
also a new video from Michael
Stevens at Vsauce1 and Rosanna Pansino that I
cannot recommend enough. They’re in a playlist with a
bunch of other YouTube original
learning videos just like this one. So to watch
the BTS, click right here
to watch the learning playlist with Michael and Rosanna.
Click here and, as always,
thanks for watching!

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