Random Musings: Rats, Lava

Do we, as humans, need to be more rat-like? A recent study suggests so:

In repeated tests, rats freed another trapped rat in their cage, even when yummy chocolate served as a tempting distraction. Twenty-three of the 30 rats opened the trap by pushing in a door. The rats could have gobbled the chocolate before freeing their partners, but often didn’t, choosing to help and share the goodies.

Next time somone calls you a rat, consider it a compliment!

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 First of all, isn’t it fairly obvious when people say “hot lava”, as in “I’d rather be boiled in hot lava than go out with you”? It’s like saying “I think I’ll go get a drink of wet water”. But that wouldn’t be our only misconception about lava. Oh no, my precious!

In just about any movie I’ve seen which involves lava, people, and people falling into lava, the people sink in the lava. Gollem splats into lava at the end of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King as if he’s fallen into a vat of pudding, and then procedes to sink. Here’s an article to explain to you why this wouldn’t happen.

The bottom line: Lava is really heavy and viscous. You are not. You will float. And Gollem would have hit that lava like falling onto pavement. He’d have been too dead to give panicked looks as he fails to sink but rather bursts into flame.

The article also alludes to another pet peeve I have from movies: People fighting, talking, and basically staying alive right next to lava. Lava is about 3-4 times hotter than your oven on full broil. Do you think you’d be able to survive for long sticking your head in your oven on broil? No, you’d burn your face and scorch your lungs. Anakin and Obi Wan should both have been crispy critters long before their epic fight above the lava was over.

Once again, for all you Hollywood types: Lava is much thicker and much much hotter than warm pumpkin pudding! 

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2 Responses to Random Musings: Rats, Lava

  1. Dan Stratton says:

    Mmm…. pumpkin pudding… Now I’m hungry.

  2. Thom says:

    Hmm…. Pumpkin pudding does sound good. Like pumpkin pie without the crust. I wonder…

    And yes, I have wondered if they would simply pass it off as some sort of Force power. Higher up I could believe it, but when they’re floating on platforms a few feet above a wide river of it…well, let’s just say there’s a reason why the fire department warns you to stay low to the floor when escaping a burning building.

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