Friday, February 08, 2013

How much does Thor's hammer actually weigh? Scientist answers pressing question

From EW: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson set out to answer a truly perplexing scientific question Thursday on his Twitter feed: How much does Thor’s hammer weigh?

If Thor’s hammer is indeed made of a star, like the Marvel comic book says, it would weigh as much as 300 billion elephants. Assuming the average weight of an elephant, this equates to approximately 4.5 quadrillion pounds, according to a Slate report (we’ll trust their math).

Tyson even posted a photo of himself holding the hammer, to provide some proof of the accuracy of his report. He is one of pop culture’s favorite scientists, having hosted NOVA ScienceNow on PBS for five seasons and appearing frequently on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He has hosted three of Reddit’s top 10 Ask Me Anything Q&A’s. He’s also no stranger to comic books — Tyson was featured in an issue of Action Comics in 2012, where he helped determine the location of Superman’s home planet, Krypton.

This offbeat way of imagining just how heavy the legendary hammer Mj√∂lnir is gives me a renewed sense of pride for my personal favorite Avenger. It explains why only Iron Man’s exoskeleton and The Hulk can put up a fight against the king from Asgard. Alien or no, the guy is super, super strong. Really, how many elephants can you lift?

1 comment:

Octopunk said...

I am totally charmed by the insertion of elephants into this conversation about astrophysics. It shifts the tone from serious math to schoolyard braggary. Why involve large mammals when the number you're using is already so high?

"I would estimate around 300 billion --"
"Wow, holy crap! That's a lot"
"Wait for it! I was saying... 300 billion elephants."
(Awkward looks all around.)