Best sci-fi movie factual errors of all time
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Factual error: Trevor - a Professor of Geology - boasts about having an article published in Scientific American, and that is not something any scientist would do. Scientific American is looked upon with slight disdain by the scientific community, considered to be a populist crowd pleaser. It is not even peer reviewed. Considering that he has just turned the geological and archaeological worlds on their heads he would have been better off publishing in Journal of Geological Research or Geology, both prestigious professional journals.
Factual error: Twice in the film it is made clear that the Pym particle works by reducing the space between atoms in order to shrink an object, and by increasing it to enlarge them. This means that the object will weigh the same, whether shrunk or enlarged - it cannot be otherwise. A 90kg man the size of an ant would punch a hole through any surface upon which he stood (and couldn't ride ants), Doctor Pym has been walking about with a 60 tonne tank in his pocket, Darren Cross lifts a full grown sheep between finger and thumb, and the supersized Thomas The Tank Engine would be far too light to crush the police car (in fact it would float harmlessly away as it would probably weigh less than the air it displaced).PEDAUNT
Factual error: It is barely credible that a young Victorian woman like Elena would even think about wearing a goatskin miniskirt - exposing her legs in those days would be akin to walking about topless nowadays. Even if she did those bright yellow cotton knickers - gleefully visible in the scene in the beehive - are in no way from the 1860s. Her pants are a hundred years ahead of their time.
Factual error: The cavemen Harrier pilots are shown using the hover mode frequently. Harriers, even with drop tanks as depicted in the film, can hover for at most 5-10 minutes, as the thrust required to keep the aircraft in the air without any lift consumes massive amounts of fuel and overheats the engine, and real-life Harrier pilots are instructed never to hover for long periods of time, unless absolutely necessary. The amount of time the cavemen spent hovering (hiding out of sight in a parking garage, sneaking up on the Psychlo gunships, etc.) would have easily caused their fuel to run dry.Dom
Factual error: In the scene where Neo is shot at by the French guy's henchmen, they shoot with different types of guns. 4 of these are submachine guns which would fire 9mm. Another is a M1928 Thompson would fire .45 APC. Lastly there is a Heckler and Koch G36K which would fire the drastically different 5.56x45mm NATO. When Neo stops the bullets, they are all 9mm Parabellum rounds.
Factual error: During the final battle over Area 51, Russell Casse appears in his F-18 and states he is armed. After he attempts to acquire radar lock on the alien's primary weapon, he states he is locked on and has tone. He then says the tactical brevity code Fox-2, which indicates the launch of an infrared-guided missile. However, the missile he is actually attempting to launch is an AIM-54 Phoenix, which is an active radar guided missile, designated by the launch code Fox-3. The master monitor display also incorrectly shows the missile mounted on the port wingtip launcher of the aircraft where the AIM-9 Sidewinder would normally be mounted, instead of on the port wing's weapon pylon where the missile actually is. Historically, the F-14 Tomcat was the only fighter capable of carrying the AIM-54, as it was such a heavy missile; the AIM-54 was never used on the F/A-18. Instead, they carry the AIM-120 AMRAAMs, not the AIM-54 Phoenix that were shown in the film.Stonewall
Factual error: After Watney patches the blow out of one of the HAB's airlocks with plastic sheeting, tie down straps, and duct tape, he pressurizes the HAB and the plastic sheeting pushes out like an inflated balloon. Assuming the plastic and duct tape would hold this is correct, however the plastic would be much more taut given the pressure difference inside and outside. The real mistake is later in the scene during a sand storm the plastic flops in and out. The plastic would remain tautly inflated, since the inside pressure is much greater than outside, and since the HAB is airtight the storm would have no equalizing effect to cause the plastic to be sucked inward.
Factual error: Considering the brightness of the fusion process, Dr. Octavius has to wear special goggles to be able to see it. Yet no one else in the room is wearing such goggles or seem hurt by watching the whole process, just as at the end of the movie. When welding something, no one can look at the arc that's created, as it would hurt his eyes and burn his retina; presumably, the fusion process would be brighter and more powerful than that, and so should have some kind of damaging effect on everyone's eyesight (except Spider Man's, maybe).Sereenie