2012

Factual error: In the poster shot and in the film, the wave from the Atlantic carrying the carrier JFK into a collision with the White House comes crashing in from the west because the south portico of the White House is seen. The Atlantic Ocean is east of Washington, so the wave should come from the other direction. And even a wave coming from the east could not have made the JFK (CV-67) crash into the White House because the carrier has been retired in 2005 and is berthed in Philadelphia, which is northeast of Washington DC.

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Factual error: The astrophysicists talk about the solar neutrinos "mutating" into new particles. This is pure pseudoscientific nonsense- there are only three possible types of neutrino, none of which interact with normal matter to any significant effect. Neutrinos regularly switch between these types. Also, particles don't "mutate", which is a genetic change. No physicist would use this term.

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Factual error: About an hour into the movie the plane with our heroes in it is being chased by a pyroclastic flow from the Yellowstone eruption. The flow at one point fully overtakes the plane. A pyroclastic flow is comprised of hot gas and rock sometimes over 1000° Celsius. It not just dust and smoke. The plane would have been ripped apart by both the temperature and the fast flying rocks. Instead it came out of the flow without a scratch.

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lionhead

Factual error: Given that the main characters are from southern California, it is unreasonable to believe that a father and his two children would drive the 1000 miles one way to spend a weekend camping in Yellowstone National Park, nor would they be able to return home in only a few hours, following the call from the mother.

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Scoutmaster253

Factual error: It's stated after the Yellowstone Caldera explodes that the Ash Cloud would hit Las Vegas first, then St. Louis, Chicago and so on. We see Jackson and his family land in Vegas, then the action moves to D.C., where we learn the V.P.'s chopper goes down in the ash cloud in Pittsburgh. A pyroclastic cloud that we see moves at 450mph. It would reach Vegas long before it reaches Pittsburgh. Vegas would have been long gone before Jackson and family could reach it.

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dablues7

Factual error: Gross defiance of the laws of inertia. Cars falling off the back of a moving plane will carry the momentum in the same direction of the plane. It seems to have the opposite effect in this film. The cars are propelled in the wrong direction.

xx:xx:xx

Factual error: American officials, including the president himself, continually refer to the other G8 leaders as "heads of state." They are, in fact, heads of government. The United States is the only G8 country which combines the head of state and head of government into a single position. The others have a separate prime minister (or chancellor in Germany) and president (or sovereign in the UK, Canada and Japan). No American official is likely to make this mistake in reality. The head of government of Italy is appointed as "Prime Minister" also in the Italian version; actually the correct wording should be "President of the Council of Ministers"

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Factual error: Air Force One is still complete when it strikes Ark 4 which is simply not possible. The aircraft would have been obliterated by the air pressure wave and the resulting huge tidal wave that hit it, so that only debris would have hit the Ark, certainly not the complete intact aircraft we saw.

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GalahadFairlight

Factual error: In the supermarket scene, we can see that the parking lot's pavement and the store's floor starts to rip apart. The amount of energy needed for that to happen would have caused a major earthquake that everybody in the store would have noticed way before the main dialog between the characters begins.

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Fernando R

Factual error: On board Air Force One, Helmsley is informed that the Continental Displacement has moved everything 23 degrees to the South West. In this case, China would have moved over 1000 miles in that direction, giving Jackson, et al. further to fly, rather than closing the distance.

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Factual error: In the Yellowstone sequence, Jackson drives the RV looking for Charlie. They drive past a sign saying "Mount Big Horn". There is no Mount Big Horn in Yellowstone. There is, however, a Big Horn Peak outside the park to the north east.

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Bruce Trestrail

Factual error: Little over an hour into the movie, Yellowstone blows up into a huge volcano. The pyroclastic flow that follows the camper is going at such a speed (the speed of the flow can be seen when the plane is in the air) that it would have overtaken the camper well before it has reached the plane. Even if the cloud would have been slowed down by hills, it would have, after the camper reached the plane, overtaken the plane long before it could take off.

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lionhead

Factual error: Schwarzenegger's term expires on Jan. 2011. This would be the end of his second term and the state constitution prevents him from serving a third. And yet he is apparently still governor in 2012.

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Factual error: Right when the plane takes off from the airport in Las Vegas, the plane barely misses the Wynn Venetian and hits the Eiffel tower at the Paris. This is impossible as the airport is at the far south end of Las Vegas Blvd. and these hotels are at the far north. They would have had to fly over four miles of other casinos before ever reaching them.

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Factual error: The name on Jackson's driver's license is read out as "Jackson, Curtis". In reality, the name would have been spelled out: "Curtis, Jackson" or "Jackson Curtis" without the comma. But never, "Jackson, Curtis" with a comma.

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Casual Person

Factual error: The scene where Yuri starts the car with his voice has two mistakes in it. The first one is that to use voice activation in any kind of car you have to push a button to let the car know that you're talking to it and secondly no car manufacturer would make the voice recognition the only way to start the car, there would always also be the option to start the car via a button or with the key simply because of safety reasons.

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Tanngrisnir

Factual error: Several scenes in the movie show the tidal waves and tsunamis sweeping people and objects away, which is utter fantasy. The air pressure wave that is in front of the tidal waves and tsunamis would blow people and objects away long before the water did.

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GalahadFairlight

Factual error: After taking off from Las Vegas for Tibet, our heroes try to refuel the Antonov in Hawaii, only to find the islands devastated. The route from Las Vegas to Tibet takes you nowhere near Hawaii. In fact, Hawaii is only 500 km (300 miles) closer to Tibet than Las Vegas.Also, they expect to go down somewhere in the South China Sea, but the route from Hawaii to Tibet would take them just north of Japan and nowhere near the South China Sea, which is 3000 km (1900 miles) further south.

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Factual error: In the film, the world is falling apart because the earth's neutrino particles have mutated and are heating up the earth's core intensely. The top surface of the world would have been utterly destroyed under the pressure of such power before the core could have come close to beginning to boil.

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Factual error: At several points late in the film, we see shots of the gigantic tsunami thundering across Southeast Asia and India, carrying away buildings, vehicles, people, monasteries, et cetera. The tsunami is still ocean blue with foaming whitecaps as it barrels into the Himalayas, and the water is perfectly crystal clear as it begins flooding the Ark. We even see John Cusack and others wading and swimming in flood water that is as clear as a swimming pool. In reality, when a tsunami slams into a coastline and travels inland, it carries millions of tons of seabed sediment and landscape all churned into a godawful slurry that is virtually opaque black. No amount of illumination can penetrate it, and it would be impossible to see anything beneath the surface. The enormous tsunami depicted in this film, having traveled hundreds or thousands of miles across the Asian mainland, should have arrived at the Himalayas looking like a massive flood of squid ink, rather than crystal clear.

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Factual error: The coat of arms behind the German chancellor in the briefing scene is wrong. First of all the actual German coat of arms is not oval and secondly this is not the coat of arms used by the German chancellor. The one used by the German chancellor is hexagonal and could also be found on the old German currency.

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Tanngrisnir

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Quotes

President Thomas Wilson: Six months ago, I was made aware of a situation so devastating that, at first, I refused to believe it. However, through the concerted efforts of our brightest scientist, we have confirmed its validity. The world, as we know it, will soon come to an end.

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Mistakes

In the poster shot and in the film, the wave from the Atlantic carrying the carrier JFK into a collision with the White House comes crashing in from the west because the south portico of the White House is seen. The Atlantic Ocean is east of Washington, so the wave should come from the other direction. And even a wave coming from the east could not have made the JFK (CV-67) crash into the White House because the carrier has been retired in 2005 and is berthed in Philadelphia, which is northeast of Washington DC.

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Trivia

Though named differently, all the state leaders (plus the governor of California) shown in the movie are of the same gender, ethnicity and general appearance as their real-world counterparts who ruled in 2009.

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