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Thanks A Lot, Party Poopers: Physicists Prove Batman Would Plummet To Death Like A Rock Wearing A Cape

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Because there's no such thing as the suspension of disbelief anymore, some party-pooping physicists (links to PDF of actual paper) took the time to prove that, while Batman could jump from a height of 400-feet and successfully glide for about 1,000 feet, he would land like a sack of shit thrown at a neighbor's porch. Whatever -- you don't know what kind of magic Lucius Fox packed into that cape!

In a paper titled "Trajectory of a falling Batman," David Marshall, Tom Hands, Ian Griffiths and Gareth Douglas studied the wingspan, height of descent and velocity representative of Batman's cape during one of his flights. As part of their research they exposed the bat cape's fatal flaws.


While this is enough to support a glide of sorts, according to the team's calculations, the essential accessory falls short. The 15.4-foot wingspan is only half of a hang glider. If Batman launched himself off one of Gotham's average 492-foot high towers he could glide successfully for approximately 1,150 feet.

The problem is the caped crusader's velocity would peak somewhere around 68 mph before leveling off at 50 mph -- enough speed to cause Batman to take a permanent dirt nap upon "landing."

Gee guys, thanks for proving something in a superhero movie isn't possible. Really. Maybe next you should tackle whether or not it's possible to suck all the fun out of something. Note to all readers: Do NOT go see The Dark Knight Rises with these @$$holes.

Thanks to towo and ashleigh, who can't wait to hear their explanation about how superheroes wouldn't really be able to breathe in space.

There are Comments.
  • Guest

    now why cant it be possible? if you set your gloves, boots and maybe waist and knees up with electromagnets, and set the cape up with metal or magnets and co-ordinate the cape with those magnets, then batmans cape would be much like a squirrel suit

  • Scott Hall. 61st IWGP Champ.

    what the fuck do physicists know? They know nothing when it comes to superhero physics.

  • David Marcenaro DeBernardis

    Like a few of the other commenters here, i have to say, this "study" is flawed, because of the screenshot they used. In other shots, you see that his "cape: is substantially larger, as large as a hang glider at least, and YES, it was consistently shown throughout the film that he can manipulate the fabric into rigid sections, which he can then control the attitude and presumably curvature of, and it has rigid ribbing holding it together. In fact, in one scene, you just see the ribbing become rigid, and you see that it extends far beyond his arms. Compare this to say, a wingsuit/squirrelsuit, and it comes out favorably, and compared to a hang glider, it has advantages and disadvantages

  • philip

    hmm, you might like to google 'gary connery' - you know, the guy that landed a wingsuit! Ok, it was in boxes. How about a 37^2 ft (3.4^2 meters) parachute? :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • his cape isn't even a triangle, it has large sections on each side and actually is shorter behind his back where it is connected to his neck and down his spine, making it like two wings he can hold out, the frame they used doesn't show how far back they flow, making them more like two small parachutes on either side. i think myth busters should take a closer look at this one!

  • Andreas Rentoumes

    that frame of the film is not accurately showing batman cape size (wingspan?) since that frame is technically through the eyes of gothams fear gassed citizens and is what they percieve batman as while on the gas, not what he actually looks like. in many other 'real world' scenes in the movie and dark knight his cape is way larger when extended into glider wings. suck it, math! theory disproven, batman still owns.

  • Guest

    That's funny and sad at the same time. wow....that is now possible. And I do like the Batman via comic & tele.

  • MeggyMonster

    Great. Next they're going to tell us that invisible jets can't fly! D:

  • ZomBBombeR

    assholes!

  • Now I'm no scientist here and whilst Nolan's sense of realism may still be based in fiction, but isn't Batman's cape more advanced than a standard hang glider in that he can manipulate it by forming it into more of a parachute; when he lands, he lifts his arms up for the 'wings' to catch air and decelerate.

  • $18922249

    Well Devon... I am a scientist. And no, Batman's cape is not more advanced than a standard hangglider. In fact, it is common knowledge around the scientific circles that Batman's cape is made from a simple bedsheet reenforced with duct tape and tent poles. Now you know!

  • ZomBBombeR

    Great observation I wanted to say something similar but was too annoyed atm.

  • but his cape is made of memory cloth...

  • AdvancePlays

    As if we needed physicists to know that Batman couldn't glide.

  • rikster81

    How about a paper on the trajectory to a vagina

  • Guest

    I'm now predicting a new project for our beloved Myth Busters.

  • $18922249

    This paper will have an impact factor of JUSTICE!

  • Hans Olo

    Next they take a look at the helicopter catch in Superman...

  • Lee

    No no, next they take a look at the Flash and how moving faster than light is proven impossible!

  • Who gave them the grant for this study, Stan Lee?

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