Excessive violence and untimely deaths by a thousand different ways, became the trademark of Hollywood produced movies. Out of the 110 features released in 2011, 91 movies were action, thriller movies with explosions, violent death scenes, kidnapping, killing and the rest of the bloody package.
If this makes you groan and mutter “only in the movies…”, then we think you’ll enjoy this scientific-type debunking of 10 common film and television movie tricks.
10| Exploding Cars
Whether it’s on TV or the big screen, it seems like every high-speed car chase ends with at least one auto crashing and exploding into flames. Sometimes the vehicle drives over a cliff and spontaneously combusts into flames without any provocation.
Gasoline actually has a very narrow flammable range, and the mixture of gas vapor to outside air must be very specific (between 1.4 and 7.6%) before anything close to an explosion will occur. Gas may cause a car to burn after a bad wreck, but it very rarely detonates.
9| Falling Through Glass
No action film is complete without at least one person falling through a plate glass window and then walking away without a scratch. Injury-free defenestration is some definite Hollywood trickery that requires a “don’t try it at home!” warning. Broken glass has razor-sharp edges that can cut right through clothing and human flesh like a hot knife through refrigerated margarine.
Even if a person survived the fall, he’d typically sustain so many cuts that it would look like he’d just taken a ketchup bath.
8| Death From A Gunshot
How many cinematic scenes have portrayed a person being knocked off his feet and killed by one shot from a gun? In real life, death by gunshot depends upon the type of weapon and the ammunition. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll use a handgun as an example. Even if a person is shot at point-blank range by a handgun, he will not be lifted off the ground and sail through the air.
If a handgun packed that much velocity, the shooter would be propelled backward in a similar fashion. The only wounds that are immediately incapacitating—that is, where the victim slumps to the ground and cannot move—are those to the brain or upper spinal cord. Even if the victim receives a direct wound to the heart, it will take several minutes for complete circulatory collapse, and in the meantime, the brain is still sending out “fight or flight” messages.
7| Crime Scene Aftermath
The climactic scene of many TV cop shows is a big shoot-out, followed by the detectives standing over the dead perp, telling the uniformed cops to “take him to the morgue, and clean this up.” Moments later, the detectives are shown unwinding at the local tavern. Of course, it doesn’t happen that way in real life. Any officer who fires his weapon has to remain on-scene until someone from Internal Affairs comes to investigate.
He also has to stand by until the evidence technicians have finished collecting everything they need. And the uniformed guys would laugh at the suggestion that they “clean up” anything. Whether it’s a homicide or suicide, once the cops have all their information and evidence it’s up to the owner of the property to mop up. Luckily, there are many companies that specialize in the very exacting work that is necessary when it comes to grisly biohazard cleaning.
6| Dramatic Drowning
Drowning victims have plenty of time for a dramatic rescue on the big screen, since they flail and splash loudly while reaching their arms up and desperately calling for help. In reality, most drowning victims don’t get rescued in time simply because no one nearby realizes that the person is in trouble. A drowning person typically dies quietly, since he is unable to keep his mouth above the water long enough or draw enough breath to cry for assistance.
They usually don’t thrash about, either; instinctively they straighten their body as if they are climbing a ladder and spread their arms to the sides as if they are trying to push down on the surface of the water to lift themselves up. Because of this automatic response, a drowning person will rarely reach for a thrown life preserver or extended stick. Small children slip below the surface even quicker than adults, so it’s very important to take every precaution possible (life jackets, floaties, etc.) when youngsters are playing in the water.
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