Dragon Ball Z Lied to Us About Gravity… Sort Of… Well, A Little Bit


So here I am, watching Bill Nye the Science Guy, like all 30-year-olds do, and I realize that Dragon Ball Z has led me astray about science. I know. Crazy. It’s almost like we don’t live in a world where people have the ability to shoot laser beams from their finger tips.

File under: Things I see everyday
File under: Things I see everyday

I guess I should have figured that -since our world is bereft of giant monkey attacks- maybe the show wasn’t going to be the most accurate thing in the world.

But whatever, I was watching Bill, and when he started talking about how the larger planets have higher gravity, I sort of went wide-eyed and whispered, “King Kai lied to me.”

For those who don’t remember the series well, I’ll backtrack.

Remember when Goku died (it’s not a spoiler if he does it a lot, right?) and he trained in the super gravity of King Kai’s planet in heaven? Remember how they explained the enhanced gravity was because King Kai’s planet was smaller than Earth’s?

That is totally against what Bill Nye said!

Well, I forgot that supposedly King Kai’s planet used to be 100 times the size of Earth, and somehow when it shrank it maintained the gravitational force because the mass remained the same.

That’s explicable… ish.

But as I was researching this, I started digging more into gravity, and it turns out that while it is totally plausible that King Kai’s planet has a stronger gravity, nothing else about it holds water. Namely, that being used to higher gravity makes you stronger.

King_Kai's_Planet

So, one of the things people are worried about when it comes to humans traveling through space is the lack of gravity. It turns out that gravity is essential to our survival. Our bodies are perfectly calibrated to work with our particular gravitational forces… oh, and by the way, that does include most of your biological functions, including shitting.

Yeah, apparently, NASA spends a lot of time figuring out how we can poop in space without gravity. That’s right. You think you’re doing all the pushing when you’re on the can, but gravity deserves most of the credit for the deuce in the water. Thanks Newton!

So, I imagine you’re sitting here wondering why you’re reading this because what the hell is my point? My point is simple, if humans have such trouble surviving in zero g environments, the Saiyans and Namekians -like Piccolo and Vegeta- should also have the same problem on Earth.

The reason given in the show for Piccolo and Vegeta’s tremendous power was that they were from larger planets with higher gravity, which made them stronger than their Earthen counterparts.

Which… really shouldn’t work. The second they leave their planet, and the longer they stay on the smaller planet, their muscles mass should actually start atrophying because the body thinks that muscles are no longer required.

Yes, our astronauts exercise to try and combat that, but since the environment is zero g, it is really difficult for them to work hard enough to successfully stave off the atrophy.

My point being that Piccolo, who has been on Earth for years, should just be a quivering mass unable to move, calling out for someone to feed him because  he can at least do that without the aid of gravity.

Oh, and I forgot… you lose bone mass too. So, like, Piccolo’s bones should be super easy to break.

Honestly, his power level should be around -1.

Don't move him. His back'll break.
Don’t move him. His back’ll break.

But that’s just part of the problem. All of the fighters in the series obsessively train in higher gravity to become stronger… which would work if creatures didn’t have a limit to their muscle mass. However, the second they stop the training, their muscles would go back to what was required for the gravity they inhabited.

So, yeah… Dragon Ball Z lied to us. Training in higher gs doesn’t make you a super man, and being from a bigger planet essentially means you’re going to waste away on a smaller one. Really, this show should just be men weakly slapping each other, and crying about their broken fingers. I’d watch it.

 


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