Month 7 of the new 52 has wrapped up with a few surprises and a few letdowns, but in terms of science a surprising thing for me is the ability to do a “Science of … “ blog on some series that usually don’t contribute as much science. Though to be fair they didn’t, but they each met my minimum of two scientific things to talk about. The first was my one of my favourite series, Voodoo (which was not as good this month.) As usual there are spoilers ahead.
Winged Flight, Physiology and Metabolism
For those following Voodoo it should be no surprise that there are two Voodoos now, the original and still heroic version, and the one that has been cloned and is acting like a villain for the Daemonites. While trying to track down the clone, the original is broken out of her containment, and she along with Jessica Fallon and Black Jack head off together. Being too weak to stand, she instead uses her shapechanging abilities to sprout some wings and start to fly. As is evidence of the people that though they could fly before the era of airplanes by getting some wing like apparatus and heading off into the wild blue yonder, this isn’t really how flight works where wings are incorporated into the biological function of an animal. Instead huge muscles are required to power these wings (this is why birds have such large breast muscles – think about that next Thanksgiving). The things with birds though is that to make themselves air worthy, they cut down on other things like weight, and their wings are really quite large when they weigh more. Watch a seagull take off where they have to run in order to get off the ground, this is because despite their ability to fly, they cannot fly directly from being stationary because they weigh too much. So one hand here Voodoo’s wings are way too small (though I appreciate some of this is the necessity of fitting thing in the panel) and on the other hand she would never complain about her legs being too tired when she is probably working twenty times harder to keep her wings going.
Verdict: Bad Science
The effects of a vacuum on the human body
Clone Voodoo has had enough of being a clone and decides to take her revenge on the Daemonite spaceship. After she is attacked by other clones, she decides the easiest way to deal with them would be by cracking open the hull and letting the void of space suck them out. This would happen, but what is usually somewhat messed up is the effects of space on the body. Granted Voodoo (the clone) manages to stay inside the spaceship, but one of the misunderstandings of space is that while it is cold, it is not cold in a traditional sense. Any piece of matter hitting up against the skin would draw off a lot of energy for that specific piece of matter, but that would happen so infrequently that it wouldn’t really feel cold per se, as most of the heat inside the body would have nowhere to go. It would have to deal with the radiation from the nearest star of get a really bad sunburn, but here the clone has some scales up already so this would theoretically cut down on the threat of a burn. The real threat in outer space is that of air. Because the air inside the body will try to escape as quickly as possible the air in the lungs would be pulled out as quickly as possible (so it is bad to hold breath as it might rupture the lungs) but unlike the other myth, the blood will not boil in space as skin and circulation keep it under mostly the same pressure. Still oxygen is not a problem for Voodoo as she is still in the ship
Verdict: Good science