How tough is King Kong? And can he stand?


The time has come Godzilla vs. KongImp is a classic battle between an impossibly giant monster. I just watched the trailer and it is a fun movie to watch. But movies are not just for fun, they are also for physics. In particular, it’s a great opportunity to consider the physics of scale – what happens when we turn small things into big things? For example, what if you took a common gorilla and made him a giant gorilla and then you named him King Kong?

How tall is Kong?

If you have a giant gorilla then if we want to see it then the first thing to do is find out how tall he is. Oh sure, I can find this value somewhere look but it’s not fun. Instead, I’m going to see if I can guess its size based on what I see from the trailer. I just like the challenge of using a trailer. It’s kind of like real science. Sometimes you have to fight to get some nice data and other times boom, it stays right there. In this case, I’m lucky. Kong and Godzilla both have a shot standing in the aircraft carrier. Assuming it’s a Nimits-class carrier, I can use its size (About 330 meters) Cong measurement.

Examples: wired stuff; Warner Bros. photo

It gives a rough height of 102 meters – since that’s just an estimate, I’m going to take 100 meters. Oh, it looks like Godzilla’s tail is about 110 meters long.

How much will it weigh?

Okay, I need another guess. Suppose Kong is made of the same thing as a regular-sized gorilla. I would also assume that the kanga is the same basic size as a normal gorilla – you know, both animals have legs that are equal in proportion to their total height and their arm width is the same compared to their total height, that is how it looks, isn’t it? He looks a lot like a big gorilla.

If Kong is a large gorilla, his gorilla will have the same density – where we determine the density as the total mass divided by the number. But what is the size of the gorilla? In fact, we don’t need to know it. Instead, let’s just use a simple shape like a cylinder. Suppose I have two cylinders of different sizes but with the same ratio (ratio of radius to length).

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