The Biology of B-Movie Monsters

John Hawks points us to something near and dear to my heart. Monster movies and Science. More specifically, The Biology of B-Movie Monsters. Where we learn, for example, that the ants in Them were sporting some mighty serious bling:

These giant bugs have a problem, and I can think of only one way out for them. The joints must be made of some very hard material (to minimize wear) with good mechanical properties, and only one material will fit the bill–diamond. You scoff? Diamond is only carbon, and living things have a lot of experience in manipulating carbon. So why didn’t the characters in Them! notice that the giant insects had diamond-lined joints? In Them!, you’ll remember, the giant ants are finally defeated by burning out their nest with flamethrowers. As I said, diamond is just a form of carbon, and like the more prosaic forms will burn quite nicely. The evidence literally went up in smoke.

I love it!

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4 Responses

  1. Stuff on that link is the required reading when I teach BIO101. I love LeBarbera – I wish he would turn it into a book.

  2. This was my first exposure to him. I really enjoyed it, being a fan of horror movies. I would love to see him do a book along similar lines…

  3. Fantastic link! Thanks for sharing it with all of us B-movie fans of science. :)

  4. No problem, I just wish I had discovered it sooner…

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