Total Nerd 11 Super Common Movie Deaths That Are Scientifically Impossible  

Nathan Gibson
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List Rules Vote up the deaths you're relieved to learn aren't likely to be how you bite the dust.

Death is pretty much the only certainty any of us have in life and the movie depictions of death are usually poignant or spectacular. However, they are also often just flat out inaccurate. Rather than go with realistic methods of death, many films contain unbelievable movie death scenes that viewers accept as possible because they have been shown so many times. These movie death myths have become tropes that are used throughout the industry but that no one questions. Like unbelievable dialogue, it all boils down to some bad and rather misinformed writing.

Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any end in sight for unbelievable ways characters die in the movies. The ways characters die in movies that are fake - be it scientifically or just logically - will probably only increase in bizarreness. But here, at least, you will find the truth of these death deceptions. Whether you truly believe liquid nitrogen will turn you into glass for the shattering or that a person could actually be cut straight in two with a razor-sharp string, its time to sort out the rational fears from the straight ludicrous ones. Thanks to a few experts who know real science from fake science, here's a dose of reality about those movie deaths that may have looked cool but were just straight up #fakenews.

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Sinking Into Lava


Sinking Into Lava is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 11 Super Common Movie Deaths That Are Scientifically Impossible
Photo: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King/New Line Cinema

Another common death in sci-fi, fantasy, and disaster films is by an unfortunate fall into a volcano or other lava pit. This common depiction usually sees the victim sink slowly - and while weirdly cognizant - as the lava envelops their entire body. The only problem is that scientists know that lava has a very high density, which would almost certainly lead to most people simply floating on top of the material. Therefore it would not cause the instant death that hapless film viewers may assume. Instead, the intense heat would cause a person to burst into flames and slowly burn to death.

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Shattering When Liquid Nitrogen Freezes Your Body Into Ice


Shattering When Liquid Nitroge... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 11 Super Common Movie Deaths That Are Scientifically Impossible
Photo: Jason X/New Line Cinema

In the movies, liquid nitrogen is portrayed as some sort of magical substance that is capable of flash freezing anything it comes into contact with. While it can be used to shatter objects in real life, such as flowers or other small items, it is wildly impractical to kill someone with it as shown in films. Liquid nitrogen can reduce the temperature of skin very quickly but takes a very long time to significantly reduce the internal temperature of a human. It would also take a huge amount of it to be dangerous, as it would just evaporate upon contact with skin in small doses.

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Your Body Exploding In The Vacuum Of Space


Your Body Exploding In The Vac... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 11 Super Common Movie Deaths That Are Scientifically Impossible
Photo: 2001: A Space Odyssey/MGM

If science fiction movies have taught us anything it is that space is a scary place. Finding oneself in space outside of the safety of a spaceship without a suit surely leads to an almost instant death as explosive decompression causes the human body to literally expand until its blows up. In reality, the human body wouldn't explode in outer space. A person would almost certainly swell up, possibly to twice their normal size, as bodily fluids expand and begin to bubble. But the skin is flexible enough to be able to take this extra strain, making a person bursting open almost impossible.

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Blowing Up In A Car Shot By Guns


Blowing Up In A Car Shot By Gu... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 11 Super Common Movie Deaths That Are Scientifically Impossible
Photo: The Matrix Reloaded/Warner Bros. Pictures

It might seem easy to blow up a car if you watch a lot of movies. Apparently, all it takes is shooting a few bullets at a vehicle's gas tank and a vehicle will quickly erupt into flames or, in more spectacular circumstances, explode spectacularly. Real life is a bit of a different story. Gas tanks in cars are specifically made to be as safe as possible. They have to be able to withstand strong impacts in case the vehicle is involved in a crash. There is also not very much oxygen inside a tank, certainly not enough to cause a rapid fire or explosion. Meanwhile, most bullets are simply not powerful enough to pierce the reinforced gas tank or ignite the fuel inside.

So, although any circumstance where you're being chased by someone with guns isn't ideal, no need to worry too much about your escape car exploding.