Unfortunately, it actually is impossible to build an Iron Man suit, but that doesn't mean there's no real science in movies. While the science of movies is often inaccurate (even in science-fiction films), Hollywood occasionally gets a few things right. Disaster movies are perhaps the biggest culprits when it comes time to shirk science, but even they've been known to impress a scientist now and again.
Some movie plots are so outlandish that they just have to be based on reality. Despite what logic might lead you to believe, it's totally possible to split an arrow with another arrow, and there's a slim chance that you might wake up to a sea of sharks raining from the sky.
Once one considers all the things that can happen in real life from movies, one has to wonder whether films like Iron Man are also a few years away from actually occurring.
In the most terrifying news you'll ever hear, it turns out that the predator-filled storms seen in Sharknado are actually scientifically feasible. The first recorded "sharknado" happened in a small Australian town called Ayr during a tropical storm.
Cyclone Debbie caused major damage to Australia in the spring of 2017, and one of the most phenomenal incidents involved the discovery of a dead bull shark, which had been apparently plucked out of the ocean by the 160 mph winds and dropped over 10 miles inland.
While it's not exactly like the scene where sharks reign from the sky across Los Angeles, no amount of falling sharks can be considered good.
2001: A Space Odyssey is widely considered one of the most scientifically accurate films of all time. From the silence of space to artificial gravity, Stanley Kubrick exhibited a meticulous attention to detail.
The scenes that involve the rotating space station don't just look cool; it turns out the station was designed with practicality in mind, as is explained by Popular Science:
"Inside [the space station], people can walk and sit in chairs just like on earth. The shot stays put long enough to note that the station appears to be spinning at around one revolution per minute. Now, to simulate gravity, the centripetal acceleration created by the rotation must be equal to the acceleration due to gravity on Earth... The radius of rotation also needs to be large enough for there to be minimal difference between the relative rotational velocity of a person's head and feet... A quick calculation based on the 1rpm speed requires that the station have a diameter of 980 meters, or about the size of 10 football fields — huge, yes, but shown as such in the film."
In layman's terms, the constant rotation of the space station helps simulate Earth's gravity.
The 2010 film adaptation of The A-Team is full of crazy action, most memorably the skydiving tank scene. There is no way that could possibly happen, right? Wrong! The YouTube channel Escapist breaks down this seemingly impossible feat of science in their "Reel Physics" segment, and the findings are unbelievable.
First of all, the tank requires three giant parachutes to slow its descent, which is indeed what SpaceX uses for their crafts. When the tank lands in a lake, the impact only involves about 3.5 gs of force, which is survivable. At this point, it seems like the team should be stuck at the bottom of the lake. However, the real-life equivalent of the tank is a hybrid, meaning that it could indeed accelerate while lacking the oxygen required for an internal combustion engine. The whole thing seems utterly impossible, but it's not.
The Die Hard franchise never pretended to offer scientifically accurate entertainment, and the series's fourth installment took things to a new level of impossibility. Despite this, when John McClane (Bruce Willis) is able to kill the bad guy (Timothy Olyphant) in Live Free or Die Hard by shooting through his own shoulder, the risky gamble might have actually worked in real life.
When Smithsonian magazine tested the experiment using advanced ballistics, they concluded that while McClane likely wouldn't have had the right ammunition to complete the task (NYPD officers use standard hollow-point bullets), there is a more lethal round that indeed could have penetrated McClane's shoulder with enough force to kill the man behind him.