Superman is one of the oldest superheroes in the world and has become one of the staples of comic book history. Immensely powerful and possessing almost unrivaled strength on planet Earth, the human population is fortunate that the Man of Steel is generally a hero who doesn’t commit acts of violence against mankind even if he is sometimes a bit of a jerk. That hasn’t stopped people from wondering what happens if Superman punches a person, as people just love to analyze fictional characters to see how their powers would work in the real world.
The science of Superman, though, can be a tricky thing. He has so many different abilities that would cause havoc in reality that it can be difficult to see how he could ever interact safely with any member of the human race. However, for those who are curious, YouTuber Vsauce3 put the time and effort into discovering exactly what it would be like to receive a blow from Superman in reality. The results make for some rather interesting reading as you will see below.
The Strength Of Superman Is ExtraordinaryPhoto: Warner Bros.
As one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe, Superman possesses an enormous amount of strength. He has been shown to be able to lift everything from large vehicles to mountains. On occasion, his power has grown enough to even allow him to move entire planets. In terms of his punches, they are strong enough to cause massive amounts of damage to anyone they hit. In an episode of Smallville, Clark Kent demonstrated just how powerful his punches could be in terms of sheer physics. He was able to cause shockwaves with his blows in the Season 6 episode “Combat."
Superman Is So Powerful He Has To Restrain Himself When Fighting OthersPhoto: DC Comics
Superman has noted several times that he is often scared of unleashing his full power out of a fear of the destruction he could cause. He has such immense strength that he has to limit himself in almost every circumstance, otherwise he would cause unintentional harm to everyone and everything around him. This causes the superhero to act as if he is walking on eggshells for most of his life. One of the few times that he allowed himself to fight without any limitations came in an episode of the Justice League animated series. In a fight with Darkseid, a New God who is one of the most powerful villians in the DC Universe, he is able to match him in terms of strength.
He Can Subdue Even The Most Powerful Superheroes With His HitsPhoto: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice / Warner Bros.
Although he is not all-powerful and has, in fact, been beaten by many villains and other superheroes, most don’t come off too well if they get into a fist fight with the Man of Steel. He has been shown capable of knocking Wonder Woman unconscious with a single blow and once punched Captain Marvel from Metropolis all the way to Hawaii.
In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Bruce Wayne is forced to create a powered exoskeleton in preparation for his battle with the Krypton-born superhero. It is only this immensely high-tech piece of equipment and the fact that Superman is probably pulling his punches somewhat that allows Batman to survive the fight.
Just How Hard Can Superman Actually Punch, Then?Photo: DC Comics
YouTube user Vsauce3 did some calculations to try and figure out exactly how hard Superman can punch. He argues that the strength of the punch is determined by the force and the acceleration of his fist as it moves through the air. It is also established that the laws of physics say that it couldn't be moving faster than the speed of light – so the speed of the hand is set at 1% lower than this at 99% the speed of light.
Doing the calculation reveals that the punch would have a force of 190 quadrillion joules. To put that into terms that you can get your head around, it is the equivalent of 45 megatons of TNT or almost 3,000 nuclear bombs that could potentially be hitting you right in the kisser.