Someone Figured Out Exactly What Would Happen If Superman Punched Your Fragile Human Body
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 Others
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?
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.
You Wouldn’t Even See The Punch ComingPhoto: Man of Steel / Warner Bros.
What makes a punch from the Man of Steel even scarier is that you would never even see it coming. This is because it takes a certain amount of time for the brain to process any light than enters through the retina. While the common thought has been that it can take up to 100 milliseconds for this to happen, recent research has shown that people are capable of recognizing images after an exposure of just 13 milliseconds.
That time period is completely insufficient for a person to see something moving in front of them. At 1% the speed of light, Superman’s punch would reach your face in less than 3 nanoseconds. He's operating at 99% of the speed of light. The human victim wouldn’t even be able to tell what had happened before they had already been hit.
A Punch That Powerful Would Create A Lot Of Heat
The energy transferred from such a powerful force being created would release an unimaginable amount of heat. According to Vsauce3, this figure would be an astonishing 80 trillion Kelvin. Considering that the sun itself is only around 15 to 16 million Kelvin at its core, that makes it a lot hotter than anything else in the solar system. In fact, the punch would create a heat blast that was some 5 million times hotter than the sun. It’s no wonder then that the punch would require the calorific equivalent of 82 billion Big Macs.