3 Ways Movies Say You Can Die That Science Says Are False

Strike these Hollywood threats from your list of fears. The real world is much less fatal than the movies would have us believe.

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We watch movies for their magic, not their realism. So it’s not surprising that they frequently defy the normal rules of the universe.

For instance, a bullet wound to the shoulder requires no more than a splash of disinfectant and some gauze. Knocking someone unconscious makes them sleep for a few minutes and no one seems to worry about potential brain damage when they wake up.

Although movies often understate the severity of some injuries, they overstate other threats. Here are three nasty ways people meet their maker in movies and why you shouldn’t stress about them.

1. Quicksand doesn’t suck you under.

From Lawrence of Arabia to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Hollywood portrays this mixture of sand and water as impossible to escape without outside help. We’ve all learned by now that the more someone struggles in quicksand, the faster they sink.

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Researchers from the University of Amsterdam tested how deadly quicksand could be with an experiment. Their results showed that quicksand will not suck a person under.

The mucky substance can still be dangerous, though. Although quicksand won’t pull you under, it can immobilize you. If high tide comes in or a nearby river rises, a quicksand victim can drown due to being stuck in place.

2. Sharks aren’t out to get you.

Despite what you’ve seen in Jaws, Open Water, and The Shallows, sharks do not want to eat humans.

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Yes, there are about 82 unprovoked shark attacks per year, but very few of those are fatal.

In fact, sharks don’t even break the top 10 of the deadliest animals to humans. Even if you remove mosquitoes, tapeworms, and other parasites, sharks aren’t in the top six. Snakes, dogs, crocodiles, hippos, lions, and elephants all fatally attack more people per year than sharks.

After reviewing the data, we have to ask. Where are the horror movies with hippos as the monster?

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We guess if you’re cute enough, people will forget about the 500 people per year you fatally stomp, bite, or drown.

3. Five-point-palm exploding-heart technique requires perfect timing.

After Kill Bill’s three hours of carnage, it was fitting that Beatrix Kiddo dispatched Bill with a quiet flutter of her hand. Director Quentin Tarantino made the martial arts move even more mysterious by not showing Pai Mei teach it to Beatrix. Instead, the move comes out of nowhere to stop Bill in his tracks.

The “death touch” (also known as dim mak) has shown up in a variety of martial arts movies like Bloodsport, Clan of the White Lotus, and Executioners From Shaolin. While experts generally dismiss the fatal move as mythical, there is a little truth to it.

There are over 100 recorded instances of cardiac concussions, which occur when a baseball, hockey puck, or other hard object hits a victim in the chest at just the wrong moment of the heartbeat cycle.

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The victim can collapse and perish immediately from ventricular fibrillation. While a ninja could apply the necessary force to cause this injury, they would have to rely on luck to strike the heart at the exact right moment within a 15 to 20 millisecond window.

There. You should feel safer already.

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