Movie Reviews

I'm Not Convinced With How Godzilla Stands In The Middle Of The Ocean

Summary

  • Godzilla Minus One reveals how the monster stands in the ocean, but the explanation may not fully convince viewers.
  • The film boasts a 98% Rotten Tomatoes score and has won acclaim for its visuals and narrative in the Godzilla franchise.
  • While the physics behind Godzilla’s buoyancy may not align perfectly, theories involving swim bladders offer some plausible explanations.



Godzilla Minus One offers somewhat of an explanation for how the titular monster stands upright in the middle of the ocean, but I am still not convinced about how it achieves this feat. Boasting an almost perfect Rotten Tomatoes score of 98%, Godzilla Minus One is a visually stunning and narratively sound addition to the overarching Godzilla franchise. Since its release, Godzilla Minus One has not only garnered acclaim from viewers and critics but has also won several accolades, including the Oscar for Best Visual Effects at the 96th Academy Awards.

Apart from being appreciated for its immersive portrayal of Kaiju, Godzilla Minus One has also revived an age-old discussion surrounding the titular monster’s ability to stand upright on water bodies. The Japanese movie is not the first to portray this strange Kaiju ability. However, since it features many scenes where the monster is standing vertically on the water with ease despite its colossal size, I, like everyone, cannot help but question the logic behind it. I understand it is a fictional movie about a fantastical monster, but it is still fun to theorize based on what the movie offers.


Related

Godzilla Minus One Ending Explained

Godzilla Minus One featured a few twists that require explaining, along with where all of the characters wound up at the end of the action.


Godzilla Being Buoyant Explains How He Seems To Stand In The Ocean

Godzilla Has A Natural Ability To Float

Fortunately, Godzilla Minus One tries to explain how the monster achieves the physics-defying feat. In a sequence from the film, a character, Kenji Noda, formulates a plan that involves using real science to reduce the density of water, which would eventually sink Godzilla by reducing its relative buoyancy. Put simply, the movie scene implies that Godzilla is naturally buoyant. While Godzilla being buoyant perfectly explains why it is able to move underwater the way it does, it is still a little scientifically implausible for him to stand vertical when factors like its center of gravity are considered.


Why The Explanation For Godzilla’s Ability To Stand In The Middle Of The Ocean Isn’t Satisfying

It Does Not Allign To Well With The Laws Of Physics, But There Can Still Be An Explanation

Ryunosuke-Kamiki-as-Koichi-Shikishima-from-Godzilla-Minus-One-and-Godzilla-From-Monsterverse
Custom image by Yeider Chacon

A buoyant object experiences an upward force in the water, which counteracts its weight and allows it to stay afloat. However, buoyancy alone does not guarantee the stability of an object. Godzilla may be able to naturally float on water but should logically tip over quite easily because its center of gravity should lie somewhere in its torso or chest based on its body’s structure. However, if given some scientific leeway, one can explain how the creature stands vertically over a water body. For instance, one theory offers a fairly plausible explanation by speculating that Godzilla has a swim bladder.


Apart from having a stabilizing bladder, Godzilla also probably uses its massive webbed feet and tail to tread water.

Also known as a fish maw, a swim bladder is a gas-filled organ that allows several aquatic species to control the level of their buoyancy. Owing to its dorsal position, the bladder can even further move an aquatic animal’s center of mass to the bottom, allowing it to stabilize itself in a relatively more upright position. Apart from having a stabilizing bladder, Godzilla also probably uses its massive webbed feet and tail to tread water. Given how Godzilla Minus One or any other films featuring the creature do not delve into these details, I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe Godzilla’s buoyancy makes sense.


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