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Could an Anime-Style Nosebleed Turn You into a Rocket?

Anime can be about anything–ripped dudes shouting until they are strong, brothers turning everything into metal, planet-powered ladies–but because all anime shares a similar visual style, the medium seems to operate under a unified system of physical and biological “laws.” For example, when angry, all women in anime apparently have access to a parallel dimension known colloquially as “hammer space,” which allows them to grab head-smashing hammers from what looks like nowhere. Another trope is the anime nosebleed. When unexpectedly “excited,” characters frequently gush an immense amount of blood from their noses, sometimes enough to rocket them off the ground. But could that be possible in our non-anime universe?

In my latest Because Science, I’m taking a look at the admittedly gross anime trope because it’s definitely something we can science. Rocket science boils down to throwing mass out of something very quickly. NASA, SpaceX, and others do this with rapidly expanding gas. All we have to figure it out is how fast blood has to come out of your nose to provide a significant amount of blood-thrust (ew).

That means making a number of assumptions about mass, blood velocity, and amount of blood. It turns out that another anime trope has to come into play, because when blood moves too quickly it would feel like mantis shrimp punching the inside of your face. Watch my latest episode above to find out if anime has the blood-thrust it takes (gross)!


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