At this point, you’ve seen more or less everything that action TV has to offer. After you’ve seen an entire city gratuitously destroyed in CGI by gritty superheroes, there’s not much more that can wow you. That’s why I really appreciate when an anime like One Punch Man decides to depict a consequence of action physics you may not have seen before: how hard would you have to punch someone to literally stop the rain?
In my latest Because Science, I’m tackling the rain-stopping pressure wave. In the first season of One Punch Man, hero-for-fun Saitama faces off against a devilish and destructive monster known as the “Sea King.” When the Sea King meets his end–in one punch, of course–a mighty blast wave emanates in all directions, stopping the rain as it goes. Is something like that possible? And if so, how big of a blast wave would that take? We have to figure it out…
It turns out that, according to a number of military studies I downloaded (I’m on a watch list now), there are shock waves that can disintegrate droplets of water, and there are explosives that can produce such waves. All we have to figure out is how big a blast would be required to accomplish what we see in the anime, and relate that energy to Saitama’s incredible fist. Watch my latest episode for that very analysis!
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