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We Calculated the Strength of Luke Cage’s Skin

If you’re like us here at Nerdist, you’re still binging the first season of Marvel’s newest original series devoted to hero of Harlem, Luke Cage. Cage is interesting for more reasons than most superheroes are, but his unbreakable skin is a power ripe for the science-ing. The big question: What kind of skin would you need to really be bulletproof?

In my latest Because Science, I’m reverse engineering Luke Cage’s incredible skin to figure out exactly how strong it is. We start with one of the most commonly used bullets in the world: the 9mm. If Luke Cage can repel any typical small arms fire, a 9mm bullet should be no problem. Then we have to figure out what kind of pressures Cage’s epidermis is dealing with; pressure is defined as a force over a certain area, so if we know the kinetic energy of the average 9mm, we just have to assume a few things about the hero’s skin and we get a value of pressure.

The resulting strength that Luke Cage’s skin would need puts it on par with some of the strongest materials on Earth, including diamond, spider silk, and a little chemical you may have heard of before…

If the mad scientists that gave Cage his powers inserted that kind of chemical into his skin? BOOM, superhero!


Check out my last video on how the weapons of the Mass Effect franchise could really work, subscribe to this playlist to stay current with the show, buy a Because Science shirt (you know why), and follow me on Twitter to give me a suggestion for the next episode!

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