After 22 attempts to clone him, the revived “Weapon X” program finally had their perfect reproduction of Wolverine. But the DNA was damaged. Logan’s Y chromosome had to be replaced with an X chromosome, and Laura Kinney, a.k.a. X-23, was born. Kinney shares every other bit of Wolverine’s genetics, so she too has an enhanced healing factor, an attitude problem, and bone claws–likewise covered in indestructible Adamantium. But there is one significant difference between the two: Laura wields two claws on her hands, as opposed to Logan’s three. And believe it or not, this makes her deadlier than her identical twin.
In my latest Because Science, I’m taking a swipe at the true cutting power of both Wolverine and X-23. I argue that because of how knives, blades, and claws cut and pierce in the first place — applying large forces over very small areas — attacking an enemy with two claws would work out better than attacking with three.
Intuitively, you know this is true, and you’ve seen the underlying principle before. Think about lying on a bed of nails. When there is more surface area (i.e., more nails) there is less pressure on the skin. That’s why you can lie atop hundreds of nails, but not a single nail. The argument extends to our claw situation. But if you want to know just how big a difference X-23’s claw set-up makes, check out my latest episode above!
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