Geophysicist Defends Science of Licking Rocks in THE LAST JEDI and DOCTOR WHO

One of the funniest moments in The Last Jedi happened on Crait, when a Resistance soldier touched the ground, licked his finger, and said, “Salt.” Most people don’t taste rocks to figure out what they are made of, but it turns out the joke’s on us, because a geoscientist has explained why it was a totally reasonable thing to do. This week on Twitter, EW‘s Dana Schwartz had what seemed like the right response to a method used for determining the difference between a rock and a fossil.

But because sometimes the Internet is actually good, field geophysicist and disaster researcher Mika McKinnon defended the seemingly absurd practice, which she says is a quick, effective (and safe, if you know what you’re doing) tool for scientists to employ in the field, because texture and taste tell them a lot.

If I had a nickel for every time I said you gotta avoid those arsenopyrites

That why she says it was actually a good idea for the Resistance soldier to lick the surface of Crait in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

She also gives high marks to Doctor Who for using a proper tasting technique, but Jack Sparrow get a tongue-lashing for needless licking.

Okay, so we should all start licking rocks to expand our own scientific discovery, right? Not exactly.

It’s safe to say most normal people should still not lick rocks. Leave it to the scientists. And Resistance soldiers.

What other pop culture examples of characters licking rocks would you like to have fact-checked? Tell us in the comments below.

Featured Image: Lucasfilm

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