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Can You Really Turn a City into a Mortal Engine?

There are well over a billion cars in the world today. Having one car for every six or seven people on the planet affords us an incredible freedom in where we want to go and when. But what if, hypothetically speaking of course, there was a global war and the resulting  earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis made much of the planet unlivable and un-drivable, and for that reason, you wouldn’t want to leave your city or town. What if, instead of allowing everyone to have a sweet set of wheels, you put everyone on a sweet set of wheels? What if you turned an entire city…into a vehicle?

This bizarre but fascinating thought experiment comes from up the upcoming movie Mortal Engines, from the filmmakers who brought you The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. In the film, a global war has caused massive geological upheaval, and so, of course, the only logical conclusion to escape such ruin is to put entire cities on wheels and survive by chasing down and consuming and eating other cities, their people, and their resources. It’s such a wonderfully bonkers sci-fi concept that it is begging to be scienced.

So in my latest episode of Because Science, we are going to figure it out. How much does a city weigh? What wheels would you put on it? How much fuel would it take?

After you watch the new episode, check out my last video on whether or not the Flash could touch a lightsaber, buy a Because Science shirt, mug, hat, or collectible pin, and follow me on Twitter or on Instagram to give me a suggestion for the next episode. Want Because Science even earlier? Subscribe to Alpha for access to the show two full days before anyone else.

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