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Science Explains the True Strength of the Mythical Kraken

The giant mythical cephalopod known as the Kraken is one of the most imposing, mysterious, and frightening creatures in all of fiction. The beast can be the size of a ship or the size of an island, waiting patiently underneath the waves to snack on pirates and inspire map-makers. What they are known for most though, is pulling entire ships underneath the waves. How strong would a kraken have to be to do that?

In my latest Because Science, I’m using the physics of buoyancy and some math to figure out just what kind of slimy musculature it would take to take a floating ship down to Davy Jones’ locker. If you’ve ever played with an inflatable toy in the pool, you know just how hard it can be to force and hold a large object underwater. That’s because the buoyant force on a submerged object is equal to the weight of water the object has to move out of the way when it’s under, and water is very heavy — a cubic meter comes in at 1000 kilograms.

To pull a ship under then, a kraken would have to exert enough force to move a ship’s worth of water out of the way. Just how much is that? You’ll have to watch my latest episode above to find out!

After you watch the new episode above, check out my last video on how dense Legolas has to be to walk on snow, subscribe to this playlist to stay current with the show, buy a Because Science shirt, mug, hat, or collectible pin (the SURPRISE LIGHTSABER! shirts are in!), and follow me on Twitter to give me a suggestion for the next episode or on Instagram where I’m now posting extra mini-episodes!

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Want More Science in Your Fantasy? Too Bad!

Today’s episode was sponsored by Kraken Rum.

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