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The Science of The Predator, Explained

First appearing in 1987’s classic Predator, the extraterrestrial hunters later known as “Yautja” are arguably some of the most iconic monsters in all of cinema. The aliens themselves are extremely proficient killers, who sport a combination of interesting biology and cutting-edge technology while tracking down their exo-trophies. They may be inherently mysterious creatures, but if we’re clever, I think we can use science to de-cloak the Predator’s most famous properties.

In my latest episode of Because Science, I’m heading into the jungle to explain the three most scientifically scintillating aspects of the Predator. The most famous may be its active camouflage, which transforms its shape into a shimmer of forest, but the creature is also known for its glowing green blood and infrared vision. All three characteristics are otherworldly — there isn’t a creature on Earth with blood that glows in our atmosphere, nor is there one that can see in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. And though we’re trying to replicate Predator-like camouflage, what the Yautja have has to be far more advanced.

For this episode then, we’re going to have to get creative, and that’s going to take us from firefly butts to iPads, and from squid skin to the structure of your retinas.

After you watch the new episode, check out my last video on how “Spidey-Sense” really works, 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 days before anyone else? Subscribe to Alpha for access to the show two full days before anyone else.

Catch up on the latest Because Science!

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