The impossible science of Godzilla's gait

After a first look at one of the newest incarnations of Godzilla to walk the earth, one question kept popping up: how would Godzilla manage to walk on his rather small feet at all?

The question was first raised by commenter Captain Max and JINX, and then taken up by commenter Lizardman, who noted "The so-called 'brontosaurus feet' have been a source of debate in Godzilla fan circles for a while now. I myself have also wondered why the bipedal Godzilla wouldn't have slightly longer toes ever since seeing some of the concept models shown at last year's San Diego Comic Con."

It turns out, scientists have also wondered about the same thing. There's a review of the science of Godzilla over at Tetrapod Zoology — and the news is not good for our favorite, fictional nuclear lizard:

Sauropod expert Mike P. Taylor did a bit of science on Godzilla (this time on the original, not on the TriStar creation), but has also – for shame – failed to publish his results. Interested in how much weight can be absorbed by the limb's cartilage pads, and in how big these pads needed to be in sauropods, Mike threw Godzilla into the data set to see what might happen. Godzilla's cartilage disks would not, it seems, hold up under his incredible weight, and we can therefore conclude that a terrestrial biped of Godzilla's size and weight is impossible.

Of course, even if Godzilla did manage to toddle upright, there are other dangers facing him, including injuries to internal organs, full body collapse, and spontaneous explosion:

Godzilla is meant to be something like 100 m tall and between 20,000 and 60,000 tons in weight (his size fluctuates in the various films). Of course lots of people who like doing sums and talking about cubes and so on have used the mathematics of scaling to show why – duh – Godzilla couldn't really walk, stand, or even exist. Michael Dexter presents the arguments here, and also brings in thoughts on blood pressure, circulation and physiology to show that a living Godzilla would variously fall to pieces, tear itself apart, have its organs turn to jelly, explode due to a build-up of internal heat… you get the picture.

Image: Demplex