Science Confirms: Tiny Ant-Sized People Would Have a Shitty Time Being Fired From a Bow

By James Whitbrook on at

There’s a lot of superheroic spectacle in Captain America: Civil War, but one of our favourite moments has to be Scott Lang flying into battle on one of Clint Barton’s arrows. Unfortunately, according to those ever-delightful party poopers known as “scientists,” Scott would have a really unpleasant time while he’s doing it.

Sure the moment may be a loving homage to Ed Hannigan’s incredible cover to Avengers #223, but over on the Science Of blog Matt Brady did some thinking (and a whole lot of maths) to figure out that as fun as it looks, Ant-Man is being ravaged by the perils of acceleration and g-forces as he hurtles through the sky in Tony Stark’s direction:

Okay – let’s sum this up: the arrow leaves the bow in 9.8 milliseconds, travelling at 278.7 mph. Just before the arrow was fired, its velocity was 0 mph, so in other words, the arrow went from 0 to 278.7 mph in 9.8 milliseconds, which is equal to an acceleration of 12,737.18 m/s2, or 1,299.7 g. A huge g force was experienced by the arrow for a very, very short time.

... A common (but gross) euphemism for individuals who experience a large acceleration over a short period is that they end up being a “bag of soup.” In this case, with the acceleration experienced by the arrow, anyone attached to it would pass right by the bag of soup stage, go right through paste, and end up as a stain.

Again, acceleration is not your friend.

Poor Scott. Or perhaps, more accurately, “poor pulpy stain that formerly was Scott.”

As Brady points out, it’s just a bit of fun—after all, it’s a superhero movie, and Scott’s inability to be affected by our own realities of physics can just be handwaved through the scifi magic of Pym particles. But the work that goes into Hardy’s equations is impressive, and a fun take on a delightful moment in the film. Check out the rest of his extensive workings at the link below.

[The Science Of...]