NASA Names '2012' the Most Scientifically Inaccurate Film Ever
We just recently featured a checklist chronicling bad science in the movies, but now NASA has weighed in with a little science-in-movies feature of their own. In a day-long private meeting at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, some of the top minds in the world met to discuss the film industry's most popular sci-fi movies and their accuracy (or mostly lack thereof) in representing real science. It's no surprise that 2012 was named the most absurdly inaccurate sci-fi film ever with NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous head Donald Yeomans calling it an "exceptional and extraordinary" example of bad Hollywood science - ha!
The Guardian (via The Film Stage/Cinematical) uncovered the story which highlights NASA's problems with 2012 (other than the fact that it sucked). Yeomans says, "the filmmakers took advantage of public worries about the so-called end of the world as apparently predicted by the Mayans of Central America, whose calendar ends on December 21, 2012. The agency is getting so many questions from people terrified that the world is going to end in 2012 that we have had to put up a special website to challenge the myths. We have never had to do this before." I doubt it's just the movie creating the mass hysteria since a lot of people were aware of the potential 2012 apocalypse before the movie, but surely Emmerich's disaster fest doesn't help.
Here's the newly released list of the most inaccurate sci-fi films according to NASA followed by a list of film's most loyal to science on the big screen. Some very interesting and fun picks on both! Check them out:
7. What the #$*! Do We Know? (2004)
6. The 6th Day (2000)
5. Chain Reaction (1996)
4. Volcano (1997)
3. Armageddon (1998)
2. The Core (2003)
1. 2012 (2009)
7. Jurassic Park (1993)
6. The Thing from Another World (1951)
5. Woman in the Moon (1929)
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
3. Metropolis (1927)
2. Contact (1997)
1. Gattaca (1997)
So how do those two lists compare up against this bad science checklist? Also - don't think that just because Jurassic Park made the list that we'll have dinosaurs roaming around in the near future (damn!), but rather the science behind the story itself (thanks to Michael Crichton) that's accurate. Gattaca may perhaps inspire the most fear because of its accuracy, but once again, this doesn't mean that the events in the film will ever actually transpire here in the real world. I think it's fun to think about the real world effects or possibilities of certain concepts in film, especially because I think we all know by now that most of what we see on screen just isn't in the realm of real science. After all the genre isn't call science non-fiction. Is this a better list?