History Main / SquareCubeLaw

10th Sep '17 10:42:10 AM nombretomado
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* ''AnimalPlanet'' Animal Olympics played with the law. While they ignored the fact a human sized insect would be crushed by it's own weight, they did note that small animals have much more ''proportional strength''. So, a dung beetle the size of a human could lift many metric tons, while an elephant the size of a human could barely lift a fourth of it's now much smaller weight. The only reason why the insects didn't win all the events is because they often were either [[GoneHorriblyRight too good]] at their events (such as a flea that cleared the entire stadium completely) or too stupid to complete the event.

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* ''AnimalPlanet'' ''Creator/AnimalPlanet'' Animal Olympics played with the law. While they ignored the fact a human sized insect would be crushed by it's own weight, they did note that small animals have much more ''proportional strength''. So, a dung beetle the size of a human could lift many metric tons, while an elephant the size of a human could barely lift a fourth of it's now much smaller weight. The only reason why the insects didn't win all the events is because they often were either [[GoneHorriblyRight too good]] at their events (such as a flea that cleared the entire stadium completely) or too stupid to complete the event.
9th Sep '17 9:14:23 PM TroperNo9001
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* ''Webcomic/Archipelago'': Alice Pintur is a SizeShifter who can only change to smaller sizes than her normal (and she's not that tall to begin with). At first the villains laugh at her for this - especially compared with the other powers of the heirs - until it turns out that she keeps the same mass, making her stronger and tougher the smaller she gets. [[http://www.archipelagocomic.com/comic/?id=622 The first thing she does upon showing her power for the first time and becoming the size of a small child is crush a sword blade with one hand.]]

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* ''Webcomic/Archipelago'': ''Webcomic/{{Archipelago}}'': Alice Pintur is a SizeShifter who can only change to smaller sizes than her normal (and she's not that tall to begin with). At first the villains laugh at her for this - especially compared with the other powers of the heirs - until it turns out that she keeps the same mass, making her stronger and tougher the smaller she gets. [[http://www.archipelagocomic.com/comic/?id=622 The first thing she does upon showing her power for the first time and becoming the size of a small child is crush a sword blade with one hand.]]
21st Aug '17 8:18:55 PM PaulA
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* In ''Creator/MercedesLackey's'' Valdemar books, it is stated that Gryphons can only fly because of magic--their wings are too small to lift a body with their mass. They were designed with special organs to gather and channel ambient magical energy, and in an area with little or no such, they can't fly.

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* In ''Creator/MercedesLackey's'' Valdemar [[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Valdemar]] books, it is stated that Gryphons can only fly because of magic--their wings are too small to lift a body with their mass. They were designed with special organs to gather and channel ambient magical energy, and in an area with little or no such, they can't fly.
6th Aug '17 3:08:01 AM Forenperser
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Added DiffLines:

** The remakes, ''VideoGame/PokemonOmegaRubyAndAlphaSapphire'', introduce the Primal form of Groudon (the heaviest Pokemon to date), which weights just 300 grams short of a whole ''ton'', while only being 5 meters high.
13th Jul '17 5:50:38 PM 64SuperNintendo
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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Velikovsky Immanuel Velikovsky]] studied ancient legends and concluded that other planets were responsible for global catastrophes here on Earth. Among other notions, Venus was once a comet ejected from Jupiter responsible for the Biblical plagues of Egypt, and Earth once orbited Saturn and the Biblical flood was caused by Saturn going nova and also ejecting Earth to its current orbit. Scientists everywhere rolled their eyes and dismissed him entirely because everything he suggested violated every understanding of planetary physics, as well as conservation of energy and angular momentum. However, he did influence a portion of the American public, some of whom latched onto the notion that the only reason dinosaurs could exist was because of lessened gravity on Earth's surface due to the presence of Saturn in the sky. One author inspired by Velikovsky correctly stated that a human of saurian dimensions would collapse under his own weight and die, then incorrectly reasoning that dinosaurs couldn't possibly have survived. The book then goes on to have Jupiter eject a planet the size of Venus which causes ... well, the science was bad and the writing not much better.

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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Velikovsky Immanuel Velikovsky]] studied ancient legends and concluded that other planets were responsible for global catastrophes here on Earth. Among other notions, Venus was once a comet ejected from Jupiter responsible for the Biblical plagues of Egypt, and Earth once orbited Saturn and the Biblical flood was caused by Saturn going nova and also ejecting Earth to its current orbit. Scientists everywhere rolled their eyes and dismissed him entirely because everything he suggested violated every understanding of planetary physics, as well as conservation of energy and angular momentum. However, he did influence a portion of the American public, some of whom latched onto the notion that the only reason dinosaurs could exist was because of lessened gravity on Earth's surface due to the presence of Saturn in the sky. One author inspired by Velikovsky correctly stated that a human of saurian dimensions would collapse under his own weight and die, then incorrectly reasoning that dinosaurs couldn't possibly have survived. The book then goes on to have Jupiter eject a planet the size of Venus which causes ...causes... well, the science was bad and the writing not much better.



* In S. Andrew Swann's ''[[Literature/DragonsAndDwarves Dragons of the Cuyahoga]]'', there is a bubble of magic over Cleveland thanks to a semi-permanent magic portal open in the city, allowing dragons, elves, magic spells and other "fuzzy gnome" phenomena to flourish. The novel opens with one of said dragons fooled into flying out of the bubble and into our world where the square/cube law rules supreme. The results are...messy. Murder via reality.

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* In S. Andrew Swann's ''[[Literature/DragonsAndDwarves Dragons of the Cuyahoga]]'', there is a bubble of magic over Cleveland thanks to a semi-permanent magic portal open in the city, allowing dragons, elves, magic spells and other "fuzzy gnome" phenomena to flourish. The novel opens with one of said dragons fooled into flying out of the bubble and into our world where the square/cube law rules supreme. The results are... messy. Murder via reality.



* Invoked in ''[[Literature/TheRedVixenAdventures Shadow of Doubt]]'' as Salli and Ali watch their culture's version of a {{Kaiju}} movie. Salli complains that such a creature shouldn't be able to move, and Ali responds that the aliens who made it, "...laugh at the Square-Cube Law!"

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* Invoked in ''[[Literature/TheRedVixenAdventures Shadow of Doubt]]'' as Salli and Ali watch their culture's version of a {{Kaiju}} movie. Salli complains that such a creature shouldn't be able to move, and Ali responds that the aliens who made it, "... laugh at the Square-Cube Law!"



* Subverted in the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Life Serial". In order to distract Buffy, Jonathan transforms himself into a much larger demon (that seemed to be modeled on the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' {{Satan}}) except that as the demon he "actually had the proportional strength of, uh...me."
* Of particular note is ''Series/BeakmansWorld'''s explanation of the law. Which famous dead guy did they get to help? ...they didn't. They got [[Literature/GulliversTravels a 3-inch-tall Lemuel Gulliver]].

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* Subverted in the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Life Serial". In order to distract Buffy, Jonathan transforms himself into a much larger demon (that seemed to be modeled on the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' {{Satan}}) except that as the demon he "actually had the proportional strength of, uh... me."
* Of particular note is ''Series/BeakmansWorld'''s explanation of the law. Which famous dead guy did they get to help? ...help?... they didn't. They got [[Literature/GulliversTravels a 3-inch-tall Lemuel Gulliver]].



* You see this all the time with young children, compared to adults. Notice how often young kids run around at full speed, fall down ... and bounce right up and take off again. Or the number of times toddlers fall when learning to walk. They thump themselves, and, yes, occasionally draw some blood, but their injuries are ''far'' less severe than what an adult would suffer going through a similar motion. With their low mass due to this trope, they just can't impact the ground with enough energy to cause more than minor damage (admittedly, being low to the ground and having less time for gravity to accelerate them downward is a factor as well). As well as possibly somewhat higher resistance to pain and faster rate of healing.

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* You see this all the time with young children, compared to adults. Notice how often young kids run around at full speed, fall down ...down... and bounce right up and take off again. Or the number of times toddlers fall when learning to walk. They thump themselves, and, yes, occasionally draw some blood, but their injuries are ''far'' less severe than what an adult would suffer going through a similar motion. With their low mass due to this trope, they just can't impact the ground with enough energy to cause more than minor damage (admittedly, being low to the ground and having less time for gravity to accelerate them downward is a factor as well). As well as possibly somewhat higher resistance to pain and faster rate of healing.



* A very significant example in real life would be the sun itself. Amazingly, the incredible pressures and temperatures in the sun's core are barely enough to ignite any hydrogen fusion at all (relatively). Taking the total power output of the sun and dividing it by its total volume gives a ridiculously low specific power output of 0.28 watts per cubic metre. As 99% of the sun's power is produced in the inner 10% that forms the core, the peak power production due to nuclear fusion is just 276 watts per cubic metre which is about the same as ... ''that of a compost heap, yes''. [[http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~infocom/The%20Website/birth.html The sheer power output of the sun is actually due to its tremendous size; its sheer mass means even insanely low percentages of hydrogen are translated into around 600 billion tons of hydrogen burnt every second.]] The surface luminance however is another story as it depends only on the surface area. Despite its low power density, the sun is an incredibly luminous object (~2 '''billion''' cd/sq.m at the surface, a laptop screen is just around 200-300) because of the square cube rule. A quick calculation shows that a brisk runner by comparison generates around 10000 W / cu.m of body volume, therefore a sprinter scaled to sun-size would in theory generate 50000 times more energy than the sun and become one of the most powerful stars in the entire galaxy. However, the body heat generated by all the cells of a sun sized runner at normal biological rates would cause his body surface temperature to reach an incredible '''74000 K, hotter than even the most luminous star'''!

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* A very significant example in real life would be the sun itself. Amazingly, the incredible pressures and temperatures in the sun's core are barely enough to ignite any hydrogen fusion at all (relatively). Taking the total power output of the sun and dividing it by its total volume gives a ridiculously low specific power output of 0.28 watts per cubic metre. As 99% of the sun's power is produced in the inner 10% that forms the core, the peak power production due to nuclear fusion is just 276 watts per cubic metre which is about the same as ...as... ''that of a compost heap, yes''. [[http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~infocom/The%20Website/birth.html The sheer power output of the sun is actually due to its tremendous size; its sheer mass means even insanely low percentages of hydrogen are translated into around 600 billion tons of hydrogen burnt every second.]] The surface luminance however is another story as it depends only on the surface area. Despite its low power density, the sun is an incredibly luminous object (~2 '''billion''' cd/sq.m at the surface, a laptop screen is just around 200-300) because of the square cube rule. A quick calculation shows that a brisk runner by comparison generates around 10000 W / cu.m of body volume, therefore a sprinter scaled to sun-size would in theory generate 50000 times more energy than the sun and become one of the most powerful stars in the entire galaxy. However, the body heat generated by all the cells of a sun sized runner at normal biological rates would cause his body surface temperature to reach an incredible '''74000 K, hotter than even the most luminous star'''!
13th Jul '17 5:46:22 PM 64SuperNintendo
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* Large sized skydivers are advised to rather perform the parachute landing roll instead of attempting to land on their feet if the landing appears to be rough or downwind. The square/cube law means the larger you are, the harder you fall and more probably sprain your ankles on rough landings.

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* Large sized Large-sized skydivers are advised to rather perform the parachute landing roll instead of attempting to land on their feet if the landing appears to be rough or downwind. The square/cube law means the larger you are, the harder you fall and more probably sprain your ankles on rough landings.
13th Jul '17 5:45:47 PM 64SuperNintendo
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* Another Nazi failure was the planned demolition of Berlin to build, among other things, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkshalle Volkshalle]], to be the center of "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welthauptstadt_Germania World Capital Germania]]". Meant to contain 180,000 people, it was basically a scaled-up version of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheon,_Rome Hadrian's Pantheon]], which Hitler greatly admired. However, it was so big that the water vapor exhaled by its occupants would have created clouds and rain -- assuming the entire building hadn't already sunk into the swampy ground. In Berlin there remain a few gigantic concrete test cylinders the Nazis cast to see if the soil could support the Volkshalle's weight. Proving real life has a sense of dramatic irony, these cylinders have been steadily (albeit slowly) sinking for sixty years.

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* Another Nazi failure was the planned demolition of Berlin to build, among other things, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkshalle Volkshalle]], to be the center of "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welthauptstadt_Germania World Capital Germania]]". Meant to contain 180,000 people, it was basically a scaled-up version of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheon,_Rome Hadrian's Pantheon]], which Hitler greatly admired. However, it was so big that the water vapor exhaled by its occupants would have created clouds and rain -- assuming the entire building hadn't already sunk into the swampy ground. In Berlin Berlin, there remain a few gigantic concrete test cylinders the Nazis cast to see if the soil could support the Volkshalle's weight. Proving real life has a sense of dramatic irony, these cylinders have been steadily (albeit slowly) sinking for sixty years.
13th Jul '17 5:31:44 PM 64SuperNintendo
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** This trope is the reason for why all of the actors who've played Gregor Clegane(an 8-foot tall behemoth known as the "Mountain That Rides") have been no taller than seven feet(the shortest being 6'9"). While there certainly ''are'' 8-foot tall men in the world, a man of that height with Gregor's proportions is literally impossible.

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** This trope is the reason for why all of the actors who've played Gregor Clegane(an Clegane (an 8-foot tall behemoth known as the "Mountain That Rides") have been no taller than seven feet(the feet (the shortest being 6'9"). While there certainly ''are'' 8-foot tall men in the world, a man of that height with Gregor's proportions is literally impossible.
13th Jul '17 5:16:04 PM 64SuperNintendo
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** Creator/MarvelComics heroes use "Pym particles" to grow and shrink, so there's an extra layer of {{Phlebotinum}} keeping it working. DC's The Atom, on the other hand, knows that shrinking is dangerous -- it's even been made into a plot point and weapon, as seen in ''Justice League: The New Frontier'' (The Atom can alter his mass independently of his size, so it's less of an issue for him).

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** Creator/MarvelComics heroes use "Pym particles" Particles" to grow and shrink, so there's an extra layer of {{Phlebotinum}} keeping it working. DC's The Atom, on the other hand, knows that shrinking is dangerous -- it's even been made into a plot point and weapon, as seen in ''Justice League: The New Frontier'' (The Atom can alter his mass independently of his size, so it's less of an issue for him).
8th Jul '17 3:17:54 PM StFan
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* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** It is mentioned that creature who has his all dimensions doubled weighs eight times as much, but avoids the rest via AWizardDidIt.
** Somewhat ignored in that a creature's lifting capacity does not typically scale directly with the creature's mass. For an 8x mass increase for an extra size category, a creature typically receives a 6x increase in carrying capacity. It gets worse when AWizardDidIt, as spells such as Enlarge Person increase the creature's weight by the usual eight times, but only increases their carry capacity by approximately 2.6 times.
** There is an artifact in the Book Of Vile Darkness called the Despoiler of Flesh that gives you very flexible control over a creature's shape, but more or less points out that it has to be scientifically plausible or the creature will die because of an unsound anatomy.

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* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** It is mentioned that creature who has his all dimensions doubled weighs eight times as much, but avoids the rest via AWizardDidIt.
AWizardDidIt. Notably with the spells Reduce Person and Enlarge Person, for which there is an equal increase/decrease in Strength and Dexterity, respectively, but only minor ones considered the shift in mass.
** Somewhat ignored in that a creature's lifting capacity does not typically scale directly with the creature's mass. For an 8x 8 times mass increase for an extra size category, a creature typically receives a 6x 6 times increase in carrying capacity. It gets worse when AWizardDidIt, as spells such as Enlarge Person increase the creature's weight by the usual eight times, but only increases their carry carrying capacity by approximately 2.6 times.
** There is an artifact in the Book Of ''Book of Vile Darkness Darkness'' called the Despoiler of Flesh that gives you very flexible control over a creature's shape, but more or less points out that it has to be scientifically plausible or the creature will die because of an unsound anatomy.



** Averted in a few places, though. Space Marines are about 8 feet tall and almost 8 feet WIDE, with numerous extra organs, and a giant suit of power army to help take the strain of their larger proportions. Of all the factions to get this right, the [[TooDumbToLive ORKS]] versions of [[GiantMecha Titans]] (called Gargants) seem reasonable. Either they have very widely spread out feet, or tank treads to move about, and it appears most of the weight is concentrated towards the ground. Also if anyone has the right to ignore the square cube law, it would be the Orks, since their technology relies heavily on their innate PsychicPowers to work in the first place.
*** The Square Cube Law is actually referenced by Imperial Biologists, who are astounded that creatures the size of a Squiggoth can exist (in their own words, it should collapse under its own weight and be completely incapable of movement, though such knowledge is likely cold comfort to troops staring down one charging at their lines). The only other faction to field super-huge creatures is the Tyranids, though both groups have in-universe explanations (the Tyranids make use of genetic engineering and BizarreAlienBiology; the Orks just get to fall back on their usual excuse of [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve "thinking it's real makes it real"]], which explains why Squiggoths only show up in large Ork warbands).

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** Averted in a few places, though. Space Marines are about 8 feet tall and almost 8 feet WIDE, with numerous extra organs, and a giant suit of power army armor to help take the strain of their larger proportions. Of all the factions to get this right, the [[TooDumbToLive ORKS]] versions of [[GiantMecha Titans]] (called Gargants) seem reasonable. Either they have very widely spread out feet, or tank treads to move about, and it appears most of the weight is concentrated towards the ground. Also Also, if anyone has the right to ignore the square cube law, it would be the Orks, since their technology relies heavily on their innate PsychicPowers to work in the first place.
*** ** The Square Cube Law is actually referenced by Imperial Biologists, who are astounded that creatures the size of a Squiggoth can exist (in their own words, it should collapse under its own weight and be completely incapable of movement, though such knowledge is likely cold comfort to troops staring down one charging at their lines). The only other faction to field super-huge creatures is the Tyranids, though both groups have in-universe explanations (the Tyranids make use of genetic engineering and BizarreAlienBiology; the Orks just get to fall back on their usual excuse of [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve "thinking it's real makes it real"]], which explains why Squiggoths only show up in large Ork warbands).



* The impossiblity of HumongousMecha is repeatedly pointed out in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}} Hisoutensoku''. The fantasy-absorbing nature of Gensoukyou would actually allow for one to exist inside of it, and Sanae becomes convinced that the giant shadow she saw is one. The truth is less glamourous, and closer to respecting the laws of physics.

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* The impossiblity impossibility of HumongousMecha is repeatedly pointed out in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}} Hisoutensoku''. The fantasy-absorbing nature of Gensoukyou would actually allow for one to exist inside of it, and Sanae becomes convinced that the giant shadow she saw is one. The truth is less glamourous, and closer to respecting the laws of physics.
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