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  • fair tonight.

  • Is that really possible?

  • Could you really kill with a kiss?

  • Direwolves aren't riel, are they?

  • Like millions of people worldwide?

  • I'm a massive fan of game of Thrones.

  • White walkers, dragon writers, plot, twisted politics, the works.

  • But I'm not just a fan.

  • I'm also a science writer.

  • So while half my brain dreams about befriending a dire wolf, the other half questions.

  • If it's really possible to crush someone's skull with your bare hands, is it just a TV show?

  • Yes.

  • Is it a fantasy TV show?

  • Also?

  • Yes.

  • Um, I still gonna analyze it anyway.

  • Oh, yeah, Let's get this out of the way.

  • I know.

  • I know there's magic in game of Thrones when you're talking about fire, breathing, dragons and vision granting trees science on Lee gets you so far.

  • But even so, you can find riel, science and even some of the most fantastical elements of the show.

  • Take, for example, the long night theaters for the long night, when the sun hides for years and Children are born and live and die all in darkness.

  • On the show, Old Man tells brand of a winter that lasted for a generation.

  • Kings froze to death in their castle, Samos, the shepherds in the hearts and with all her talk of white walkers and giant ice spiders, the whole story seems far fetched.

  • But it turns out, Ah, long night could happen in our world.

  • In fact, it already has.

  • 20,000 years ago, an ice sheet hundreds of meters thick covered most of Canada and parts of the US 25% of the planets landmass was covered in ice year round.

  • That's more than double what we see today.

  • The world was five degrees Celsius colder that in modern times in some regions reaching 22 degrees Celsius lower than today.

  • Now this cold wasn't brought on by white walkers.

  • It was actually part of a regular cycle in Earth's climate and ice age, specifically an extra cold part of an ice age where ice sheets creep down from the polls.

  • It's possibly caused when the upper part of the Northern Hemisphere receives less sunlight due to a bunch of factors like how much the planet wobbles on its axis and how its orbit around the sun changes shape.

  • And the last time this happened, the ice sheet made it all the way to New York City in the East, while Manhattan was buried, parts of Brooklyn and Queens were left uncovered.

  • So in a way, New York's outer boroughs are like a real life winterfell.

  • We even have a wall, Ah, 60 m tall ridge overlooking the outer boroughs.

  • Now, as Mr Ammann said, stocks are always right.

  • Eventually, winter is coming.

  • So is another glacial period on its way?

  • Well, we're in the middle of what's called an interglacial period.

  • That's a warmer time.

  • When the ice sheet is in retreat and somewhere in the range of tens of thousands of years, the glacial period will return, bringing the ice with it.

  • So, yes, winter is coming eventually, but enough doom and gloom.

  • Let's talk about puppies brilliantly smart and unfailingly loyal.

  • Who wouldn't want a dire wolf for six?

  • But, sadly, Nigeria ghosts and gray wind are as mythical as Drogon, regal and vegetarian.

  • After all, they have a magic bond with the Starks and can detect zombies that being said, Direwolves, spelled like this really did roam the earth prowling the Americas between 125,000 and 10,000 years ago.

  • Hunting in packs, they took down prey as large as a 300 kg moose.

  • Sound familiar?

  • No Monty lines in these woods, but unlike the Starks mascot, these dog goes never grew to the size of a small horse.

  • Don't get me wrong.

  • They were still enormous.

  • They were about two thirds larger than today's gray wolves.

  • And while humans and direwolves did live in the same range at the same time, they probably weren't as close as Brandon.

  • Summer Direwolves, you see, aren't the ancestors of today's dog by any means.

  • Our Yorkies and corgis are more closely related to gray wolves than direwolves.

  • And according to recent research, dogs first came about 20,000 to 40,000 years ago, somewhere in Asia and the Middle East.

  • So human wolf team ups happened on an entirely different continent than where dire wolves roamed.

  • Now direwolves air all well and good when it comes to fighting off knife wielding assassins, thought there less useful if your enemy decides to use poison.

  • Joffrey Olena all the phrase poison brought down a lot of characters, especially Joffrey, and the scariest poison is called The Long Farewell takes time to work.

  • If a single drop makes contact with the skin death, and it turns out there is a real life analog to the long farewell snake venom, the African and Asian carpet vipers.

  • There venoms cause epic stacks is which is the nose bleeding because it weakens the capillaries and blood vessels.

  • And so your blood starts toe leak out.

  • That's Steve Trip, Ah, molecular biologist who specializes in venoms.

  • Not only is he a big fan of game of Thrones, he also knows a thing or two about poison.

  • And he noticed something very interesting about the long farewell because another snake called a sand viper also produces the venom that would have the same effect.

  • And who uses the long farewell?

  • That's right, a Loria sand, a k a.

  • Paramore to the red Viper and mother to some off the sand snakes.

  • Coincidence?

  • I think not.

  • But even though viper venom can explain the long farewells effects, it can't explain the kill with a kiss tactic.

  • The interesting thing with the carpet viper venom is that it's not going to get into the body from a kiss.

  • This venom count, as far as we know at the moment, doesn't pass through the skin and That's just one problem from a kiss.

  • You've got a very small contact area, a couple of square centimeters at most, so you need something that's potent enough to actually have an effect in that small area.

  • So in order for this to work, you need a poison like Nova Chock, which is so potent just inhaling it could kill you.

  • But Novacek doesn't cause internal bleeding the way we see on the show.

  • So it looks like the long farewell is another bit of fantasy.

  • Regardless, that poison isn't a fun way to go, but it doesn't look quite as horrible as death by the mountain.

  • Any of Mark Town?

  • Yeah, car killed her.

  • After all, who wants to get their head crushed like a soda can?

  • Thanks.

  • Luckily, this is one threat you don't have to worry about because it turns out it's impossible.

  • You see, the adult human skull is really durable pound for pound.

  • It's stronger than steel or concrete.

  • And if you squeeze an adult skull, you need about £1000 of force to break it.

  • That's about twice as much as even a man as strong as the mountain could deliver.

  • Now, he could conceivably demolish his opponents eyeballs like he does here, since the soft, squishy tissue is even more vulnerable than the hard skull.

  • But that wouldn't cause overruns head to explode outward like that.

  • Hi, overall, this entire situation makes no sense.

  • That's right.

  • Direwolves and eternal winters are more realistic than this totally non magical fight scene.

  • So in the end, game of Thrones does a pretty decent job when it comes to realism, at least where there's magic concern.

  • And while it's more mundane, spectacles can be far fetched.

  • I'm still going to enjoy every minute.

  • After all, I might be a science writer, but I'm still a fan.

fair tonight.

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B1 poison farewell viper venom dire long night

'Game Of Thrones' Science: Are Dire Wolves Real?

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/24
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