Imagine you had the power to take any shape you wanted. And we mean any shape, from changing the way you look, all the way to changing into a different species!
The idea of shapeshifting has fascinated us for centuries, ranging from Greek mythology to the X-Men. Science fiction, right?
But what if we could pull it off? How could you get your body to shapeshift? And once you did, would you use the powers for good? Or evil?
Let’s be honest, every single one of us has thought about shapeshifting. What if you could look like your favorite celebrity? What would it be like to soar through the skies like a bird? What if you could transform into your deepest desires and greatest fears?
Daydreaming aside, how could you reprogram your body into taking on another form entirely? Well, it’s going to be a little tricky.
If we look at Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2, we see that mass and energy are related. So if you want to decrease or increase in mass, you must either release energy or absorb it. So far so good, right?
For example, let’s say you want to unleash the beast that rages within you … a puppy. What, you thought you were going to be able to go full-werewolf on your first try? Please!
So, let’s say you weigh 60 kg (132 lbs), and want to transform into an adorable 6-month-old Golden Retriever, weighing in at 20 kg (44 lb). You would need to reduce your mass by 40 kg (88 lb)! And that’s no easy feat. If we use Einstein’s equation, we see that this mass loss will generate 860 megatons of energy.
For perspective, that’s approximately 17 times the amount of energy released from the largest nuclear bomb ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba! So let’s see if we can do this without killing everyone around you. Let’s borrow a trick from another member of the animal kingdom: the lizard.
Some lizards are known to drop their tails when trying to escape, so maybe this could be one way to reduce your mass — one limb at a time. Not exactly ideal, right? And that’s just a one-way trip. As a puppy, you would have to store all that energy somewhere to transform back. Our advice is, pick carefully before you shapeshift.
But let’s say you managed to pull it off and mastered the skill. Now the real fun can start. Think of all the possibilities. You could turn into anyone or anything.
Well, if you want to take the hero route, you could teach the world your newfound power. You could realistically end the entire planet’s self-esteem issues.
Body image and low self-confidence would be a thing of the past. People could finally be the person they feel they are inside, and all because of you.
You know, after you rob a bank. Let’s be real. Have you noticed most characters with shapeshifting abilities are the bad guys?
You could become the ultimate con-artist. You could steal the world’s fortunes and never be recognized!
You could take the form of a world leader and declare a world war. Or, you could literally turn into a monster and terrorize humanity.
It’s a lot of power with even more responsibility. The good news is, we won’t have to deal with this predicament for quite some time, as the ability to shapeshift hasn’t been conquered by science yet.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t be fooled. Deepfakes are getting more and more realistic every day, giving humans the ability to make “”celebrities”” do anything they want. It won’t be long until anyone’s face can be plastered onto someone else’s body.
In the meantime, let’s focus on a smaller scale type of “”shapeshifting.”” You can always change your hair, work out, or get a new outfit. Those aren’t super powers, but they’re a start. You do you!
But with all this shapeshifting talk, we can’t help but wonder what it would be like if we had other superpowers.
- “The Science Behind The Shapeshifters Of The Marvel Universe”. 2020. Sideshow Collectibles.
- “Microglia Brain Cells | Ask A Biologist”. Tabitha Green, 2020. askabiologist.asu.edu.
- “The Soviet Weapons Program – The Tsar Bomba“. 2020. nuclearweaponarchive.org.
- “After a bone injury, shape-shifting cells rush to the rescue”. 2020. medicalxpress.com.