Science behind superheroes: Biologist explores the Hulk and Captain America

Stanford biologist discusses the origin stories of two superheroes to determine if they're scientifically possible

Published August 18, 2014 1:55PM (EDT)

Comic book superheroes often have pretty implausible origin stories: They get their superpowers from radiation, superfluid or some other sort of pseudo-science.

That's just fine with us, however, because as Stanford postdoctoral research fellow Sebastian Alvarado reminds us, "it is fun to speculate about these things, and that's why we have comic books, movies and science fiction."

But that doesn't mean that the actual science can't be explored. Alvarado has several Stanford videos where he examines the way the Hulk and Captain America got their powers. And while the superstrength is not quite scientifically possible, it is pretty fascinating. Watch below:

And watch him explain Captain America below:

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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Biology Captain America Comic Books Science Science-fiction The Hulk Video