Remember Avengers: Infinity War? I know you saw it. And how Thanos put on the Infinity Gauntlet and then snapped his fingers and then wiped out half of all life in the universe?
Yeah, well get this: that couldn't have actually happened in real life!
Specifically, Thanos couldn't have snapped his fingers while wearing a glove, because it wouldn't have actually made any noise. This is the conclusion that a group of scientists recently arrived to, a new study from The Royal Society Publishing titled, "The ultrafast snap of a finger is mediated by skin friction." And according to NPR, the whole experiment started because biophysicist Saad Bhamla, one of the co-authors on the paper, couldn't believe that Thanos could possibly snap his fingers like that while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet:
That scene sparked some off-camera drama at the Georgia Institute of Technology where biophysicist Saad Bhamla was skeptical about the realities of snapping with a glove on.
"I was like, no way can that Thanos snap with that Infinity Gauntlet," Bhamla says. "I bet, like, the softness of our skin has something to do with it."
Bhamla and his team wanted to know more about the physics involved, so they put sensors on their fingers and then snapped with rubber gloves on, with lotion on and with metal thimbles on their fingertips.
As they tested the different variables, they filmed high-speed video. After analyzing the footage, the scientists determined that skin to skin friction along with the compressibility of our fingers is key to generating the motion.
Which means it won't work in a metal glove.
Also according to the study, the angular accelerations of a snap move at 1.6 million degrees per second squared, which about 20 times faster than the blink of an eye.
So now you know: the MCU "Blip" could never actually happen here on Earth-Prime. JK, the Infinity Gauntlet bends to the whims of its wearer regardless of whether or not they can make a sound when they snap their fingers; Thanos is just a sucker for melodrama.
Science shows a massive Marvel plot hole: Thanos couldn't have snapped with a glove [Christopher Intagliata and Ayen Bior / NPR]
The ultrafast snap of a finger is mediated by skin friction [Raghav Acharya , Elio J. Challita , Mark Ilton and M. Saad Bhamla / The Royal Society of Publishing]