WASHINGTON (TND) — The U.S. federal government funded a study that determined the Marvel supervillain "Thanos" would not have been able to snap his fingers in the movie Avengers: Infinity War, a new report from Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., revealed last week.
The study, spearheaded by researchers at Georgia Tech, focused on the speed at which humans can snap their fingers, ultimately reporting a finger snap "produces the highest rotational accelerations observed in humans, even faster than the arm of a professional baseball pitcher."
For the past few years, I’ve been fascinated with how we can snap our fingers,” Saad Bhamla, one of the researchers involved in the study, said in a press release. “It’s really an extraordinary physics puzzle right at our fingertips that hasn’t been investigated closely.”
Prior to conducting the study, Bhamla and his fellow researchers developed a "framework" to explain "ultrafast motions" in living beings. Seeing Thanos snap his fingers while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers: Infinity War inspired the researchers to apply their framework to the massively popular cinematic franchise.
Despite deriving inspiration from Thanos, the study focused more broadly on the human finger snap, raising questions about why humans snap their fingers in the first place and whether other primates have the ability to do so.
Regardless, the press release announcing the study's findings placed a noticeable emphasis on Thanos and his cataclysmic finger snap.
Our results suggest that Thanos could not have snapped because of his metal armored fingers,” Raghav Acharya, one of the authors of the study, said in the release. "So, it’s probably the Hollywood special effects, rather than actual physics, at play! Sorry for the spoiler."
Senator Rand Paul highlighted the $118,971 grant awarded to the researchers in his annual "Festivus" report, which outlines examples of wasteful spending by the federal government. The report dubbed "national debt" as "the real infinity war" in an apparent spoof of the Marvel movie.
Other examples of allegedly wasteful spending featured in the report include a nearly $200,000 grant "to verify that the relationship between pets and children is beneficial to mental health," as well as a $50 million investment to encourage tourism in the African nation of Tunisia.