Wednesday, August 8, 2012

AND I THOUGHT THEY SMELLED BAD ON THE OUTSIDE:  The science of sleeping inside a dead tauntaun on the ice planet Hoth.  ("Using Newton's Law of Cooling, we can estimate the time it takes for the tauntaun's body temperature to reach levels detrimental to Luke's survival....")

related, from the archives: The best way to sleep inside a tauntaun.


  1. No matter how much time elapses, the tauntaun will always be Luke warm.

  2. isaac_spaceman3:03 PM

    We know that Luke actually did survive, so we're left to wonder how.  Three possibilities:

    1.  The most likely is that tauntauns' hides are extraordinarily thermal-protective.  This would explain how tauntauns can survive in the exceedingly cold Hoth climate even though they have warm inner bodies.  They only lose heat through their breath (as evidenced by the steam when they exhale).  If this is true, then it's not the dead tauntaun's body heat that keeps Luke warm; it's Luke's own body heat that warms the inside of the well-insulated tauntaun.   

    2.  Less likely, but possible:  tauntauns' internal bodily functions continue for a period of several hours after the tauntauns' death.  This would be perfectly plausible if it weren't for the fact that Han sliced up so much of the innards getting Luke in.  It is still possible that other heat-generating functions could continue for a period after death, much like the way that chickens can run around after their heads are cut off or (according to movies) hearts can keep beating for a few moments after beheading. 

    3.  Non-scientific possibility:  The Force kept Luke alive. 

  3. bill.4:42 PM

    So you're saying The Force creates a type of immortality? Any chance a bunch of these sword weilding immortal Jedis were exiled to Earth from the planet Zeist to continue their fued?

  4. isaac_spaceman4:50 PM

    I'm not saying the Force creates a type of immortality.  I'm saying the Force is just a convenient and irrefutable explanation for anything that happens in the movies that doesn't make any sense.  I still like the insulation theory the best.

  5. Adam C.6:33 PM


  6. The Pathetic Earthling12:25 AM

    Also, after two-and-a-half years of moderate use, Thnk Geek's Tauntaun sleeping bag really has held up quite well.  As I predicted, the first failure was the stitching on the horn, but other than an occasional zipper jam, it has been a great indoor sleeping bag.

  7. Genevieve4:46 PM

    Your picture didn't show, but did it have the intestines pattern on the inside?