Top 10 Things Rick and Morty Get Right About Science

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Top 10 Things Rick and Morty Get Right About Science

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
You'd be surprised by the things Rick and Morty get right about science. Okay, it's no animated version of Cosmos, but this cartoon knows what it's talking about. We're taking a look at scientific principles depicted in Rick and Morty that surprisingly aren't without merit. WatchMojo ranks the things Rick and Morty get right about science. Are there any scientific truths in Rick and Morty we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Transcript
It’s no animated version of “Cosmos,” but this cartoon knows what it’s talking about. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things Rick and Morty Get Right About Science.

For this list, we’re taking a look at scientific principles depicted in “Rick and Morty” that surprisingly aren’t without merit. We’re including science that isn’t possible yet, but could theoretically exist in the future, as well as scientific theories.

#10: Spaceships That Run on Concentrated Dark Matter
"M. Night Shaym-Aliens!"


It’s believed that dark matter encompasses 85% of the Universe’s mass. To power his space cruiser, Rick created concentrated dark matter, which allows him to travel at a record speed. We can see why the Zigerions wanted Rick’s fuel recipe, especially since dark matter might actually be the key to faster space travel. Jia Liu, a real-world physicist from New York University, has suggested constructing a spaceship with a front intake that can consume dark matter particles, or neutralinos. These neutralinos would destroy each other while passing through the system, effectively serving as a jet engine. A faster speed equals more encounters with neutralinos, meaning the spacecraft could almost achieve light speed within days. It’s only a theory, but we may be following Rick’s lead.

#9: The Complexities of DNA
“Rick Potion #9”


To win over Jessica, Morty makes the colossal mistake of turning to Rick, who whips up a love serum comprised of vole DNA. Rick creates an antidote with praying mantis DNA, but this just turns people into mantis creatures. Rick tries correcting his mistake with a serum that combines the DNA of various species, but instead “Cronenbergs” the entire world. While turning people into grotesque blobs isn’t exactly feasible science, Rick wasn’t wrong when he said that DNA is complicated. For many years, scientists only focused on less than 2% of the genome, writing off the other 98% as junk DNA. In 2012, however, scientists found that 80% of this so-called junk DNA was biochemically active, meaning that even Rick has a lot left to learn.

#8: Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle
“A Rickle in Time”


Time is every bit as complicated as DNA, which Morty and Summer learn the hard way when their timeline is split into two separate realities. As bonkers as this episode is, the plot possesses echoes of Werner Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle, which indicates that you can never simultaneously know the precise speed and position of an object, because if you try to measure the speed, the position changes. Likewise, the speed changes while measuring the position. The episode is also largely based on Schrödinger’s cat paradox in which a feline is in a concealed box. This thought experiment implies that the cat is both dead and alive until the box is open. The episode even references this when Rick reveals the house is in cat-infested space.

#7: Love Is a Chemical Reaction
“Rick Potion #9”


Going back to the love serum, Rick tells Morty that he’s wasting his time obsessing over Jessica because love is nothing more than a chemical reaction. In 2009, Larry Young from Emory University found that there may be a link between biochemical actions and the emotion of love. This discovery could be used to develop drugs to help people with autism and other social disorders, although it wouldn’t be a love potion per se. That being said, the key ingredient in Rick’s love serum is oxytocin, a hormone that affects sexual reproduction, childbirth, and social bonding. “Oxytocin is not the love hormone,” according to Young, but he added that “It’s tuning us into social information and allowing us to analyze it at higher resolution.”

#6: The Many-Worlds Interpretation
Various Episodes


After the love serum goes awry and everyone’s DNA is twisted out of order, our titular duo relocates to another reality that wasn’t destroyed and where they’re both already dead. As Rick explains, there are infinite realities occupied by different versions of themselves. There’s even a Citadel where an entire society of Ricks and Mortys coexist. While we’re still waiting for someone to invent a portal gun, the show’s perception of alternate realities does take a page from the Many-worlds interpretation. According to this interpretation of quantum mechanics, our universe is basically one branch on a tree with countless other branches that represent alternate realities. Virtually any action, such as putting a cat in a box, can create multiple realities with different results.

#5: The Probability of Anatomy Park
“Anatomy Park”


With a homeless Santa on his deathbed – well, death Ping-Pong table – Rick shrinks Morty down and injects him inside. Morty finds that the man’s organs have been converted into a theme park and the diseases on display are running wild. The episode borrows a fair deal from “Fantastic Voyage” and “Jurassic Park,” which are both admittedly more science fiction than legitimate science. Even if shrink rays are likely destined to forever remain on the drawing board, this concept isn’t deprived of some scientific backing. In 2015, microscopic machines successfully ventured inside a living mouse to deliver nano-particles. The next logical step may be to send these machines into humans to release drugs. It would certainly be much safer than sending Morty in there.

#4: Freezing People
Various Episodes


Of all the devices Rick keeps in his lab coat, the Freeze ray may be the most practical. We’re not holding our breath for a Mr. Freeze type gun that turns people into ice sculptures, but it is possible to cryogenically freeze someone after they’ve been declared legally dead. By putting the recently deceased person in liquid nitrogen temperature, their body is preserved so it can theoretically be reanimated later. What remains to be seen if how we would bring frozen people back from the dead. The Cryonics Institute hopes to one day be able to freeze people with terminal diseases, although this currently isn’t legal. As for freezing a healthy, living person, let’s just say we wouldn’t want to end up like Frank.

#3: Simulations Within Simulations
“M. Night Shaym-Aliens!”


On more than one occasion, “Rick and Morty” has touched upon virtual reality, which is only becoming more sophisticated as technology advances. In “Mortynight Run,” Morty plays a game called “Roy” where he lives out another person’s run-of-the-mill life. In “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!,” Rick and Jerry find themselves trapped in a simulation, which turns out to be several layers of simulations. While we’ve yet to see any concrete proof that “The Matrix” has essentially become a reality, it’s not out of the question to consider that our world may be a video game. Elon Musk even stated that there’s a “one in billions” chance that our world isn’t just a simulation. Numerous other scientists have also given this theory serious thought, meaning Rick isn’t alone.

#2: Nazis Tried to Create Talking Dogs
“Lawnmower Dog”


In the second episode of the series, Rick gives Morty’s dog a helmet that makes him highly intelligent. Obviously, we don’t have devices that can enable dogs to talk or turn them into war machines. Believe it or not, though, the Nazis actually did attempt to create an army of talking dogs so they could not only communicate with humans, but also assist in military operations. As ludicrous as this all sounds, we can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if the Nazis succeeded in such an experiment. Much like the reality where Hitler cured cancer, it’s probably best not to think about it.

#1: Pregnant Robots
“Raising Gazorpazorp”


After Morty comes into possession of a Gazorpian sex robot, he does exactly what you’d expect with her. What’s not expected, however, is the half-human, half-alien baby that comes out of Gwendolyn. Believe it or not, it’s not impossible for a robot to give birth. In 2016, a patient simulator known as Victoria delivered an artificial child via C-section. Granted, this is a far cry from a person mating with and impregnating a machine. Considering how bizarre the episode is, though, we’re just amazed that there’s any scientific accuracy behind this idea. If Victoria could become a reality, who says that Gwendolyn won’t be next?
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