P4_5 Falling Into Mount Doom

Rhys David Williams, George Thomas, Danae King, Yasum Abbas


During a scene in the film “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”, a creature called Gollum falls into a volcano (Mount Doom) and sinks into the lava. In this article we investigate the displacement of Gollum once he enters the lava inside Mount Doom. We assumed that Gollum enters the lava at terminal velocity, which we calculated to be 33 m s−1 . We found that Gollum would sink to 0.15 m below the surface of the lava but would then rise to the surface 0.27 s after hitting the lava. Therefore, we believe that the physics shown in the film is incorrect.

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