Let's Use Physics to Measure Just How Hulky the Incredible Hulk Is in Thor: Ragnarok

From Wired - September 13, 2017

In most recent trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, it seems clear that Thor teams up with The Hulk, Loki, and Valkyriebut for me, I am mostly pumped up about seeing The Hulk again. Towards the end of the trailer, The Hulk is standing with the rest of The Revengers team (the name Thor comes up with on the spot).

But there's something funny about this trailer: To me, it seems like The Hulk is much bigger in Thor: Ragnarok than in the previous Marvel movies. I am what you might call an expert in Hulk heights; I have estimated his size before, like when I used it to get a value for his mass when looking at the force he exerts on the ground during a jump. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the Marvel movies that started with Iron Man in 2008 and continues through today), The Hulk has appeared three times with one more coming in the movie Thor: Ragnarok, out on October 25. So of course this means I need to go back and measure his size in each of the previous appearancesjust to make sure.

How do you find the height of a fictional character? Yes, I am well aware that The Hulk is not real. However, that does not stop me from trying to apply some cool physics to these make believe characters. In short, the best way to measure The Hulk's size is to find a frame where he's standing next to some real object of known height. This object could be another character played by a real human (like Chris Hemsworth who plays Thor) or something else real like a car.

After I find some particular scene that can be used to estimate The Hulk's height, I will just use that known object to set the scale of the scene and then boomI have the height of The Hulk. You could of course do this with any drawing program, but I find it's easiest just to use the free Tracker Video Analysis program, since it has that functionality built in.

In many cases, The Hulk is not standing up straight, but I can still get an estimate for his height by either approximating how far he would stretch while standing or by summing the measurements from legs to torso to head. Both are still just approximations, but they are better than nothing.


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