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The Monster That Challenged the World
SHOULD YOU?
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THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD
MOVIE REVIEW
THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD - 1957
USA Release: June 1, 1957
Gramercy Pictures / United Artists
Rated: N/A

EUREKA!

Eddie McMullen Jr.
SCIENCE MOMENT BY
E.C.MCMULLEN JR.

The explanation given for the monstrous varmints is that they are an unknown branch of the mollusk family.

Now THAT'S how you do science in a movie!

Why?

Because "We Don't Know." is one of the best scientific explanations there is, and is used as a plausible scientific answer more than anything else. An honest "I don't know." is always better than leaping to a conclusion of "It's radiation!" "It's nanobots!" "It's GMO-O-O-OOOzzz!"

Where did these giant snails come from? According to this movie's Head Scientist Dr. Rogers, We don't know!

They MAY have been in dried out eggs from prehistoric times (we don't know) that MIGHT have been buried / preserved by a mud slide brought on by volcanic activity some time in the prehistoric past (we don't know). Dr. Rogers admits that he can only guess as he has no way to be sure.

Rogers thinks that a recent earthquake MIGHT have broke the mud covering of the dry and ancient eggs, exposing them to the water of the Salton Sea (no evil atomic bombs!). The east side of the Salton Sea has an active area of seismic activity even now, where bubbling volcanic mud-pots fart carbon dioxide and methane day and night.

It is also known that some snail eggs, buried by nothing more than sand, can remain dry (I'm talking completely dried out) and dormant for centuries, then hatch into living, breathing, eating, multiplying creatures when exposed to enough moisture. THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD, stretches those many centuries into a mess o' millennia for the monster's eggs. Quite a stretch of belief, but not to the breaking point.

And the radiation? The level is unusually high for a human, but not fatal. For the mollusk monster, the level is a natural part of its metabolism. Dr. Rogers radiation experiments may have warmed an area of water, providing some manner of incubation, but the radiation itself didn't create the varmints.

Mother Monster Daughter

What's more, the monsters aren't growing into giants because of radiation, they're just natural giant mollusks. And they're not really out to challenge the world. Explainable circumstances injected them into a period where their own natural predators are extinct, leaving their potential population explosion unchecked - so long as they have food.

This review copyright 2007 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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Joe Mynhardt interviews E.C. McMullen Jr. in the book HORROR 201: The Silver Scream.

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Check out our interview at The-Scientist.com.

REFERENCES
Anthropologist Gretchen Bakke, PhD, references my UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHE ALERT as an expert resource in her 2010 Anthropological Quarterly essay @ Johns Hopkins University

Researcher David Waldron, references my review of UNDERWORLD in the Spring 2005, Journal of Religion and Popular Culture entry, Role-Playing Games and the Christian Right: Community Formation in Response to a Moral Panic (downloadable pdf).

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