Science : A human with the proportionate strength of a rhino beetle could lift 60 cars

A human with the proportionate strength of a rhino beetle could lift 60 cars

Rhino beetles are known for their extraordinary strength, especially relative to their size. They can lift objects up to 850 times their own body weight. This strength is due to their body structure and the way their muscles are arranged, which is highly efficient for their size.

If a human had the same proportionate strength as a rhino beetle, the comparison would be quite remarkable. The average human weight varies, but for the sake of this example, let's use 70 kilograms (about 154 pounds) as an average weight.

If an average human could lift 850 times their weight like a rhino beetle, the calculation would be:

Human weight × Rhino beetle strength ratio = 70 kg × 850 = 59,500 kg

This means such a human could theoretically lift about 59,500 kilograms (or about 131,175 pounds). This is equivalent to lifting approximately 60 small cars, which is far beyond the capability of any human due to differences in biological structure and muscle arrangement. It's important to remember that such comparisons are hypothetical and don't translate directly due to the vast differences in anatomy and physics when scaling up from insects to humans.

Re: A human with the proportionate strength of a rhino beetle could lift 60 cars

I wonder if they’d retain this strength ratio if they were our size. Imagine Putin and Zelensky riding to battle attop giant rhino beetles, their well muscled super sized insects lifting and hurling tanks across the field before engaging in an epic melee battle as nukes explode in the background and Donald Trump flies above with lasers shooting out his eyes and penis, decimating the Soviet beetle forces.

Re: A human with the proportionate strength of a rhino beetle could lift 60 cars

Scaling up a rhino beetle in size and expecting its strength to increase proportionally is a common misconception rooted in the misunderstanding of the square-cube law, a principle in physics and biology. This law states that as an object increases in size, its volume (and therefore its weight) grows faster than its surface area.

In the context of living organisms like the rhino beetle, this has several implications:

Muscle Strength: Muscle strength is related to the cross-sectional area (a two-dimensional measure), but weight is a function of volume (a three-dimensional measure). So, as the beetle grows, its weight increases much faster than its ability to support that weight with muscle strength.

Exoskeleton Limitations: Beetles have exoskeletons, which provide support and protection. If a beetle were scaled up to a much larger size, the exoskeleton would have to be disproportionately thicker and stronger to support the increased weight, which may not be feasible given the materials it's made of.

Respiratory System: Insects breathe through spiracles and a network of tracheae, not lungs. This system works well for small organisms but is not efficient for larger bodies. A much larger beetle might not be able to get enough oxygen to sustain its bodily functions.

Circulatory System: Similarly, the circulatory system in insects is not designed to support large bodies. A significant upscale in size would require a complete reworking of their circulatory mechanisms.

Therefore, if a rhino beetle were scaled up to large degree, it would not be able to maintain its relative strength. Too large and it would likely be unable to move or even support its own weight. This discrepancy between size and strength is a key reason why large animals are built very differently from small ones. Nature optimizes structures based on size, and what works for a small beetle does not scale linearly to larger sizes.
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