Skeptical Sunday: The Science of Indiana Jones


He looks great in a fedora – we’ll give him that. But surviving a tumble over three 100-foot waterfalls… or toughing out an atomic blast by climbing into a refrigerator? We love Indy, but his exploits seem to be over the top when it comes to elementary physics. From hovercrafts to the quartz crania of aliens; find out what scientific concepts in the latest bullwhip adventure are more than a little nutty.

Plus, the real crystal skulls, and the man who discovered that two of the most famous are fakes. And some incentive to tackle that to-do list: the 2012 Mayan apocalypse.

And, “If I were Indy…” – our Hollywood Skeptic puts himself in the hero’s boots.

It’s Skeptical Sunday… but don’t take our word for it.


  • Ian Freestone - Archeologist, University of Wales at Cardiff
  • Matt Springer - Graduate Student at Texas A&M University and keeper of the website,
  • Tom Rogers - Physics teacher at Southside High School in Greenville South Carolina, author of “Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics” and the founder of the web site of the same name
  • Phil Plait – Astronomer and keeper of the website,
  • James Underdown – Executive Director, Center for Inquiry West in Los Angeles