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Film Theory: The Rat That Beat Thanos! (Marvel Endgame)

Jun 04, 2021
(rat noises) Hello Internet! Welcome to Film Theory! The show that doesn't ask you to sit through three hours of content, without a bathroom break. I mean, don't get me wrong, you are more than welcome, no, ENCOURAGED to watch three straight hours of content on this channel. YouTube would love me for it, and I would be rewarded with unparalleled riches. But unlike "Endgame," if you need to run for the most in-demand throne in the universe, with me you have the advantage of letting my soothing voice accompany you on your phone. While you're sitting there, doing whatever it is you're doing.
film theory the rat that beat thanos marvel endgame
So, there was a lot to unpack in Avengers Endgame, and while I have plenty of ideas for future theories, most of them involve time travel, or insights into 21 movies, or figuring out what size clothing the Hulk-Banner combo wears. , because their sweaters go way beyond husky. Where do you get those things? Half the population disappeared. There aren't enough people to custom make your monstrous new figure. So today I wanted to start with something a little more basic, something a little more foundational, to the whole premise of this movie. The fact that it's RIDICULOUS. You heard me right, the idea of ​​this movie happening in the first place seems impossible to me.
film theory the rat that beat thanos marvel endgame

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film theory the rat that beat thanos marvel endgame...

And no, I'm not talking about time travel, I'm not talking about Doctor Strange's portal battles, or Tony Stark inventing time travel in less than 5 minutes. No, I'm not talking about his miraculous rescue from the middle of space, or Thor becoming an existential crisis of Santa. I'm talking about THIS moment right here. A rat walking across a keyboard and freeing Ant-Man. When he was sitting in the theater and I saw this scene, I said: "Are you kidding me?" "Do you expect me to believe this?" I don't care how much you love the movie, is this how Scott Lang gets out of the quantum realm?
film theory the rat that beat thanos marvel endgame
I mean, I agree with everything else in this movie. Marvel, I can't get enough of character meetings! A visit to Thanos' retirement home? Beautiful. Poetic deaths of main characters? Distressing! But you're telling me that all of that, everything we see in the entirety of "Endgame" is based on a random rat, stepping on a random button in a storage parking lot? And I'm in no way exaggerating here, it's not me trying to make this sound more important than it is exaggerating this episode. Don't forget, this one push of the rat button is the ONLY thing that leads to the return of Scott Lang aka Ant-Man.
film theory the rat that beat thanos marvel endgame
For those of you who forgot, he's been hanging out in the Quantum Realm, an interdimensional space. time soup for over 5 years before this movie. This rat stumbling into this car is the only reason he's been rescued from space-time exile. Which, in turn, is the only reason he introduces the idea of ​​time travel as a possible solution to Snappening. Which is the only reason Tony Stark and the rest of the Avengers get involved in the first place, the only reason he and Captain America bury the hatchet, the only reason they manage to time travel, recover the stones and save the universe. , and everyone who was photographed.
It literally starts HERE. And only HERE. You got to be kidding! This entire 22-


franchise, the epic conclusion to over a decade of movies, ultimately hinges on one act of rodent randomness that saves half the living universe. So instead of getting mad about this, which, honestly, was what I was when I left the theater after "Endgame," I decided to put my


where my mouth was and find out if this was even remotely possible in the real world. What are the chances that that rat will step on that panel? "And when you stop to think about it, it shouldn't seem like such a weird thing to do" (I tell myself trying to justify my own self-imposed insanity).
But seriously, this whole movie is built on the whole idea that the Avengers have a 1 in 14 million chance to


Thanos. This whole franchise is just a massive statistical puzzle. "Endgame" is all about that 1 in 14 million chance of winning when the odds are definitely not in the heroes' favor. But I'm telling you, going into this


, I don't think these probabilities have much to do with time travel, infinity gems, intergalactic battles, and Tony Stark taking the infinity gems for himself. No, I think that 99.9% of them are wasted trying to get a single rat to step on a button.
But just to be sure, let's find out, shall we? The first question is: Why aren't you subscribed to this channel? We cover ridiculous questions like this all the time. Second, though, and more to the point: How the hell do you calculate the odds of something like this? This is like the world's worst Google interview question. And, to be fair, as we go along, we have to make a couple of assumptions, which will allow us to draw some conclusions and hopefully finish this episode in less than 20 minutes. So, let's start with the rats. Obviously, there are tons in a city like San Francisco, where Scott Lang lives, but we'll have to estimate how many are in the area around his truck, how much ground they can cover, and also the chances of one stepping foot in a particular spot over the course of 5 years, because remember, that's how long Scott waits to be rescued before the magic moment happens, and this whole movie plot can be set into motion.
Fortunately for Scott and the rest of the universe, San Francisco is completely overrun with rats. This is not a joke. In 2018, there were news reports that people had to wait weeks for an exterminator, because there were so many rats and not enough people to remove them all. In fact, San Francisco is the fourth most rat-infested city in the United States! I'm assuming number one is Washington DC- BA-DOOM, CHING! Political humor, ladies and gentlemen! Dive in, politicians! In New York, a 2014 survey estimated that there are about a quarter as many rats in New York as there are people.
So applying this ratio to San Francisco with around 900,000 residents, we get 225,000 rats, which is a large number of rats. If you live in a big city, you might not think too much about how many rats are sharing your block or apartment building right now. The maximum range that a rat is willing to travel from its nest is 50 to 150 meters. So we're going to take the average here at 100 meters, greater than the length of an entire football field in all directions. That translates to 31,415.9 m² when πr² is it. That's a lot of ground to cover, when we want the rat to only step on a button that's about a square inch (or about 6.25 cm²).
San Francisco proper is approximately 46.87 mi² (or 121.4 km²). 225,000 rats, each technically capable of covering 31,415.9 m² of their territory means that they are TECHNICALLY capable of covering over 7 million square meters, and as a result, they could be covering the entire open space of San Francisco hundreds of times over. This is especially true when you consider that they mostly have to stay outdoors, sewers, and yes, storage facilities and garages. Ground zero for the rats is likely right in the area where Ant-Man was last seen in "Ant-Man and The Wasp." That last scene, where we see Dr. Pym send Ant-Man to the Quantum Realm, takes place here, with Coit Tower to the right and the Transamerica Building to the south.
This gives us a 100% chance that Scott Lang's car will fall into the territory of many rats. Which, I already thought was an exaggeration when I started this theory, but I was wrong. There are a lot more rats in San Francisco than I thought. But it's okay! Saying that Scott's car falls into the territory of a few rats doesn't guarantee that he'll ever push a very small button. Realistically, though, we're not just dealing with a rat. You see, unlike Youtubers, rats are not loners. They enjoy things like socializing and sharing. They live in groups. Rat colonies have a population of up to 100 rats, in fact.
So if this van is within reach of a few rats, it is actually within the reach of a LOT of rats. But remember, at the end of "Infinity War", half of all living things in the universe were ripped off. That means at the beginning of the five years, we're dealing with rats in their fifties in Scott Lang's area. So how much ground are these 50 rats covering? Well, it really depends on how fast you're going. Once we know that, we'll be able to know how many places they might randomly step over the course of a typical rat day, and then statistically how long it would take them to step on this button.
We can estimate an average walking speed of 3.5 cm/s for a rat. Rats can actually move much faster than that, because their gait (or walking/running speed) can range from 3.5 to 8.5 cm/s, depending on how exciting that 4-year-old Twinkie looks. years on the other side of the dumpster. , but we are interested in what your average speed would be throughout the day. Also, knowing that a rat's stance (or the distance between its feet) is about half an inch wide, we can take the gait speed, the linear distance covered per unit time to the area the rat is physically covering during that time.
Think of the rat as a moving rectangle, that is trying to fill all the spaces in this giant circle, that is its territory. That's right, knowing your walking speed and knowing the average placement of your feet, we can calculate how much area you cover per unit time, and that translates to 4.44 cm² per second. So the question now is: how long is a rat really wandering around looking for food, instead of sleeping or doing things around the nest, like learning cool rat tricks or, I don't know, giving birth to the next generation? Well, rats tend to be nocturnal, which means that they usually take the night shift and forage for food for about 8 hours a day, from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., non-stop on weekends. therefore, calculating how long they search and the area they cover per second, on any single rat day, one rat would cover 12.8 m².
That's a tiny fraction of its 31,415.9m² total territory, and the rat has a tiny chance of finding Scott's button on any given day. To be exact, that rat would have a 0.0407% chance. Let it be clear that it is not 4%, it is 0.04%. Let me pull out my "look into the future" effects from Doctor Strange, that's 1 in 2,454. If we give this rat the last benefit of the doubt we can, and say that it never goes to the same place twice in its life, which isn't entirely realistic, but hey, just for the purpose of a thought experiment, it's it would take 2454 days to completely cover the entire search area.
That's 6 years, 8 months and 21 days of constant searching for rats, never covering the same area twice. Now, I feel fine with this assumption because it's like a grand average. Realistically, if the van was anywhere near the rat's nest, well, this button would have an enormous chance of being pushed early on. If you're on the edge of a rat's territory, on the other hand, well, the odds become incredibly low. Thus, by extending the area that the rat is walking through, we know that we are not accurately representing actual traffic patterns, but are just averaging things around, based on the fact that we have no idea where the rat actually starts. .
So all you "but really" people, take it easy. I'm trying to take as much into account as possible. And no, I'm not taking into account that the truck is raised, and he has to get on there and all that, yes, I understand, we are talking about pure surface. So if the rat searches the entire area of ​​its territory, and the last bit turns out to be the button it's walking on that releases Scott, it would take almost 7 years. It's a lot, but it's nowhere near what I was really expecting, I was hoping this would be a probability of, ever.
For the rat to encounter Scott's button in 5 years as shown in the movie, it would need to press that button within the first 1825 days. Based on our calculations, there's actually a whopping 54.7% chance that you can do that. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it's better than a coin toss than a single rat stepping on a button that releases a man from the Quantum Realm! But that is not all! If we keep looking at things, we can actually do a lot better. Remember, Scott doesn't just have one rat, he has 50 that cover the same territory because they share the same nest.
So if we run our calculations again, based on the idea that 50 rats are each searching independently, our 5-year search actually becomes much more optimistic. If the chances of a single rat freeing Scott at random are a little over 50%, the chances that one rat in 50 will wander and stumble to free Scott is a staggering 99.9999 7%. I guess you could say THE RAT IS ENVITABLE. even if we are less optimistic about the future of the rat population, and decide to have Thanos break the number used in our previous estimate, and do thecalculations based on a smaller number of rats, like 10 rats, traveling at their slowest speeds, and only hitting this place once in their life, the chances of them finding it in 5 years is STILL 99.94%. and that's with us repeatedly taking the low estimates at every step of this process.
Doctor Strange might have seen 14,000,605 futures and only one path to victory, but of those 14,000,605 futures, 14,000,601 of those futures involve Scott being freed by a rat, and only 4 of them with Scott trapped forever. in the Quantum Realm, or just freed by a hippie looking for a new van instead of a rat. I mean, we're talking about San Francisco. So at the end of the day, the odds might not have been on the Avengers' side, but they certainly were on Ant-Man's side! But hey! that's just a theory- a movie theory! Aaaay... looking at the Avengers lineup, do you know what's missing?
I mean we have Arrow Man, Thunder God, Tiny Man, Large Man, Living Tree and Mr. America 2.0, looks like you covered most of your bases but oh no my friends you have yourself a key weakness with the team as it is currently configured. You are missing a hacker! I mean, we just lost our tech genius, and that smart guy with the laser computer died shortly before that, because here's what happens, my friends, without proper online protection, all the super strength in the world won't help, when your identity is stolen and your bank account is wiped out. Luckily, you don't have to be on Earth 616 to find a suitable hero, he already exists here, in this universe, via our sponsor of today's episode: NordVPN.
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It's an investment in yourself, it's an investment in your online security, and also your support of Nord is an investment in us, because it means they still want to partner with us, which helps us cover the bills, so thank you very much . , and thanks to Nord for his continued support. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a few more thoughts on "Endgame" that I need to start writing, because like I said, this movie had a lot to cover, but more in the next episode.

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