Ah, finally, science (!) has decided to weigh in on the most important question of the modern era: who would win in a fight between Godzilla and King Kong? Sure, they’ve made an entire movie about it, but why watch a thrilling blockbuster when you can instead read scientific jargon? That’s what I thought.
Kiersten Formoso, a “functional morphologist” at the University of Southern California, has applied her vertebrate paleobiology and functional morphology knowledge (don’t worry, I’m not too sure what any of that means either) to the battle between Godzilla and Kong to try and determine a winner.
Breaking down the two titans based on their various attributes, Formoso points out that while Kong might have the advantage on land, Godzilla’s lizard-like abilities would prove to be too difficult a task for Kong to overcome.
Though Kong is a little bit smaller than Godzilla, both are more or less comparably massive in size and neither has a clear advantage here
Godzilla would likely favor his robust tail for both offense and defense – much like modern-day large lizards that use their strong tails as whips. Scale up that strength to Godzilla’s size, and that tail becomes a lethal weapon – which he has used before.
Skill on Land:
However, Kong is more comfortable on land, faster and more agile, can use his strong legs to jump, and possesses much stronger arms than Godzilla – Kong probably packs a walloping punch. And as an ape, Kong would also likely use tools to some degree and might even capitalize on his throwing ability.
Both would have a gnarly bite, with Kong likely getting a slight advantage. However, Godzilla’s bite is by no means weak, and all of his teeth are flesh-piercing, similar to crocodile and monitor lizard teeth.
On defense, Godzilla has the edge, with thick scaly skin and sharp spikes. He might even act like a porcupine, turning his back to a rapidly approaching threat. However, Kong’s superior agility on land should be able to offer him some protection as well.
I will admit I am #TeamGodzilla, but it’s very close. I may give a slight edge to Kong in broad terrestrial battle ability, but Godzilla’s general mass, defense and tail would be hard to overpower. And lest we forget, the tipping point for Godzilla is that he has atomic breath! Until researchers find evidence of a dinosaur or animal with something like that, though, I will have to reserve my scientific judgment. [via The Conversation]
The bottom line is essentially this: while Kong certainly has the tools to defeat Godzilla (especially in a battle on land), Godzilla’s combination of armor-like skin, pure size, and his vicious tail create a concoction ultimately too powerful for Kong to overcome.
Still, regardless of science’s opinion, I’m still riding with my boy Kong heading into the bout. You’re either a mammal or a lizard, and from what I hear on the internet, lizard people aren’t too hot in the streets these days, so come on and join the right side of history by rooting for the Eighth Wonder of the World. Kong in 7.
‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ will hit theaters and HBO Max in the United States on Wednesday, March 31.