6 Deadly Injuries You Think You'd Survive (Thanks to Movies)

#3. Getting Knocked Out (From Gas or a Dart)

What we see in the movies:

Sometimes they mix things up with the "character getting knocked out" plot device, so instead of taking blunt head trauma, the main character gets caught in a room full of gas, or gets hit with a tranquilizer dart. If you've never seen this happen in a movie, you've been watching the wrong James Bond films: He's been artificially sedated in Dr. No, Goldfinger and GoldenEye, among others. In The Spy Who Loved Me, the knockout gas is blown directly into Bond's face by a cigarette the sexy spy is holding.

"You beautiful douche bag."

More recently, there's the scene in X-Men 2 where the military group breaks into the mansion and starts shooting darts at mutants of varying ages and sizes. Most of them are instantly knocked out -- except Wolverine, who's still standing after several doses because he's such a supernaturally big badass.

As if the metal claws protruding out of his fists weren't enough to make that point.

What would really happen:

Actually, Wolverine's reaction (that is, not being instantly knocked out by the darts and only becoming a little woozy) is one of the two most realistic outcomes from being hit with a sedative. The other one? Instant death.

A sedative works by suppressing your brain functions and artificially inducing a coma. That may sound pretty straightforward, but the amount of sedative needed to render you unconscious is actually excruciatingly precise. Teeter toward one direction, and the sedative will only annoy you. Teeter toward the other, and the same sedative can be fatal. It all depends on how big you are (so no, you wouldn't use the same darts on the Wolverine that you'd use on the children).

Further complicating the situation, the amount of sedative coursing through your veins has to be tightly controlled while you're unconscious, because "unconscious" can become "dead" more easily than you think. This is why anesthesiologists spend years in school and make lots of money.

"I'm actually a barista at the Starbucks downstairs. They just have me filling in for Dr. Smith today."

Applying knockout gas is even more complicated, as the Russian authorities tragically found out during the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis. Perhaps influenced by their sexy Bond villain compatriot, the Russian special forces irresponsibly pumped a chemical agent into the building to subdue the terrorists ... and ended up killing over 100 hostages. Where's James Bond when you really need him?

Dead, probably.

#2. Losing a Limb

What we see in the movies:

This is something you wouldn't think would come up a lot in the world of film. And you'd be wrong. You've got Luke Skywalker (lost his hand via lightsaber), Ash from Evil Dead (hand) and RoboCop (everything but his face). Hannibal Lecter had to cut his own hand off to survive, but at least he got a light snack out of it. If you're watching the series The Walking Dead, a severed body part came up as a plot point that we won't spoil for those of you slow to get to things on your DVR.

This is what you are missing.

And then we have the Saw series. Oh, boy, do we. Like in Saw V, when Mallick voluntarily puts his arm through a table saw to "win" the game. Or, you know, in every other Saw movie, since that's basically the whole plot of the entire series.

Seriously. Ten hours of this.

Mallick later passes out from the blood loss, but he eventually gets better and even reappears in Saw 3D.

What would really happen:

You die. Really quickly.

Monty Python lied to us all.

You see, your major limbs tend to contain major blood vessels. So when you lose one such limb, you have to deal with an inconvenient situation called "bleeding out." As the name suggests, that's when all your blood gushes out through the now-gaping blood vessels in your stump. And blood definitely won't do as much good outside your body as in it.

It is possible to survive losing a limb, as we've pointed out before. But to prevent bleeding out, you have to apply direct pressure to the wound or, in cases of severe bleeding, wrap a tourniquet tightly around the stump. Either way, the last thing you want to do is to keep moving around, since that will only increase flow of blood spurting from your body. The blood is carrying oxygen, and your brain needs oxygen to keep functioning -- that's why you'll likely lose consciousness in less than a minute.

Quit bitching, Luke. At least lightsabers cauterize the wounds they make.

In Saw 5, Mallick manages to stop the bleeding simply by disengaging his arm from the table saw. Luckily for him, his brachial artery apparently contains an emergency shutoff valve for when his arm accidentally springs a leak. Unluckily for him, he's still in one of the shittiest movies ever.

#1. Standing Close to Lava (or Anything Else Intensely Hot)

What we see in the movies:

Lava pits are popular in climactic fight scenes because they look cool as hell. See: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Then you have the volcano movies (Volcano with Tommy Lee Jones and Dante's Peak with Pierce Brosnan). Let's also count the vats of molten metal in the steel mill at the end of Terminator 2.

No one ever has protective clothing, and everyone gets right up next to the white-hot material. In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan and the newly anointed Darth Vader battle it out mere inches from a sea of flowing lava, never so much as breaking a sweat.

They even stop to pose for this picture.

Except when Anakin falls into it, of course. Because the only way to be disfigured by lava is to actually touch it, right?

What would really happen:

If you've ever tried to rearrange burger patties over glowing red coals, you've no doubt realized that it's not just the coals that get hot: In a process known as convection, the air around an intense heat source tends to get super-heated, which is why you always end up giving your hairy arms a full Brazilian after you try to flip those patties.

You aren't really cooking if you can't smell burning hair.

And that's just from a pile of glowing lumps. Lava can reach upward of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, it's going to radiate a whole lotta heat. Exactly how much heat depends on how much of the intensely hot substance there is. Like, say, if you're watching a river of fresh lava oozing out from the innards of the Earth, you won't even be able to get within a few dozen feet before the heat is simply intolerable. Get any closer and you'll burst into flames.

In Revenge of the Sith, at the distance Obi-Wan and Vader are standing from the molten lava, it doesn't actually have to touch them to cause their bodies to combust. Though they were Jedi, so maybe the Force protects them from burns somehow ...

Oh, wait. Apparently not.

Check Dennis's musings on life and love here.

For more things Hollywood lied to us about, check out 5 Ridiculous Gun Myths Everyone Believes (Thanks to Movies) and 5 Things Hollywood Thinks Computers Can Do.

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