Muggle scientists analyse Gillyweed and Skele-Gro

The paper concludes that a magical properties of a plant, the Gillyweed would not have been possible in the real world.


Clarke's Third Law states that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." However, natural sciences students from the University of Leicester have come up with a method for distinguishing the possible from the impossible. The students published a paper titled "Gillyweed - Drowning with Gills?" in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics. The paper concludes that a magical properties of a plant, the Gillyweed would not have been possible in the real world. Here is the difference when researchers tell us something is impossible.

The study calculates the oxygen content of the Black Lake. Then, it compares that to the amount of liquid intake per minute possible by a human with modified gills. The researchers found that the water from the lake would have to flow through a human's body at the rate of 2.46 meters per second, for enough oxygen to be absorbed by the body to remain conscious. This is more than twice the regular rate of airflow through the human lungs. This is the reason, Gillyweed would not have worked keeping Harry Potter alive. The study also notes that Harry would have more of a chance surviving if he had kept his mouth open while in the lake, to increase the flow of water.

Another paper focuses on the potion, Skele-Gro. The Skele-Gro potion was used by Madam Pomfrey to regrow Harry's limbs. Harry had lost the bones in his hand because of a botched attempt at repairing a fracture. This paper does not go so far as to say that the Skele-Gro potion is impossible. Instead, it calculates the energy requirement that is necessary to regrow the bones in a body. The accelerated growth would use a lot more energy than a natural growth in the body. The energy required for regrowing the bones of the hand is 6443 Watts.


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