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Using humans as batteries: is this movie quote accurate?

  1. Jul 29, 2013 #1
    Hi there

    I have just re-watched The Matrix (great movie) and one quote really stuck out to me:

    "The human body generates more bio-electricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 B.T.U.'s of body heat. We are, as an energy source, easily renewable and completely recyclable, the dead liquified and fed intravenously to the living."
    -Morpheus(The Matrix)

    My questions are:
    - Is the actual quote regarding the human body and what it generates accurate?
    - Could using humans as an energy source ever be possible now or in the future?

    Sera Lea
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to PF!

    It is mostly technobabble and what isn't technobabble is just wrong. A person gives off about 300-2000 btu/hr of heat depending on the activity. The stuff about "a 120-volt battery" is just gibberish.
  4. Jul 29, 2013 #3


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    Gold Member

    Humans are an energy source -- whenever a human gets eaten by a lion it's an energy source.

    Feeding the dead to the living in a closed system is obviously not sustainable or efficient.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  5. Jul 30, 2013 #4
    The original idea was that the machines were using a network of human brains as a distributed biological computer, but the folks making the movie thought that audiences wouldn't really understand that. The power source thing was supposed to be more relatable or something. Completely bogus.

    Speaking of which, the human brain is a huge consumer of chemical energy. If you really wanted to use humans as a battery, you'd want to keep them comatose with minimal brain activity, not in an active dream state.
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