Using humans as batteries: is this movie quote accurate?

In summary, the quote from Morpheus in The Matrix about using humans as an energy source is mostly technobabble and scientifically inaccurate. While humans can be considered an energy source when consumed by other organisms, the idea of using them as a sustainable energy source in a closed system is not feasible. Additionally, the original concept of using human brains as a distributed biological computer was simplified for the movie.
  • #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
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  • #2
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.
  • #3
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.
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  • #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.
  • #5

Thank you for your question. I can confidently say that the quote from The Matrix is not entirely accurate. While it is true that the human body does produce bio-electricity and heat, it is not enough to power machines or serve as a viable energy source. According to scientific studies, the average human body only produces enough energy to power a lightbulb for a short period of time. Additionally, the idea of using humans as batteries is not feasible from a biological standpoint. The process of converting human tissue into energy is complex and not currently possible with our current technology.

Furthermore, the idea of using humans as an energy source raises ethical concerns and is not a sustainable solution. It is important to focus on developing renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources rather than exploiting human beings for energy. While The Matrix is a fictional movie, it is important to critically analyze the scientific accuracy of its concepts and not take them as fact.

In terms of the possibility of using humans as an energy source in the future, it is highly unlikely. As mentioned before, the process of converting human tissue into energy is complex and not currently possible. Additionally, it goes against ethical and moral principles to use human beings in this way.

I hope this answers your questions and provides some insight into the scientific accuracy of the quote from The Matrix. As a scientist, it is important to critically evaluate information and not take things at face value. Thank you for your curiosity and interest in science.

Related to Using humans as batteries: is this movie quote accurate?

1. Is it possible to use humans as batteries in real life?

While it is not possible to use humans as literal batteries in the way depicted in the movie, there are some real-life examples of humans being used as a source of energy. For example, some gyms use special equipment to convert the energy generated by people exercising into electricity to power the building.

2. How would using humans as batteries work?

In the movie, humans are connected to a complex system that extracts their body heat and electrical impulses to generate power. However, this is not scientifically possible. The human body does not produce enough energy to power a city, and it would require a highly advanced and invasive technology to tap into the body's energy sources.

3. Would using humans as batteries be efficient?

No, using humans as batteries would not be an efficient source of energy. The amount of energy that can be extracted from the human body is minimal compared to other sources, such as fossil fuels or renewable energy sources. Additionally, the process of extracting the energy would be highly inefficient and would likely cause harm to the human subjects.

4. Could humans survive being used as batteries?

No, it is highly unlikely that humans could survive being used as batteries. The process of extracting energy from the human body would have serious consequences on the body's functions and could lead to death. Additionally, the physical and psychological effects of being used as a source of energy would be detrimental to a person's well-being.

5. Are there any ethical concerns with using humans as batteries?

Yes, there are numerous ethical concerns with using humans as batteries. It would involve a violation of human rights and would be considered a form of exploitation and torture. It would also raise questions about the value of human life and the responsibility of those in power to protect and preserve human dignity.

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