Want to feeling old? consider that The Wachowskis’ groundbreaking scientific research fiction action film turns 15 years old this year. That’s old sufficient to begin shaving and also testing for a learner’s permit.

You are watching: How many btus does the human body produce

Forget what you think around the polarizing sequels, The Matrix assisted bridge the sometimes cheesy science fiction films of the 80s and 90s with the an ext modern, computer-dominated films of the 21st century. It wasn’t necessarily a new idea, however it was rather stunning exactly how the Wachowskis gift it.

It’s a clip of cyberpunk plots: man against machine. Still, as regularly as this an equipment is used, watching the movie 15 years later got me thinking: was the matrix system even necessary?

The Answer: not really, however it would have actually made for one boring movie if it weren’t there.

Let’s forget about the awesomess of bullet-time for a minute. Stop forget around the kick-ass struggle choreography of Yuen Woo-ping. Let’s forget around the brilliant production design and slick cinematography. Let’s look at The Matrix’s MacGuffin: the Matrix itself.

According come Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne):

“This is the world that girlfriend know: the civilization as it was at the finish of the 20th century. That exists now only as a part of a neural-interactive simulation that we call the Matrix…

We have only bits and pieces that information, however what we know for specific is the at some suggest in the beforehand 21st century, all of mankind was unified in celebration. We marveled in ~ our very own magnificence together we gave birth come AI: a singular consciousness the spawned an entire race that machines. Us don’t recognize who win first, united state or them, but we recognize that that was united state that charred the sky. In ~ the time, they to be dependent top top solar power, and also it was believed that they would certainly be can not to make it through without one energy resource as plentiful as the sun. Throughout human being history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is no without a feeling of irony.

The human body generates an ext bioelectricity 보다 a 120-volt battery and also over 25,000 BTUs of human body heat. Linked with a form of fusion, the devices had uncovered all the power they would ever before need. There are fields, Neo, limitless fields where humans are no longer born. We room grown. Because that the longest time, ns wouldn’t think it, and also then I observed the fields with my very own eyes. Watched castle liquefy the dead therefore they could be fed intravenously come the living. And standing there, encountering the pure, horrifying precision, I pertained to realize the obviousness of the truth.

What is the Matrix? Control. The procession is a computer-generated dream world built to save us under regulate in stimulate to readjust a human being into this.”

*

In short, the human race has actually been preserved asleep because that centuries in order to exploit its personal bioelectrical power and body warm so the machines have the right to run their huge empire the machineness.

But just how much power was this?

The 120-volt battery Morpheus is introduce to is your straightforward car battery, i beg your pardon does give off a lot of power contrasted to the puny C-sized Duracell he holds up at the end of his explanation. A vehicle battery has enough power to begin up a auto consistently and even operation the entire electrical system for about an hour on its own. However, it’s not something that deserve to run hefty machinery really long. That can’t also run a car. You need gasoline for the to take place (or at least one of those new-fangled electrical cars through a much more complex battery device than simply a standard Sears vehicle battery).

The bioelectrical strength output indigenous a human being no huge, also though Morpheus makes it sound that way. However, he does talk around “endless fields” of person being in stasis chambers. Multiply the by billions, and you’ve got quite a resource of electrical energy.

In regards come BTUs, the a little less clear. A BTU, or British thermal unit, measures energy. It can additionally be supplied to explain power, i beg your pardon is energy over time, make a BTU of power really average how plenty of BTUs per hour.

Morpheus states that the human body generates 25,000 BTUs, which together a unit of power is around 10 horsepower or about 7.3 kilowatts. In reality, the human being body produces in between 250 and 400 BTUs that power, relying on its state the consciousness. In various other words, once the human body is asleep, that produces less. To placed it in real-world terms, this is around enough strength to save a 75-watt light pear burning (or four of the energy-efficient pigtail light bulbs).

Over the food of a day, a single human human body generates in between 6000 and also 10,000 BTUs, which doesn’t also come close to Morpheus’s 25,000 BTU number. (Even if a single body could produce this much warmth over the course of a day, it would certainly still take 3 or four people-batteries to warm an average-sized home.)

Who says devices are efficient?

According to the 2nd law that thermodynamics, also known as the law of entropy, nothing operates in ~ 100% efficiency. In fact, as soon as it comes to generating electricity, nothing even approaches 100%. Some electric generators have the right to operate in ~ 60% to 80% efficiency, but those space purely mechanically devices. The human body operates at only around 25% efficiency, when power output is measured against energy input.

In other words, to obtain that 25,000 BTU the end of a human being being, the machines would need to pump in 100,000 BTUs precious of fuel. Through a skies scorched and also no photosynthesis available, where does the food because that these body come from? Sure, the equipments liquefies the dead come feed earlier to the living, yet with a lose of 75% or much more of potential energy, the food supply would certainly burn itself the end at one exponential rate. And also that doesn’t even start to think about how much energy is expended for the surely expensive computer strength of the Matrix itself.

Of course, the Wachowskis patched this plot hole v the heat “Combined through a kind of fusion, the equipments had discovered all the power they would certainly ever need.”

Still, that raises the question regarding why they equipments didn’t merely use this “form of fusion”to power themselves in the first place.

See more: Compare How Pressure And Temperature Change With Depth Inside Earth

The answer to that is simple: without the Matrix, The Matrix would never exist. Simply take the blue pill and forget about it.