A few weeks ago, Time magazine — which has decided to take the the science angle on the post-Game of Thrones beat — looked into whether it was possible if (SPOILERS) someone falling from the moon door in Game of Thrones would actually break into piece. I guess that post was a hit, because now they’re returning to apply science to last night’s episode.
Specifically (SPOILERS AGAIN), they asked whether it was possible for a man to squeeze another man’s head SO hard that it exploded, as The Mountain did to poor, charming, overly confident Oberyn Martell in last night’s episode.
Turns out, according to a study conducted by the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, which was reported by Slate, it is indeed possible. Probably. The Mountain would have needed to generate approximately 520 pounds of force, which is possible, according to Time magazine’s guess:
There’s no way to calculate the exact answer, since we’re missing a lot of necessary data, but we can certainly guess. The Mountain weighs more than twice what the average man of today does, and he’s about two feet taller. He also has the advantage, within the context of the fight with the Viper, of not relying on muscle strength alone; he has the assistance of gravity and is leaning his entire upper-body weight on Oberyn Martell’s head. At the same time, he has the disadvantage of the fact that his arms are starting out still, so they don’t benefit from any major acceleration; acceleration is why a boxer’s fast-moving punch can generate a force of way more than the 520 required. Despite that, we’re going to say that yes, the Mountain probably could crush Oberyn Martell’s skull into smithereens using only his hands.
So there you go, folks. It is possible if you can generate enough force to squeeze a man’s head until it explodes. As always, however, please do not try this experiment at home, unless of course you attempt it on someone who has raped and kill your sister and your sister’s children.