Watch PBS Try To Figure Out What Planet ‘Super Mario World’ Is Set On

We all know the Mushroom Kingdom isn’t on Earth. That’s obvious, unless there have been some recent changes in turtle and mushroom physiology we’ve somehow missed. But that does raise the question… where could it be? PBS’ digital series, Space Time, sat down and did the math.

It turns out that they accidentally prove a few things in the course of their calculations. To start with, Super Mario World has a surface gravity roughly eight times that of Earth. So Mario isn’t just jumping ridiculously high in normal gravity, he’s jumping far higher than any human should be capable of doing. Really, he shouldn’t even be conscious, let alone jumping thirty feet in the air.

So… Mario is an alien. One who thinks he’s an Italian stereotype and a plumber. It gets weirder: For a planet to have eight times the surface gravity of Earth, it would need to be a gas giant, and such a planet might not even exist. For there to be a solid surface, it would essentially need to be laid over that planet and supported in some way.

Essentially this means either that Mario is an alien running around a gas giant wrapped in a warped parody of Earth created for unknowable reasons. Or that Super Mario World describes not a planet, but an alternate reality with different physics.

Or maybe we shouldn’t take the physics of video games so seriously. …Nah. Alternate reality it is!