Practical concerns about King Kong
The previews do a great job of selling the movie and initial reviews are looking positive, so I'll likely make my way to the theater for this one. I do have a couple practical concerns that I fear may inhibit my enjoyment of the movie.
And, no, it isn't about the believability of a 25-foot tall ape. That's the movie's reality and I'm willing to buy into it. Even an island with dinosaurs. Go for it. I do wonder how Peter Jackson convinces us that a giant ape, capable of fending off herds of dinosaurs, can be tied down on a ship and not break loose; though, later, when tied down on a Broadway stage does break loose. But I quibble - the Lilliputians were able to successfully tie down Gulliver.
My concerns are more mundane. I'm assuming that the mysterious Skull Island is somewhere in the Pacific. I'd guess a journey back to New York would be at least 3-4 weeks. That's a long time to restrain such a large animal without it getting sick and dying. I'll put that aside, as well. My concerns and questions are as follows:
- How are they feeding King Kong? That's got to be a lot of extra bananas.
- Monkey shit. A lot of it. A LOT of it. Someone has to clean it up.
Side note - looking for something to compare it to, I thought I'd look up how much an elephant expels in bodily waste a day. Googling "elephant shit" doesn't do any good unless you're looking for bad jokes about Republicans.
Changing my search parameters to "elephant care" I came across a more helpful site. Elephants eat from 50 kg (in captivity) up to 300kg (in the wild) a day, and drink 100 to 300 liters of water. And according to this site about making paper from elephant dung, "...elephants eat between 200 and 400 kgs of food each day, due to the simplicity of their stomachs, 60% of this comes out undigested in a 50 kg load* of dung each day."
Since Kong is tied down and sedated, his caloric input does not need to be high, so let's say he needs to be fed 50kg of food and 100 liters of water, per day. Converting from metric to the proper American way of measuring, that is 110 lbs of food and 26 gallons of water; a gallon of water weigh 8.3 lbs. That's 325 lbs of food and water for one day. If the voyage takes three weeks, that ship needs to carry an extra 2,310 lbs of food and 4,531 lbs of water. In other words, in addition to the needs of the crew and the additional weight of the giant ape, to care for King Kong, this boat needs to carry an additional 3.5 tons of supplies.
In the words of Chief Brody, "We're gonna need a bigger boat."
*Almost forgot: the guy in charge of the shovel will need to fling at least 110 lbs of solid waste a day. Let's hope Kong doesn't suffer from seasickness.