In this episode, Pace — a veteran of dives in the venerable research sub Alvin — talks about what’s involved in booking that vessel. Pace and Braunohler discuss why free-divers breathe rapidly in and out before hitting the water and whether the experimental breathing fluid Ed Harris uses is really a thing. (Sort of.)
It turns out there really is such a thing as high-pressure nervous syndrome, a complication faced by deep-sea divers — though it’s more likely to cause sudden motor and neurological problems than to make someone slowly go all Sterling Hayden. “If you don’t do something about it pretty quickly you’ll succumb and die from it,” Pace said.
And could Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio really be revived after intentionally triggering hypothermia and going 10 or 15 minutes without breathing? Maybe, but she probably would have “severe brain damage” as a result.
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Cameron, who also created the Terminator franchise and made the mega-blockbuster Titanic, is an accomplished amateur explorer in real life. In 2012, he piloted a submersible he commissioned and helped design into the deepest spot in the oceans, the Marianas Trench. His drive for accuracy took a toll on the cast, who had to learn to dive and spent several hours a day underwater in the grueling six-month shoot. And Cameron would refine the visual effects he used to create the aliens to produce the then-stunning “liquid metal” in Terminator 2: Judgment Day a few years later.
What sea creature most closely resembles the aliens? What made Mastrantonio stomp off the set of one of the movie’s most intense scenes? And can Kurt tell real subsea outposts from ones Ethan made up? Hear those questions and more answered in this episode of Bad Science.