Even though Godzilla is one of the most recognizable members of the crypto-creatures, Godzilla’s true nature remains a mystery to most. I blame the educational system for our poor observational skills. Think you know the true Godzilla? Pop quiz time!
Let’s start with an easy question: What colour is Godzilla?
The correct answer is not green. Sorry. However, if you did answer green, it is probably not your fault. American market-eers (an unholy cross between privateers and marketers) have consistently misrepresented Godzilla’s image in countless bits of merchandise ranging from movie posters to toys to t shirts. Godzilla is actually a charcoal grey.
Multiple Choice. Godzilla is
a) a lizard
b) a dinosaur (therefore a bird?)
c) an amphibian
d) a mammal
The correct answer is
d) a mammal.
That’s my theory and I am sticking to it. Gojira is a portmanteau of the Japanese words gorira (gorilla) and kujira (whale). The scaly skin and weird growths on the back are possibly a result of radiation poisoning. The mammal theory helps explain Godzilla’s ‘super size’ since most reptiles don’t get fat.
True or False: Godzilla is immortal
Godzilla can die. The immortality myth comes from an ability to regenerate quickly.
True or False: Godzilla can breathe fire like a dragon
False. Godzilla’s weapon is a radioactive beam.
True or False: Godzilla is just a dumb beast
False. Godzilla uses language to communicate and displays evidence of abstract thought as well as a philosophy of mind.
Why does it matter?
If the US government is intent on provoking a war with Russia we may want to remember that both countries have huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons. A lot of dust has fallen on those weapons and our memories. The same people who consider Iraqi civilians as little more than ‘bug splat’ have likely forgotten about the horrors the Japanese people had to live through. As long as nuclear weapons exist they remain a dangerous threat to everyone. Godzilla might end up being a silly movie but it is a timely reminder that we all should tread carefully.