Yesterday, Paramount Pictures released the first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog, a live action movie based on the 90s SEGA game. The internet piled on almost immediately, mocking Sonic's strange teeth, weird eyes, and overall creepiness, while simultaneously praising Jim Carrey's portrayal of the franchise's mustachioed arch-villain Dr. Robotnik. The outcry was so overwhelming that the director responded they would work to "fix" the character before the movie's release on November 8.
But there was no response to an even stranger theory the trailer prompted.
Around 20 seconds in, we see Sonic charging down empty Pacific Northwest highways—according to IMDB, the movie shot those scenes outside of Vancouver, BC—before unleashing an electric blue burst of energy that wipes out power to the entire Pacific Northwest, including all of Oregon.
An electromagnetic pulse or EMP is a giant burst of energy that can wipe out anything from computer hard drives to infrastructure and aircraft (theoretically, at least). Not long after the trailer release, Reddit user Kroooooooo calculated exactly how many Cascadian babies such a massive EMP could kill, given the statistical chances of babies being hooked up to hospital equipment keeping them alive. That number, they say, is 491. The comment quickly went viral.
Using statistics from Bliss it is estimated that about 1 in 7 babies in the UK require a neonatal unit upon their birth. Assuming this statistic translates to the United States, this would mean that 568,365 need this treatment in the US yearly.
The United States has approximately 327.2m people living there, meaning that the Pacific Northwest holds approximately 4.5% of the US population, translating to 25,576 babies needing neonatal treatment in the area yearly.
Using Bliss's statistics again, it can be seen that the average stay in the neonatal clinic for a baby is one week. Considering there are 52 weeks in a year, this means that 1/52 of this figure are in the clinics at any one time.
This translates to 491 babies in the area where Sonic the Hedgehog immediately cuts complete power and life support to. Sonic is literally a mass baby murderer.
Yep, these are somewhat questionable sources and leaps of logic. (Bump Reveal is a gender reveal party supply site, for instance.) Still, the thought of a cartoon animal unleashing an EMP that kills even a single baby? That's dark.
Sonic, we expected something, er, fuzzier.