Avatar: Earth Bending 101

By Slightly Embittered

United States

Avatar: The Last Airbender is an amazing show, and you should watch it if you haven't already. The world of Avatar: the Last Airbender shows people with the ability to "bend" one of the four classical elements (Earth, Fire, Water, and Air). But what are the rules of "bending", and how does that relate to science? The amazing thing about Avatar is that the science mostly checks out. Not the magic part obviously, but the rules within the magic system correspond well with science.

So, first, in the real world, what is earth? We can broadly define "earth" here as rocks and broken pieces of rock (sand and dirt). Rocks in turn are made of minerals. Minerals in turn are defined by five basic rules:

Most be solid. Must be naturally occurring / not man made. Must be inorganic. Must have a defined crystal structure. Must have a specific chemical formula.

These five rules help clarify what is bendable and what is not. Petroleum would not be bendable because it is a liquid and lacks a crystal structure. Wood, Bone, and other living things would not be bendable because they're organic. Glass and ceramics would not be bendable because they are man-made.

Add your response bellow: What other rules do you think would apply to bending earth?

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