There's no doubt that James Cameron went to great lengths to make the fictional world of Pandora as detailed as possible in his movie Avatar, including hiring a linguistic expert to spend months creating the Navi language from scratch. On April 27th, Cameron gave a talk at Caltech on the science behind Avatar.
He also thought deeply, and consulted with scientists, on the question of Pandora's magnetic fields (Unobtanium levitates in a magnetic field, and those fields knock out navigational instruments in the military aircraft). And here, he had to take a few liberties.
"We tried to make it not completely fanciful," Cameron told the crowd, which filled the auditorium. "If it was too outlandish, there would be a believability gap." So while Pandora features floating mountains, that might not be so far-fetched, Cameron said, considering Earth has developed high-speed "bullet" trains that levitate on magnetic fields. Of course, the "reality-based" scenario did have its limits. "We figured that to actually lift mountains, the magnetic field would have to be strong enough to rip the hemoglobin out of your blood," says Cameron. "But we decided not to go there."
Read the full article at Discovery News.