The “Science” of Pokedex Entries

There are many grandiose Pokedex entries that make bold claims that seem to break the laws of physics or be a biological impossibility. Obviously, for these Pokedex entries to be physically true, there would be some large complications for the people who train them. Have a look at a few:

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It would be a little difficult to give your Magcargo a nice post-battle pat when it burns at 9,9820C (18,000OF), because this is almost double the temperature of the surface of the sun (~5,500OC). Not only would you not be able to touch it, but you couldn’t actually go within a few million Km of the poor creature.

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Maybe it is just the cruelty of humans to exploit Rhyhorn’s ability to race when it can literally not stop running, but that doesn’t seem like a sustainable industry to get in to. This suggests that if a Rhyhorn got a bit startled and ran away from a loud noise, it will literally run until it dies or evolves.

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Every Cubone wears the skull of it’s dead mother, which means Marowak mothers die after having one child. This is technically possible, but it is devastating for population growth.

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I am no maths expert, but I counted 11 tentacles.

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A mountain. I am not entirely sure how long it takes to eat a large mountain, but Larvitar is only 2 feet tall, so I am assuming it takes quite a few years. I guess the waste will be quite proportional, too

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Black holes are so strong, not even light can escape the gravitational pull, so Dusclops is going to have trouble not destroying the entire planet.

As can be seen from the above entries, there are many Pokedex entries that simply shouldn’t exist. One possibility is that the Pokemon universe is so vastly different to our own that the universal laws of physics are irrelevant. Maybe this world is in a different dimension, which is a perfectly acceptable explanation.

However, irrelevant of which dimension this world is in, I propose that there is something fundamentally wrong with the Pokedex entries themselves.

Firstly, as advanced as technology is, every region we have visited is in a relatively rudimentary state of biological understanding. Kanto, for example, only has 151 pokemon in the entire landmass, but Professor Oak is still in a state of discovering and categorising them all. This is taxonomy in its most simple form, and is something that explorers and biologists used to do after the discovery of new continents. It is possible that Prof. Oak is simply a very early career taxonomist who didn’t pay much attention during school, but it could also be that such formal classification of Pokemon had not yet been established.

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If taxonomy is still in its early stages, it is unlikely that in-depth investigation of individual Pokemon has progressed beyond elementary observation either. When the Pokedex fills up, it is essentially the most complete encyclopaedia of Pokemon there is, but little more than a few lines about each Pokemon is written. Classification and characterisation can’t have developed yet.

Furthermore, even though the technology is highly advanced and they have the ability to clone Mew, they got it quite wrong and ended up with Mewtwo instead. While the technology was there, the biological understanding just wasn’t.

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Instead of entries being based on scientific experimentation and repetition, information surrounding Pokemon is still heavily embedded in folklore and hyperbole, much like scientific understanding was in ancient times or among isolated tribes.

Possibly, nobody has ever gotten a thermometer and tested a Magcargo’s body temperature, they just observed that it was quite hot and gave an arbitrary number in order to express that heat, in a similar manner to when we say “I swear, that spider was as big as a car” when it is, quite clearly, not.

Many Pokedex entries actually do adhere to this theory.

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If you have ever read a scientific paper, or even done a science class at school, you will know that calling some traits ‘annoying’, or attributing certain characteristics to  ‘or so it’s said’  is most definitely not scientific. This suggests that the understanding of Pokemon biology is still heavily embedded in folklore, but biological research and scientific enquiry have not developed enough to realise that this isn’t exactly factual.

All this tells us is that the Pokemon world is in the very early stages of development in biology, and that we can’t take the Pokedex literally. That isn’t to say we should ignore the entries, as myth is often based on a misinterpretation of observation. Larvitar eats a lot, not mountains, but a lot, so we should start observing Larvitar behaviour to determine exactly how much it does eat. So enjoy the Pokedex entries, but keep in mind that they may not be literal!

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Yes, its farts are on fire. Maybe there are some things we shouldn’t go about trying to understand…

 

 

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