Flume's "Say It" Video: 100 Points for Style, Zero Points for Physics


The new music video for Flume’s “Say It” features a very bronzed astronaut bouncing on a mirrored platform (a solar array?) flipping in defiance of a humanoid made of mirrors. It is intentionally trippy. It’s also a very interesting exercise in speculative physics.

If the idea is that “Say It,” an EDM song overlaid with vocals from Tove Lo, takes place on Earth — as the clouds and blue sky suggest — then this astronaut is completely defying both mirror guy and the planet’s gravitational laws. This is some Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon level shit, where Newton’s First and Third laws need not apply.

If they did, this would be a bloodier video.

On Earth, momentum is dependent on the factors of mass and velocity. The moment before a collision is equal to the moment after a collision. Put a different way, if a piano is dropped from a building and lands on the sidewalk, its gravity imparts a potential energy that will soon be converted into elastic kinetic energy — meaning that energy is conserved and that momentum is going to result in a crash. If you’re free falling through Earth’s atmosphere as our dancer is in the beginning of the clip, there’s no way you’ll be landing gently. Low gravity can’t save you from speed.

As for the rest of the video, it may not be as Earthly as all that.

For the sort of action and reaction going on in “Say It,” a human would need to be somewhere where there is very, very little gravity. Smaller planets have a smaller gravitational pull, so a planet like Mercury would be a more ideal place to pull these stunts (if you ignore the blue atmosphere of the video and the fact that you would both freeze and burn to death). Mercury has a surface gravity of 3.7 meters/seconds squared — so bouncing after a free fall is way more probable. A large asteroid could work too for the same gravitational reasons.

What the current state of science can’t explain: That mirror guy. The only universe where that can happen is the Marvel one.

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