The Pseudoscience of: Morph Balls

Hello Internet!

Today I will be giving a scientific (sounding) explanation for something that really should be impossible: the morph ball of Samus Aran.

For those of you who don’t know, Samus Aran is the galactic bounty hunter from the Metroid series, and as I understand it the developers of the original decided that having her turn into a ball would be easier than making a crawling animation, and thus the morph ball was born.

The exact size of the morph ball isn’t exactly clear, although in Metroid Prime it can fit in areas of about one meter, so that is the diameter in that game. That same game also states that when the space pirates tried to replicate it the test subjects ended up horribly mangled. So how does Samus do it?

Well, in Metroid Prime when you first (re)gain the morph ball ability you see her curled up in a fetal position and then encased by, well, a ball. So she can fit, and as for the games where the ball appears smaller, she has skin more like ours, while the space pirates seem to be either reptiles or bugs, neither of which have skin as flexible. Combined with some of the crazy things I’ve seen circus performers fit into, and size shouldn’t be too major of a factor.

Where does the ball even come from though, and how does she control it? My theory is that her armor has an outer layer which can reshape itself into the ball form when she curls up. The inside of the outer layer is magnetized allowing Samus to be suspended in a more or less upright position no matter how much spinning the ball does, and all steering takes is a minor shift of her body weight.

Finally, the bombs that can be dropped while in morph ball mode, both the normal and the power variety. You have unlimited of the normal bombs, which implies that they are created from the environment, so I believe she essentially destabilizes the molecules of a small amount of air or other matter, which a few seconds later explodes in a very tiny nuclear explosion. The power bombs are limited in number, so they are probably detached from the ball itself.

Well, I hope this sounds vaguely believable. Who knows, maybe in the future someone will actually make something like this.

Till next time,

Goodbye Intenet!