The Hulk is one of the most powerful and well-known superheroes in Marvel Comics. Everyone knows the big green beast, and everyone knows that he is, like, insanely strong. However, that strength can manifest in more ways than lifting weights or smashing things. For instance, have you ever wondered how Hulk can jump so far? And, if so, how far can Hulk jump?
The Hulk uses his incredibly strong leg muscles to leap over incredible distances in only one jump. His usual strong leaps are around three to seven miles long, but he can easily jump distances over 1000 miles long, as shown in ‘Incredible Hulk’ Vol. 2 #33.
The fact is, however, that the Hulk’s strength is literally limitless. It can grow exponentially to infinity, making him the single, physically strongest being in the universe. Seeing that he uses the strength of his muscles to jump – if the strength is unlimited, then Hulk can, in theory, jump over limitless distances. However, there’s some science behind it, so let’s check it out.
How can Hulk jump so high?
Hulk is often referred to – by others, and most commonly, himself – as the ‘strongest one there is.’ Although it might sound like a phrase that he uses to blow into his own horn, so to speak – he is actually right.
It was confirmed by more than one Marvel character, who could have ways to know if that was actually true or not. For instance, the Silver Surfer claimed that Hulk is the strongest mortal he’s ever faced in ‘Tales to Astonish’ #93.
The Mad Thinker couldn’t even calculate the limits of Hulk’s strength in ‘Indestructible Hulk’ #1, whereas both the Beyonder and the Stranger claimed that Hulk’s strength was limitless in ‘Secret Wars II’ #8 and ‘Tales to Astonish’ #89, respectively. So, how can Hulk jump so high?
It’s simple. He uses that limitless, unfathomable physical strength in his legs to propel him into the air, making the Hulk capable of leaping so incredibly high. He can jump so high that he has reached Earth’s orbit more than once.
Considering that the Hulk is as strong as you can imagine and that, in theory, his strength does not have limits, he can channel a limitless amount of strength into those jumps.
The best part about the Hulk’s jumps, however, is his ability to precisely calculate his leaps – the distance, height, trajectory, and even landing spots – the guy landed on tiny islands in the ocean that are basically invisible to the naked eye when looking from so high up in the sky. That’s why you’ll often see Hulk casually leap into the air to intersect and destroy projectiles in mid-air.
There is, however, a tiny little problem with his super-powered jumps – and it’s called physics. But, we’ll get there, no rush.
How far can Hulk jump?
We know that Hulk can jump as high as to reach orbit. We also know that his jumps are essentially limitless. So, how far can Hulk actually jump?
Despite his limitless leaping potential, we usually see Hulk jump over around 3 to 7 miles a leap. However, we have seen him jump way more than that. For instance, in ‘Incredible Hulk Vol. 2’ #33, he casually jumped well over 1000 miles in a single leap.
Not only that – in ‘Hulk vs. Hercules’ #1, he jumped from the foot to the top of Mount Olympus in a single leap – effortlessly. And, in ‘Avengers Vol. 5’ #24.NOW, the Green Goliath literally jumped and reached Mars’ orbit. Yes, Mars, the Red Planet. Now, I do believe that’s a bit more than a thousand miles, don’t you think?
The science behind that jump, however, is ridiculous, as the force he’d have to use to push himself off the ground would do one of two things – he’d either penetrate the ground that would cave in under his brute strength – or he would push off so hard that he’d slightly change Earth’s axis. Again, I promise we’ll get to the science of his jump.
How fast can Hulk go while jumping?
You will hardly ever see Hulk travel by plane, let alone a car or something similar. The guy simply chooses to jump to where he needs to go because it’s a lot faster. But just how fast is his jump? How fast does Hulk fly through the air while leaping?
In ‘Hulk 2000’ #1, Hulk leaped from a standing position while being fairly calm – or, in other words, at his most common level of strength. He easily reached 473 mph, meaning, if he were stronger (angrier) or leaped with a running start; he’d likely reach speeds much faster than that – closer to Mach 1, or the speed of sound, which is about 767 mph.
And, seeing that his speed is correlated with the strength and force he can apply to the ground to propel himself, I think it’s safe to say that he can go much faster.
You probably see why it makes more sense for the Green Giant to leap instead of just taking the bus. As for his top speed while returning back to Earth… well, it’d depend on how high he jumped in the first place. Let’s get into the science behind the Hulk’s jumps.
The science behind Hulk’s jump
Now, there are a ton of variables that play into the science behind the Hulk’s jump that would make this article a lot longer and a lot more complicated, so I’ll try to simplify things as much as possible to allow us a clearer picture of what it means to be the Hulk, leaping at such insane speeds and distances.
First, let’s figure out the force the Hulk is exerting on the ground while leaping. Let’s just take one of his regular leaps, going at 473 mph.
The common formula for Force is m*a, with m being mass and a being acceleration. For acceleration, we’ll just assume that the Hulk was completely calm, meaning that his starting velocity was 0, and the end velocity (the moment when he pushed himself off the ground) was 473 mph, exactly one second later – meaning that difference was, in fact, equal to his acceleration.
As for his mass, we know that it changes depending on his size at the moment but to make things simpler, let’s say he is around 1000 lbs (453.5 kg) at the time of this particular jump. That would mean he’d have to exert 345283453.2 Newtons of force on the ground. That’s over 345 MILLION Newtons.
For reference, you need about 1000 N to lift 100 kg (220 lbs), meaning you could lift almost 3500 tons with the same amount of force.
Now, how about when the fellow jumps all the way up into Earth’s orbit and then free-falls back down onto Earth? Well, due to air resistance, assuming that Hulk is around 1000 lbs and reaches the lowest point of the Earth’s orbit (around 100 miles/160 kilometers high), his maximum velocity going down would be 304.5 miles per hour.
Also, due to air resistance, his maximum velocity wouldn’t change, even if he went further up into the orbit – even if he reached the outer limits of the Earth’s orbit at 35786 kilometers (22236 miles). So basically, he’d be much faster when just leaping off the ground at 473 mph than going back down. Pretty amazing, right?
Bear in mind that this is all an oversimplification of the science and physics behind Hulk’s incredible leaps.
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