Men in Black’s Noisy Cricket is CRAZY
Men in Black’s Noisy Cricket is CRAZY

– Would you break this dang thing, or would it break you? Let’s get technical. (neuralyzer whirs and fires) Would you break this dang thing, or would get break you? Let’s get technical. What? (upbeat techno music) Out of all the fun sci-fi weapons in the Men in Black-iverse, the Noisy Cricket might
be the most famous. Absurdly small and absurdly
powerful for its size, this tiny gun is known for
its crazy strong recoil. Now we know almost nothing
else about this weapon, aside from its recoil, but I think that if we can
put some numbers to its oomph, we can learn a lot more about it than some dudes in suits would tell us because no matter where the
Men in Black got this weapon, physics works the same
everywhere in the universe. (Kyle laughs) First, I can’t see anything. First, what is recoil? Well recoil is the term that we use for a weapon’s backwards momentum, its mass multiplied by its velocity and that backwards
momentum is a consequence of the conservation of momentum, a principle that states that in a closed system with
no energy going in or out, no matter if objects collide or not, the total momentum, before and after whatever
happens, is the same. Say for example, you were an MIB agent watching
a bug piloted UFO smash into the Old World’s Fair Unisphere. Your classic textbook example. If the UFO hits this sphere and then sticks to it and they both travel on together, you’d expect that this
whole mass would be moving at a slower velocity than the UFO was initially traveling at because the combined
mass is so much larger and indeed when we do calculations for different objects like this, this is exactly what we find. The arrows of momentum before and after are exactly the same. That’s conservation. The conservation of momentum
is at work everywhere. Say you had some kind of a rocket car with off-limit buttons. Another classic example. The backwards momentum, or recoil, this rocket car will get will be the mass of the
rocket exhaust multiplied by the velocity of that rocket exhaust. Now exhaust as gas is not very heavy, and so that’s why rockets
have to throw it back out of something at ridiculous speeds with basically controlled explosions. Whatever the Noisy Cricket is firing, it’s not going to be that heavy either because you can hold the
whole gun in your hand. And so this simple equation
can give us an idea of exactly how fast it has
to fire a projectile in order to move someone like Will Smith. And spoiler alert, it’s gonna be (rocket fires) way faster than that thing. Wow. Don’t touch the button. Don’t touch the button. To calculate the ridiculousness
that is the Noisy Cricket, we need to know a few variables first. Our equation is very simple, but we still need to know the mass of Agent Jay in the
first Men in Black film, we need to know the velocity
that he is thrown backwards at, and we need to estimate the mass of whatever the Noisy Cricket is firing. If we do that, we can solve for the velocity of that projectile and hopefully that value
will let us determine what the Noisy Cricket would actually do and what it would do, to you. Oh I did break it. (neuralyzer whirs and fires) Men in Black was right. If the Noisy Cricket really is so small, it would be downright scary. I felt like I said that. Did I say that already? If a weapon has a lot of recoil because of the conservation of momentum, that means that it’s either firing something relatively light
at an enormous velocity, like rockets do with fuel particles, or it is firing something much heavier at a relatively slower speed. As another example of the
interchangeability here, the Saturn V rocket, one of
the largest rockets ever, was thrown up out of Earth’s gravity well by throwing rocket exhaust downwards at a blistering two and a
half kilometers per second. Now you could get the same recoil, or momentum change by, and follow me here on this one, throwing a blue whale straight down at Mach 1.7 every two seconds. Whale. Whale. Whale. Whale. Ah. Beautiful. I’m bringing up blue whales and exhaust and rocket cars because I hope by now, you have a good idea that for a tiny gun to throw a grown man across a room, it simply must be firing something at an unheard of velocity. So let’s get technical. Looking to the Men in Black films and the prop replicas of the Noisy Cricket that fans have built over the years, the diameter of this barrel cannot be more than a few millimeters wide. Maybe three to four. So tiny. To fit inside the barrel then, whatever the Noisy Cricket is firing has to be less than this diameter, maybe one to two millimeters. Small. And if the projectile
is made out of some kind of earthly material, maybe a spherical shape, how about steel? Then the total mass ejected from the gun would be just four milligrams. Pew. Pew. Finally Will Smith is 82 kilograms and I think now you can see that for just four milligrams, to launch something that is over 20 million times more massive, the velocity on display here must be ridiculous. But just how ridiculous it has to be will depend very much on the amount of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air time (Kyle laughs) that Will gets. (neuralyzer whirs and fires)
Nope! Nope, you can’t make me forget it. I’ll never forget it! To complete our equation, we need Will Smith’s recoil
velocity and for that, we’re gonna do what we always do in movie velocity situations. We are gonna need the frames of the movie and the frames per second of that movie to get some time value, and then we’re gonna need
to look into the movie to get some known distance of something to get a distance value and from that, distance
over time, velocity. This clip from Men in Black one is playing at 30 frames per second and for Will Smith’s final toss from the Noisy Cricket in this scene, I counted a total of 23 frames. To me, it looks like he is
traveling and thrown backwards about half of a full car length. The average in America,
that we can look up and if we have these two values, then we can get an average velocity to plug into our conservation
of momentum equation. I’m leaving all these
variables in our equation here because you can mess around with how far you think Will Smith is actually traveling in that scene, what the projectile is made out of, and therefore, its actual mass, how many frames you count him moving for, but the slowest that I
calculate the projectile for the Noisy Cricket traveling is at over seven thousand
kilometers per second. The slowest. And at its fastest, it could be traveling at relativistic speeds. I’m talking like 60 thousand
kilometers per second, a hundred million miles per hour, 20% the speed of light. Not only is this faster than
anything ever fired on Earth, this is faster than our galaxy moves. What?! There is still the question of what firing the Noisy Cricket would actually do. Yeah! And what it would do to you. I’m an alien. Whoa! You were not supposed to see that. Speeds of thousands of
kilometers per second and above fall into the regime of hypervelocity. And we’ve actually tested
what hypervelocity impacts would do to stuff to
help protect the people who might actually meet aliens one day. By definition, anything
that is orbiting the Earth is going pretty dang fast
in order to stay in orbit and that also applies to
pieces of space debris and space junk like little flecks of paint or little pieces of metal. And those would be incredibly dangerous at orbital speeds if say, you were an astronaut up there. That is why NASA has actually built giant gas powered guns
to fire stuff at objects to see what they will do at hypervelocity. Here is an image of one
of those test impacts, firing a little piece of something at 17 thousand miles per hour. That looks pretty dangerous. Here is video footage of a test of a little metal sphere
hitting sand at Mach 100. Still looks really dangerous. If the Noisy Cricket is firing anything at thousands of times more than these test velocities, it’s not totally implausible to assume that when it did fire something, when it hit it, it would do a lot of (Noisy Cricket fires) of damage. Wow, that hurt. How much would it hurt though? If we forget about the
velocity for a second and just look at the
total momentum imparted to Will Smith when he is
thrown by the Noisy Cricket, we get a value that doesn’t
really mean very much unless you compare it to something else, so let’s compare it to something else. This is about the
momentum that a linebacker in the NFL running at full speed has. And we know that NFL
players, when they hit you, can throw you a decent distance
and absolutely rock you. So now imagine all this
momentum concentrated in just your wrists,
shoulders, and elbows. If you walk away from firing this thing with just a broken wrist, I think you would be (Noisy Cricket fires) lucky. Oh! I’ll never forget this pain. (neuralyzer whirs and fires) But despite the
relativistic firing speeds, despite the momentum, despite the broken bones
it would probably give you, I still don’t think the Noisy Cricket would ever actually throw you backwards. Like good physicists, when we started asking this question, we more or less assumed that Will Smith is a perfect Will Smith sphere and any force acting on that sphere would act equally and simultaneously, but of course, we know that humans are not perfect spheres to
be launched by something. What Hollywood has either ignored or forgotten for years, is that humans are what
we call squishy bendy and even immense recoil will
quickly dissipate itself in the bending of our bodies, our arms, and our limbs and a lot of it will just transfer into the ground. In fact, I’d wager there may
not be any movie situations where someone is firing an accurate weapon where they’d either knock (glass breaking) someone through a plate glass window or be thrown backwards themselves. The Noisy Cricket is extremely impressive and probably very dangerous but its depiction of recoil
is a little Men in Wack. (neuralyzer whirs and fires)
No! (Kyle laughs)
Nope. I’m gonna remember these puns forever! So why is the Men in Black’s Noisy Cricket so dang impressive? Well because of its
depiction in the movies, it just has to be firing
projectiles faster than any bullet on Earth, faster than any human made object, and faster than some galaxies move. The Noisy Cricket might not throw you through the air in real life, but it would definitely break stuff and probably break you. Because science. (Kyle groans in pain) (upbeat techno music) There is one small problem with whatever the Noisy Crickey
is firing and it’s that, if you’re firing something that fast, it’s gonna immediately
vaporize itself in the air. Even if it was a metal
sphere, a steel sphere, for example, firing at 100
million miles per hour, it would immediately vaporize itself and it would be more just like relativistic steel iron
ions flying through the air and would that do the
same amount of damage? How far would that plasma
of steel actually go? Probably not as far, probably
not do the same kinda damage but that’s where we can kinda
make the hand wavy part. Well it’s an alien material that’s resistant to Will Smith shots. Thank you so much for watching, Sammy. If you want more of me, or you want to suggest
ideas for future episodes, you can follow me and Because Science at these social media handles here and don’t forget our first expansion show, Because Space, expansion, it’s like the expansion of the, it has a number of episodes now live and you’re gonna wanna
check them with Doctor Moo, who is absolutely lovely
and very, very smart, and she’s just great. And if you like it too, let
us know in the comments. Thanks.

100 thoughts on “Men in Black’s Noisy Cricket is CRAZY”

  1. Because Science says:

    Thanks for watching Super Nerds! For all the corrections about the kind of projectile the NC is firing, I'll see you in Footnotes. Also, the blue whale engine is now the Hill Engine (TM). — kH

  2. caveman42 says:

    I got a feeling it doesn't fire a steel ball. Probably a plasma shot.

  3. elkikex says:

    The biggest question here is: Why would agent K give an untrained rookie this gun over others similar to the ones he's handled? … besides comedic purposes.

  4. Tyler Anderson says:

    So since its travelling faster than sound it will make a sonic boom but it's going so much faster would the sonic boom be damaging the the iron will of the Smith.

  5. Tropico Boy says:

    Won't it just go through the person it was shot at becuase its realy small and is not big enought to push him back.

  6. sakeino says:

    What if it's not the recoil from the noisy cricket that pushes Will Smith back but the project when it leaves the gun forms something that pushes him away?

  7. Josh Panzerrotti says:

    since it is well know that ants can lift many times their own body weight how many ants would i take to lift a 100kg chunk of rock off the ground?

  8. Mcchuggernaut says:

    It's not the recoil of the gun, but the blast wave it creates hitting his entire body that throws Will back. Otherwise the Cricket would just pop out of his hands, and maybe smash through his face flying backwards when he fires it. The gun seems to hyper-accelerate a small (tiny) amount of matter. We're talking a few grains of sand. Something that small traveling that fast through the air would still generate a HUGE concussive shockwave, but not a tremendous amount of recoil, because the projectile is so low-mass. like a meteorite breaking up and exploding as it smashes through the atmosphere, but on a micro-scale. Though, how you would pack an accelerator capable of propelling something even the size of the period at the end of this sentence to such speeds into the dimensions of a Noisy Cricket is the "Fiction" part of this science-fiction gun scenario.

  9. George D says:

    It’s clear ya particle weapon so the “weight” of the projectile is kind of borked.

  10. RainyDayVFX says:

    0:27 my penis in a nutshell

  11. KuraIthys says:

    What about if you have a weapon braced against your centre of mass?
    Granted, that's a very strange place to have a weapon (that's basically your stomach)
    But a large force applied to the centre of mass is by far the most likely thing to send you flying backwards…

  12. smegskull says:

    What if the noisy cricket works like a bazooka and will is being thrown back by an expanding airblast rather than recoil in the gun itself.

  13. Dean J says:

    What if the knockback isn't from the force of the projectile pushing back on the insides of the weapon but instead caused by the forces created by the projectile after it has exited the barrel.

  14. Atimus Xanth says:

    Maybe it's a concentrated percussive blast and the back end blowback is wider than the pinpoint "projectile" that comes out…

  15. Darkburrow says:

    Noisy Cricket fires soundwaves 😀

  16. Cynic The Hedgehog says:

    “Physics works the same everywhere in the universe”

  17. Piguyalamode says:

    If it was a laser it would have a change momentum of E/c, so E = c*dp = 2190GJ(on the slow end)

  18. CTG says:

    H Y P E R V E L O C I T Y

  19. Isaiah White says:


  20. a dazed monkey says:

    Maybe it is a concussive blast?

  21. Shotgun Wizard says:

    I mean have you ever seen a petite young lady shoot a shotgun? lol they tend to land on there badonkadonks a lot. love the show btw.

  22. Ola Ruud says:

    I expected better of you at 5:00. Spherical projectiles or steel projectiles are very uncommon in most firearms or guns in general
    Most projectiles are "bullet" shaped and filled with something other than lightweigth steel (AP rounds use steel for hardness).
    It wouldnt make sense in an alien gun as it doesnt even make sense in any modern firearm besides non lethal bb guns.

  23. Devin Benham says:

    Honestly, I think you’ve found NASA’s replacement for the current fuel source to get into space. Honestly Blue Whales are actually a naturally occurring resource 100% renewable.

  24. chillout89 says:

    What happenend the first 3 minutes and 23 seconds?

  25. crudkick says:

    4:13 is when I lost it

  26. Xcentr1cK says:

    it would be interesting to have a video where you examine .. what if the noisey cricket threw off a shockwave backwards? also it looks like it has liquid in it.. but not sure.. maybe the liquid forms some sort of mini spear? or the bullet gets bigger once it exits because it's exposed to our atmosphere? i dunno 🙂

  27. Jared Orth says:

    What would it take to move a squishy bendy object like a human. Doing some math on a calculator I predict it would take over 50 times more energy to do so.

  28. Kurufin_we says:

    so… tiny!

  29. DrDoJo ????? says:

    Bit Americans are perfect spheres

  30. VacuumTube88 says:

    what if the noisy cricker shoots soundwaves?

  31. StrangeGhost says:

    I've enjoyed your videos. Then 4:08 happened. I finally subscribed. Whale! Whale! WHALE!

  32. Azuma Reiji says:

    “This is faster than our galaxy moves….WHAT??

    Lmao 😂

  33. MrRedstone says:

    So the Noisy Cricket might not throw you that far, but it will probably break your wrist, might break your shoulder and most likely will throw you off balance and make you fall backwards, likely breaking your ass and hip in the process. Just a Tuesday at MIB headquarters.

  34. Crystal Clear Mobile Restoration says:

    The Noisy Cricket is clearly an energy weapon, not a projectile.

  35. NegativeJam says:

    It fired a 6mm bb at like 1/3 the speed of light

  36. DeathN0te99 says:

    It may not even be a a projectile it could be a Sonic based weapon hence the name noisy cricket just thinking out loud here

  37. Iris VP says:

    "Faster than ANYTHING ever fired on Earth!"
    Nuh-uh! Watch this! turns on flashlight

  38. Rayal Dawkins says:

    What if it fired a super dense explosive encased in a shell so it could example be a few pounds but super condensed

  39. Andrew Morris says:

    3:50 the Saturn V was the largest operational rocket. The Soviets had something called the N-1, which in some specs was bigger, but it was never successfully flown.
    Stop here if you don't want to read a nerd post.

    The n-1 had a bunch of engines, which was why some thought the falcon heavy wouldn't work. There was an American spy satellite that saw what looked like a huge rocket in one orbit, then when it came back around there was a giant charred spot.

  40. Aurélien b says:

    An episod about the graviton beam emitter from Blame! would be great ! It's many thousands times more powerful than the cricket (at its lower power it can make holes dozens of km long) and not very bigger

  41. ricaard says:

    Squishy bendy, that's a metric term.

  42. George M says:

    Given it doesn't embed itself in Will Smith's head, it's not recoil, it's some sort of momentary antigravity field.

  43. rododendron85 says:

    and for this reason he got a silencer in the MIB animated show

  44. David Washington says:

    Something moving that fast would cause a nuclear detonation with the atmosphere.

  45. Frost Drive says:

    A magnum revolver can be painful to fire (from what i have seen, never fired a gun) and this is smaller, and more powerful, now that would be painful

  46. Pablo Gall says:

    @because science If you put a huge amount of gunpowder and a big barrel what's the fastest speed you can fire a bullet here on earth?????

  47. christian Da wizard says:

    The one thing that Is stoping me from watching more is your haircut.

  48. Aaron Silas says:

    Thats a lotta damidge!!!

  49. Peter Eng says:

    The other impressive thing about the Noisy Cricket is that it can accelerate its projectile to that speed. Its energy storage system is clearly much more efficient than anything that we can create.

  50. Juan C says:

    Fun conservation of mass experiment.

    Hit a 60 lb shopping cart with your 6,000 lb truck at 5 mph. (Slow enough to not damage truck.). Watch shopping cart, pick up an impressive amount of speed! 🤠

  51. RAINY says:

    so this is the game theory dude evolved into his final form good for him man

  52. JohnMrubenstein says:

    Perhaps Will Smith is being knocked back by a shock wave from the round leaving the muzzle?

  53. Dubby says:

    I like to think the noisy cricket shoots a forcefield instead of a solid projectile. Which, if the gun itself is repulsed momentarily by the field, it could push the shooter back without much of the squishybendy stuff.

  54. Matthew Swart says:

    this guy must be the master of writing things backwards

  55. Septiyanto Nugroho says:

    whale, whale, WHALE, WHAAALLEEEE

  56. The Awesometon says:

    What if the projectile was made of tungsten or a metal with a similar melting point, would it still vaporize?

  57. Joshua Scott says:

    the exotic mater fired from noisy cricket reacts to air once it leaves the barrel, creating an explosion throwing will back. the recoil is probably like a .22 pistol. but the muzzle blast reacting to atmosphere is where the huge force we see on film is from.

  58. Toby McIver says:

    i just did some researching and mathing, and the sheer recoil you calculated(at 240 kg/m) would be roughly 150ft-lbs more than the muzzle energy of the 300 grain .50AE GDHP(gold dot jacketed hollow point) rounds for the Desert Eagle. and considering the weight difference between the DE and the Noisy cricket(which id assume would weigh between 3 and 8 ounces, if not less), thats a weight difference of well over 10x, and since recoil is directly affected by firearm weight, the recoil felt is well over 10x greater. but really, the velocity of the round fired from the noisy cricket, at the speed calculated, would cause your organs to rupture from the pressure difference from the rapid, and violent, displacement of the air. but maybe i have no goddamn clue what im talking about.

  59. GhostShipSupreme says:

    Idk what it shoots, but I doubt it’s steel

  60. Johnnie Espinal says:

    What if it was from the heart of a neutron star?

  61. Llywylln Gryffyn says:

    I think that one BIG problem with this is that you assume that the NC is actually a conventional weapon hat is throwing a slug… It is an energy weapon. The recoil isn't likely to physical kickback like a normal bullet thrower but something else. They call it 'Noisy' so perhaps it is a sonic weapon and the recoil is the small reflection of the compression wave? The Echo if you will… In any event, if it were a slug-thrower then yes, J would be broken and in traction…

  62. Tom Nook says:

    So if I fire the Noisy Cricket, the recoil will be powerful enough to blow my entire arm off my body?

  63. Charles Emery says:

    Hey bud what if the noise cricket was in fact a small minny rail gun the it perhaps through one across the room wall or door.??

  64. J. Buick says:

    The book M.I.B.: Green Saliva Blues contained 2 paragraphs talking about the Noisy Cricket and, more importantly, how to hold it. Extend your arm to it's normal, relaxed length, bend your wrist at a 90° angle, extend your pinkie and fire at will. Firing it like this seems to indicate that it fires not with a recoil but a backblast that can be avoided by simply sidestepping it.

  65. T S says:

    What if it shoots just a bunch of none luminescent photons and it freezes your body right as you shoot it so you don't break, but you do get thrown??

  66. Lance Reeder says:

    Perhaps if it is a projectile, tungsten has a really high melting point and may become a more condensed form of plasma.

  67. Carperibs223 says:

    Wait, wouldn’t all of that massive amount of energy being transferred to Will Smith (because of Newton’s third law) then be transferred into the ground thus shifting the entire earth to one degree or another?

  68. Jack Woods says:

    What if the gun shot dark matter?

  69. BigDvsRL says:

    i believe Youtube Tracks my Netflix history….Yesterday i watches MiB, and i wasnt googling for MiB today or in somewhere else than Netflix

  70. Justice Taylor says:

    Throw in scifi psudo science and you could claim that the Cricket gun protects its user and stabilizes its initially set firing direction by using some sort of tensor field and or some sort of spacial anchor. These could change the behavior of the recoil related physics, but we'd be making a lot of generous assumptions with basically magical tech. Ever watch the YouTube Channel Shadiversity? He brings up the scifi tech ideal of a relativistic space anchor or spacial anchor that generates some sort of inertial resistance out of no where, even in the vacuum of space.

  71. mustang the kitten says:


  72. Eddie Mason says:

    You should measure firearms recoil in "Hollywood " scale. Because they're always way more over powered then in real world. Dirty Harry's 44 mag is a good example of exaggeration.

  73. William Turner says:

    Um… that's debatable. Whereas I would say quantum physics and general relativity discrepancy is a matter of scale it still gets complicated.

  74. alrightythen214 says:

    What are you talking about!? It's an energy weapon

  75. Ethan Goodpasture says:

    You could absorb the recoil but it would still hurt like hell

  76. 1423 171 says:

    Squishy bendy haha

  77. Micah van Everdingen says:

    Haven't I seen this video before?

  78. Al Vanny says:

    Do a hearse next!

  79. Leonardo Pereira Viana says:

    4:08 LMAO

  80. Sean M says:

    For recoil wouldn't newton's third law work here for every action you get an equal and oppsite reaction!

  81. Sean M says:

    I'm wondering if the Nosiey Crkcket is firing /antimatter?

  82. Sean M says:

    Well I think we can agree the Cricket is firing some sort of exotic energy!

  83. Sean M says:

    7:14 Time to use the neurolizer again lol!

  84. Just Headdie says:

    question, is the noisy cricket ballistic or energy such as laser?

  85. Malik Bluntblade says:

    Huge fan of the channel. Buy what if the Criclet doesn't fire a projectile, rather a burst of kinetic energy, like a super concentrated, quantum leafblower focused at that point, because sci-fi?

  86. Timed Revolver says:

    I get the feeling the Noisy Cricket was designed to launch the person firing it. Why else would K give him such a devastating weapon, unless it was a hazing thing MiB did to rookies?

    It probably doesn't damage organic matter, so he's not in danger of killing anyone by discharging in public.

  87. John Kimble says:

    If it's a Sci-Fi Weapon then it might have created shockwave recoil in the direction of Will Smith. 😛

  88. KrazyFuckinCrackers1 says:

    One thing not mentioned in this video. if you ignored the fact that it would likely vaporize and just think about a small piece of metal moving that fast it would just go through whatever it hit without doing hardly any damage to it. It would just poke a hole in it the exact size or very close to the same size as the object.

  89. Ta Hun Kwai says:

    Why isn't NASA using whales as fule

  90. RedNeckGaming says:

    This assumes that the discharge is in the form of a projectile, and not a particle stream or other exotic energy discharge..which would mean? It's tv, odds are they didn't take any of this into consideration, but based on the damage done, especially the diameter of the impact hole, it is far more likely than not, that it is not a tiny physical projectile.

  91. Ken Mercer says:

    Is Will Smith evil Spock?

  92. bouboulroz says:

    3:35 the best thing about the Noisy Cricket is that it actually does both :
    – The first projectile is very light and shot at an insane velocity.
    – And the heavier projectile thrown at a relatively low speed is the shooter.

  93. Thomas Boys says:

    Do we need to conserve momentum? I didn't even know it was an endangered species.

  94. Jack Brown says:

    Wouldn’t the projectile just go straight through you? I imagine it would do that instead of knock you back because of how small it would be.

  95. VanLifeCrisis says:

    You can see big rifles knocking people off their feet on youtube.

  96. OXOTNHK aka D3ath Patr0l says:

    I always thought the noisy cricket used some sort of alien energy projectile, probably surrounded by electromagnetism or gravity using more alien tech, all done inside the syringe tube thingamajig

  97. NovaAge says:

    my favorite part

    W H A L E

  98. paintedblack09 says:

    At 7:09, that "WHAT?!" sounds angry af and I can't stop laughing at it.

  99. Oliver Downing says:

    Maybe the recoil is so high that it would send you that far back even if you were squishy-bendy. What kind of momentum would that imply?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *