What's the origin of the nuclear radiation = big monsters sic-fi trope?
June 8, 2014 1:25 AM Subscribe
With the recent reboot of Gozilla, I got to thinking about classic (and not-so-classic) 1950s era giant monster movies such as Them!
or The Beginning of the End
, which invariably involve giant monsters that are created through nuclear experiments or explosions.
posted by saslett to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is there a specific movie or novel that started this whole idea? It's not exactly obvious. I'm not aware that "making things bigger" is a property of exposure to nuclear radiation; I'm more apt to think of burns, cancer, or death. I get that there was a lot of misinformation and misguided optimism about nuclear power in the 1950s, but was it ever a common notion--outside of bad sci-fi movies--that exposing something to radiation could make it larger or stronger? And if so, where did that idea come from?