# Taipu's strength - analysis

Yes another one of these is finally here.
This time we are going to look at the physical strength of our best boy Taipu.
Famously in MNOG, he is depicted lifting and tossing away giant boulders bigger than he is, so I was interested in how much strength this would require on his part.

But before we get into the actual analysis, let’s establish few things. This is an analysis of a strength of a Matoran, one of the weakest sapient species of MU. However there are more specifics to consider: Taipu is an Onu-Matoran who are said to be stronger than most other types thanks to their elemental affiliation. On the other hand the Matoran of 2001 are deminutive and weaker than normally thanks to the adverse effects of Makuta’s pods. And on the third hand, out of the whole population of Onu-Matoran with afformentioned characteristics, Taipu is the strongest individual specimen. We do not know how all of these factors affect the overall strength, but they are important to keep in mind.

With that out of the way, let’s get to business!
I took equivalent screenshots of the scene in question in scale to eachother to be analysed. I used one to measure the pixel height of Taipu and the other to measure the boulder. The latter was a bit tricky because it has such an irregular shape - I eventually settled on a best fitting elipse where chunks of rock outside the boundary approximately corresponded to the empty space inside. Thanks to this I got the height and width of the boulder and I assumed the width value in place of thickness to keep as close to perfect ellipsoid as possible:

The reason I had to use two pictures was that one has the entire boulder, but in the other, Taipu is standing upright instead of squat. Because the perspective does not change between them and the screenshots have identical sizes, their resolution is identical as well.

And resolution is what I calculated next. Using Taipu’s pixel height and a height of 2001 Matoran I calculated in one of my earlier analyses (0.8872 m, or 88.72 cm), I was able to determine that the resolution of the pictures is 0.22 cm/px.
With this in mind, it is easy to convert pixel values to centimeters, which is what I did for the boulder.
The results indicate the following:
height: 140.36 cm
width: 114.18 cm
thickness: 114.18 cm

Ok, so next we need to figure out the volume. The formula for ellipsoid volume is: Volume = 4/3 * π * A * B * C
where A, B and C are semi-axes of the three dimensions, so just divide those numbers by two.
Plugging the numers in, we get a final volume of 958125 cm3.

Nice!

Now we can proceed to the final step which is to calculate its mass. But for that we need to know the density of the rock the boulder is made of. Obviously we do not know what type of rock this is and it may or may not be protodermic, but there is a pretty good educated guess I am comfortable with…
Looking at the rock’s appearance and texture it appears it could be basalt:

Basalt makes a lot of sense, not only thanks to its look, but the setting - Mata Nui is a volcanic island and basalt is a volcanic rock that is most predominant on Earth. We also know that basalt was among many polynesian inspirations of early Bionicle. This is the best we can probably get.
The average density of basalt is 2.949 g/cm3.

Now we can finally get to the value we were looking for. The total mass of that basaltic boulder Taipu is lifting is a whopping 2825510.625 g, or 2.83 tons!
Taipu is lifting almost 3 tons like it was nothing and proceeds to lift it all the way above his head and toss it away like a mere pebble!
He really is a strong guy.

Of course there is more that can be deciphered, but this is where I would ask you readers to add your skills to the mix. Since I wanted this one to be interactive I have the following task for you: calculate the distance the thrown boulder travelled.

• The first boulder (which is thrown) has the same shape and thus mass as the one analysed here.

• Right before being thrown its lowest edge is situated right at the head height of Taipu which is afformentioned 88.72 cm and the boulder is held horizontally instead of vertically like was the case in this analysis (so the elipse is on its side).

• Assume the boulder flies in straightline and there landscape is flat. Also assume earth-like gravity for this (even though it wouldn’t really be the case).

• And lastly, the time the boulder remains airborne is 0.83 seconds (25 frames between leaving Taipu’s hands and the first shake of the screen indicating landing, 30 fps video).

We don’t know the force at which the rock was thrown, but if there is a way to calculate its descent without it, then perhaps that can be calculated later. I am interested in what all of you will cook up!

PS:
Here is the table with values from my analysis.

10 Likes

Whoa! That is one strong Matoran!

3 Likes

Even more than your analysis shows. Take this moment from the third Bohrok Online Animation:

We can’t say for sure exactly how much weight Taipu was holding here, since this image seems to show that the boulder is partially resting on the ground:

However, a quick analysis with similar assumptions to yours shows that the boulder is 3238 tonnes.

Analysis

Assuming the boulder is a perfect sphere, V = (4/3)*pi*(r^3) = (4/3)*pi*(6.4 m)^3 ~ 1098 m^3

Then, assuming the same density of 2949 kg/(m^3), calculate the mass:

1098 m^3 * 2959 kg/(m^3) ~ 3238 tonnes.

I’ll admit that this analysis wasn’t as thorough as yours; I just measured the items approximately in Google Drawings, and the spherical assumption is probably an oversimplification. No matter how you slice it, though, Taipu is still lifting an absolutely ridiculous amount of weight here. Even if I’m off by a factor of 100, that’s still dozens of tonnes (and in his weakened state; just imagine what a Toa of Earth could do, or a Toa of Earth with a Pakari).

P.S.

You missed a decimal place in this number, though it seems that you used the correct value in your calculation

8 Likes

Thanks for catching the typo

Good extension of my findings. There are certainly more unknown variables in this second example, but it is at least safe to say that what I calculated is not Taipu’s limit, or even close to it.

Regarding the Toa of Earth, I tried to do similar calculation with Onua Nuva and his lifting of the big spherical boulder against Borok-Kal, but I am currently not satisfied with my findings.

While I am satisfied with the boulder measurement, there are several things to consider with Onua’s height. He is shorter than average Toa because of his squat posture; we see in this picture that his legs are not completely stretched out and he could go higher; there is the eternal question of perspective and how the “toes” of his feet are closer to the camera than his head. You can see in the two pictures that I tried to compensate for these and tried two variants, but neither one is ideal and even such small discrepancy creates massive differences in image resolution and by extension boulder mass.
This was 191 t vs 304 t.

The perspective thing is sometimes easy to solve, other times not so much. In this case I think it is more tricky. All of these problems could potentially be solved by comparing the height of physical figures and calculating ratios between them. Onua could even be set to the posture he has in the panel, but I don’t have the figures on hand right now.

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I believe it’s been canonically stated that the average Toa can lift more than one ton, so that’s interesting to note as well.

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Here’s the quote:

1) Can the average Toa lift more than 1 Ton?
1) Probably, yes

(You were spot on)

I wonder if there’s any overlap between the strengths of Matoran and Toa; could a particularly strong Matoran be stronger than a particularly weak Toa, or are the Toa far beyond the Matoran in terms of strength?

3 Likes

I would say that the Nuva far surpass even the strongest Matoran in terms of strength, but the powerless Mata and Nuva could have less strength than Taipu. My reasoning here is based on the fact that the Toa suffered physical weakness from the loss of their masks and elemental powers, to the point where they were knocked out in the Ignition story by the removal of their masks.

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Maybe, but then again, Toa were always portrayed as an upgrade from Matoran in every aspect, which would include strength. But perhaps Taipu specifically is way stronger than other Matoran, so he alone might have some overlap with strength of a Toa. He was always the lifter/strongman of the bunch.

I’m pretty sure the Nuva were knocked out first and then the masks were removed, a.k.a. it was not the removal itself that knocked them out. Also even maskless Nuva showed a lot of might against the Resistance team, especially Kopaka going terminator mode.

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