Leicester scientists investigate Monsters Inc notion that energy can be produced by screams

Could screams power Britain? Credit: © All Action Pictures Ltd /EMPICS Entertainment

Disney and Pixar film Monsters, Inc,. is based on the concept that extracted screams can be used to produce energy. However, students from the University of Leicester are experimenting whether this concept could be used to generate enough energy to power the country.

The energy requirements of the UK would need everyone in the country to scream 2,800,000,000 times a day at the highest volume humanly possible, reaching 129 dB.

The study was inspired by the Disney and Pixar animated film Monsters, Inc., where main characters Mike Wazowski and Sulley use a ‘Scream Extractor’ to collect the screams of human children to supply energy to their hometown, Monstropolis.

University of Leicester student Osarenkhoe Uwuigbe applied this concept to the entire population of Britain, assessing the viability of screams as a power source.

By multiplying the average person’s daily energy usage in Britain, which is 125 kWh, by the recorded population (around 64.1 million at the time of the study), the student came up with a rough estimate of the amount of energy needed to meet Britain’s requirements.

Powering the entire country through scream power would therefore only be possible if humans were able to scream at a far higher volume – or if the population of the country increased.

An important part of being a professional scientist is the ability to make connections between the vast quantity of information students have at their command, and being able to utilise the knowledge and techniques they have previously mastered in a new or novel context.

Dr Cheryl Hurkett from the University of Leicester’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Science

The full student paper ‘The Viability of Screams as a Power Source’ is available here.