The real Nikola Tesla is a strange historical figure. His works in the field of electricity, particularly his groundbreaking work in alternating currents, laid a foundation for countless technological advancements that would follow. Yet he’s more famous these days for his reclusive nature, wild beliefs, and his many failed (yet utterly fascinating) inventions and prototypes. The combination of these attributes have led many people to dub him a true “mad scientist,” and his place in pop culture revolves almost entirely around that distinction
Take for instance the graphic novel “The Five Fists of Science.” It’s a steampunk world tale of the fictional adventures of Tesla, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, and other historical figures. In it, Tesla regularly wields two lighting guns that allow him all sorts of abilities and chances to dominate his enemies. Most anyone reading this story would look at this invention and either say “That’s awesome!” and silently wish for a pair, or merely think nothing of it at all and write it off as one of those “comic book things.”
Inventor Rob Flickenger is the rare third type of person. He read this book, and saw those guns, and said, “Why not?”
What that no doubt perfectly sane and well adjusted man is holding is, for all purposes, a lighting gun. Or, as he would prefer it be known, The Tesla Gun. It’s very real, and it certainly works.
While the design is different than the inspiration, it’s no less impressive. Especially considering that the body of it is simply a Nerf Gun that’s wrapped in aluminum. From there the blueprint gets slightly more complicated, but not so tricky that the creator is afraid to post the basic recipe of one on his blog for all to see (though to be fair, even he recommends some pretty extreme caution).
The process is one thing, but what really matters are the results. And whether you’re looking for simple light show, or just need to stake your claim of the city of Metropolis, this thing definitely gets results. Specifically it can produce over 20,000 volts of electricity in the form of a brilliant grouping of electrical arcs. If you’re wondering, this is certainly enough to kill a man, including the user.
So what is the long term implications of this invention? It has none. What moral questions does it raise concerning science? None that I can think of. Does this represent the future of weaponry? Most definitely not. It is simply an entertaining example of how both the evolution of technology, and the persistency of human ingenuity, have led us into an era where we now get to question the possibility of even the most ludicrous sci-fi inventions.
And to think the inventor just made it to accessorize the lab coat his fiancé got him for Halloween.