This week I’m going to deviate from the comic topic for a bit and talk about something a good friend of mine Malcolm showed me, a theory surrounding the original Jurassic Park. If you were like me and saw it at a very early age then you probably grew up loving dinosaurs and everything about them. The original film directed by Steven Spielberg was released on June 9, 1993; I was a whopping 1.5 years old at that point. The movie is based on a novel written by Michael Crichton who also co-wrote the screenplay showing you how faithful the movie is to the source material. Crichton is famous for his work with Jurassic Park but two of his other works that i thoroughly enjoy are The Andromeda Strain and Timeline. Sadly Michael Crichton passed away in November of 2008, but a new novel was just published posthumously titled Dragon Teeth which features dinosaur bones and gunslingers… if that’s not a great combination then I don’t know what is.
Before we get to the theory let’s give a bit of a background on the plot of the movie/book.
The entire premise of the movie is that a wealthy businessman named John Hammond (CEO of InGen) discovers a way that by using modern technology they can bring dinosaurs back to life. By hunting for fossilized mosquitoes that have been trapped in amber (fossilized tree sap) they extract the DNA of the last dinosaur that particular mosquito bit, and use a species of frog, fill in the DNA gaps to get viable dinosaur DNA. They then use this DNA along with modern genetic research to clone dinosaurs and alter their genetic structure to ensure all the dinosaurs are female to avoid uncontrolled breeding. InGen purchased an island in Costa Rica called Isla Nublar where they opened a theme park to showcase their dinosaurs. When a park dino handler is killed by a Velociraptor the investors order Hammond to bring in some outside experts to validate the park and their security measures. Things obviously do not go according to plan and the dinosaurs get loose. Not only are the dinosaurs loose but it is later revealed that the species of frog they used to fill the DNA gaps can actually change it’s sex for mating and thus the dinosaurs have been breeding uncontrolled.
Now that the background is explained let’s move onto the theory…
So the theory comes from Redditor Brownra04, and the theory goes like this, there were never any actual dinosaurs at Jurassic Park. The entire idea of Jurassic Park centers around the idea that geneticists extrapolated usable dinosaur DNA from the fossilized mosquitoes which we know is not possible, even within the realm of the movie. The DNA has a half life that would’ve decayed beyond any reasonable form prior to the 65 million year discovery. Not only that but the theory also adds that the mosquitoes would have bitten more than one dinosaur and that would have contaminated the sample. Having DNA from potentially hundreds of different dinosaurs with no way to distinguish them is a geneticists nightmare. In order to cover this up InGen used DNA from known reptiles to create the “dinosaurs” on display at Jurassic Park.
This is also explained that we know Velociraptors are roughly three feet tall and covered in feathers, not the nine foot man-eating killing machines from the movies. We also learn in subsequent movies that all the births of the dinosaurs take place on the second island Isla Sorna. This directly contradicts John Hammond when he says that insists on being present for every birth. Hammond also tells Dr. Ellie Sattler that he started his career with a travelling flea circus that (despite the testimony of the kids he performed his circus for) had no actual fleas in it at all. The theory continues that the whole point of the visit from Drs. Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm was that if Hammond could fool a paleontologist and a paleobotanist into believing he had brought dinosaurs and extinct plants back to life and a mathematician into believing the science all added up, then he could fool the general public. The entirety of Jurassic Park was fabricated and the whole thing was a sham!
HOW IT WORKS
As the theory previously stated the subsequent movies that were released as sequels to this provide more and more future insight to the validity of the theory. The Lost World the sequel to the original Jurassic Park shows the protagonists and antagonists travel to the first island and discover that the first island was only a show for the tourists and that everything was actually done on the second island. The third film shows Dr. Grant travel to the second island and see for himself that everything was done there and that the nightmare of the Jurassic Park was far from over. The fourth film (and the newest Jurassic World) shows the geneticist from the first movie Dr. Henry Wu ( played by B.D. Wong) working with the new park and cross breeding dinosaurs DNA with modern animals to create new dinos. The biggest example of this is the big bad dino from the film the Indominus Rex which was an amalgamation of T-Rex, Gigantosaurus, Rugops, Majungasaurus, Carnotaurus, Tree Frog and Cuttlefish DNA to breed the perfect killing machine.
The reason that the cross breeding went as smoothly as it did for the whole 4th movie was that the geneticists had been doing it all along and that when all their research was lost when InGen abandoned the islands, they didn’t lose their access to dino DNA samples because they never existed in the first place. This also explains why all the dinosaurs in the movies look how we imagine them to, giant pi-pedal killing lizards; when in reality, they probably all had feathers and most were probably smaller than we picture them to be.
I’m not going to lie, this theory had me sitting there scratching my head and trying to find ways to prove it wrong. Like the theory that Indiana Jones is not essential to the Plot of Raiders of the Lost Ark at all. I will be the first to admit, this theory actually makes sense and can work in the context of the series. Do I believe that this is what Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg wanted to convey when they started this franchise all those years ago? absoloutely not. That being said I can very much appreciate the amount of thought and work that went into this theory and I commend Brownra04 for bringing this to the world. For myself, and I think many others, the magic of Jurassic Park will always be about the tenacity of man playing God. I like my dinosaurs coming from Amber and I like them cloning them back to life. the entire series is (as the tagline of the original movie said) and adventure 65 million years in the making.