People Would Have To Look Like This Gross Monster To Survive Car Crashes

If you’ve ever spent a considerable amount of time looking out the car window wondering what would happen if you crashed right then and there, you probably already had your answer: you’d sustain severe injuries and probably, depending on the force of the crash, not make it. But a team of Australian scientists and artists banded together to create a prototype of a human body that could actually withstand a crash as part of the Victorian Transport Accident Commission’s road safety campaign “Towards Zero.”

Meet Graham, the brain-child of sculptor Patricia Piccinni, road safety engineer David Logan, and trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield. He might look like something straight out of a bad acid trip but, as the campaign says, it’s to prove “how vulnerable our bodies really are.” He has no neck, a huge head, a protruding forehead, inverted ears, and a dozen nipples (???). The fat head means fewer brain injuries and the flat face means no broken nose or damage to the ears. Sacks of skin along his ribcage operate as airbags, shielding his torso. And check out those legs for days: his knees are designed to bend in any direction to avoid broken bones.

The campaign is a reminder that, contrary to our widespread belief, we are not invincible.

In fact, as little as around 20 miles/hour of force is enough to kill you, you, and Tough Guy in the corner over there pounding the protein powder. Given the 3,287 deaths a day attributed to car crashes in the U.S., according to the Association For Safe International Road Travel, it’s about time we all got served a good hypothetical morbid scenario to remind us of our mortality. We’ll never look like Graham, so are we all doomed? Well, not quite.

The campaign continuously alludes to our “safe system in place.” It doesn’t flat out tell us to wear seat belts, cross only at the signal or cross walks, ensure our cars’ airbags are functioning, or adhere to the speed limit — though those are obviously excellent places to start. It reminds us to value the “belief that human health is more important than anything else. Our bodies are strong, but there’s only so much force we can withstand before we break.” So, in a way, now’s a good time to get off our high horse and think critically about our powers — and limitations — as humans.

Maybe think twice about buying that new car.