Feeds

Angels can't fly: Official

UK prof shoots down heavenly beings

High performance access to file storage

A UK academic has some very bad news for those who believe they'll one day be fluttering through the pearly gates, because unless they're carrying some form of heavenly jet pack, their appointment with Saint Peter is definitely cancelled.

The reason? Angels can't actually fly, according to University College London's Roger Wotton. The good Professor of Biology examined pictures of angels and cherubs, and arrived at the shock conclusion that they structurally aren't up to the job.

He explained: “Even a cursory examination of the evidence in representational arts shows that angels and cherubs cannot take off and cannot use powered flight. And even if they used gliding flight, they would need to be exposed to very high wind velocities at take off - such high winds that they would be blown away and have no need for wings."

Of course, angelic beings lack the skeletal and muscular adaptations which allow birds to take to the air. Fairies and their insect wings are also on a beat to nowhere, as Wotton insisted: “The distortion of the thorax needed for flight in fairies with butterfly wings would be exceedingly uncomfortable. For sure, fairies don’t fly.”

Wotton's paper, Angels, Putti, Dragons and Fairies: Believing the Impossible, published in UCL's Opticon magazine, examines just why angels need soaring abilities in the first place.

He notes: “Angels are very powerful religious icons for people with faith. Their similarity to humans adds to their power. At the same time, they have wings on them because they are more than human. They take messages to heaven and therefore have to fly."

Professor Wotton's other current research includes "the transport and fate of faecal matter in streams and rivers", according to his UCL biog. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.