Godzilla is a famous movie monster that has both protected and destroyed cities like Toyko and New York City.
Although his origins change from time to time, they usually revolve around some form of lizard or other reptile that comes into contact with radiation.
The radiation then turns the creature into a gigantic monster with a bad attitude.
Considering the popularity of the character, you may wonder if Godzilla is, or ever was, real.
Here’s what you need to know about Godzilla and whether he is real.
Is Godzilla Real?
No, Godzilla is not real.
He’s a fictional monster created during the golden age of horror, supernatural, and science fiction films.
That said, Godzilla’s design inspiration was real at one point.
The original visualization of Godzilla was an irradiated octopus.
That changed, however, and the designers decided to go with a variant of a T-Rex.
As such, you might say that Godzilla is real in the sense that T-Rex dinosaurs were once real.
However, none of them ever became irradiated to the point of turning into Godzilla as audiences know him.
So, Godzilla isn’t a real creature that exists in the world.
What Are Godzilla’s Origins?
Since Godzilla isn’t real, you may wonder where he came from.
That story changes based on the Godzilla film.
While there are a few that stick to the original story, there are others who have reinvented his origin to change the tone and moral of the film.
Here are some of the origins that Godzilla has had in the past.
1. Nuclear Radiation
One of the most common methods by which Godzilla becomes Godzilla is radiation.
In the original 1954 film, the radiation came from a series of nuclear tests performed by the United States.
The U.S was conducting those tests in the Pacific Ocean.
From those tests, a reptile received radiation poisoning and mutated into the monster known as Godzilla.
The original reptile that turned into Godzilla in that first film wreaks havoc on Tokyo but is ultimately destroyed.
So, in the sequels that followed, it was a different reptile transformed by radiation and hence a different Godzilla acting in the events in those films.
Though they have the same origin the original Godzilla movies actually featured multiple different Godzillas, all transformed by radiation poisoning from United States testing.
Because of their connection to U.S nuclear testing, the first few Godzilla films were a way to depict the tragedy of the atomic attack that the United States waged on the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
2. Radiation Poisoning From Japanese Sources
It was in the 1991 film that Godzilla first received a new origin story.
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah featured Godzilla and another dangerous monster called King Ghidorah.
King Ghidorah was three different animals, or creatures, mutated together.
Aliens had an involvement in this origin story.
To keep Godzilla from attacking Tokyo, aliens went back in time and removed the lizard before radiation could affect its genetics.
To replace Godzilla, the aliens moved three, smaller, creatures to where Godzilla had been.
When the nuclear tests began, the radiation affected the three smaller creatures instead of the reptile that would become Godzilla.
The three smaller creatures then turned into King Ghidorah.
The only way to stop King Ghidorah was to get Godzilla back and have him fight the large monster.
So, a team of Japanese soldiers went to the island where the un-radiated reptile was.
They then blasted it with radiation to make the reptile mutate into Godzilla.
As Godzilla, the monster went on to fight and defeat King Ghidorah.
In this instance, his origin is still traced back to radiation.
However, the one responsible for subjecting the reptile to radiation is different.
3. Iguana And Radiation
Another origin story happened in the 1998 Godzilla film.
While the other Godzilla films remained rather generic with the type of reptile that would eventually become Godzilla, this film showed the exact type of reptile.
The film starts with an iguana that gets caught in the blast of a nuclear test.
This event occurs in Polynesia back in 1968.
Over the next few decades, the iguana slowly mutated, growing larger and larger.
It also starts to make its way to the waters surrounding New York City during that time.
Eventually, this new form of Godzilla emerges to terrorize the residents of New York City.
This origin is a little different from the others in that Godzilla was specifically an iguana.
The blast of radiation also occurred in Polynesia rather than Japan.
4. Soul Possession
Radiation isn’t the only origin story that Godzilla has.
In the 2001 film, Godzilla, Mothra, And King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, the origin is a little different.
In this film, the original Godzilla from the 1954 film is responsible for the events that occur in the movie.
Although it was originally killed in that film, the body of Godzilla becomes possessed by souls.
In particular, it’s the souls of those who died serving on the Pacific Ocean during World War II.
They all come together to create an extremely evil spirit that takes possession of Godzilla’s body.
As a result, the Godzilla in this film is purely evil.
While Godzilla’s original body came from radiation, he’s eventually brought back to life by the souls of lost soldiers.
5. Ancient Creature
The 2014 film, Godzilla, also had a very different origin for Godzilla.
In this film, Godzilla was an ancient creature.
He was a simple product of nature rather than a creature exposed to radiation.
The film suggests that there may have been others like him.
Radiation did get slightly involved, however.
In this story, Godzilla did receive radiation from a nuclear attack in 1954.
However, it was because the people were trying to destroy Godzilla.
He was already a large and ancient creature at the time.
The military believed that they had successfully killed Godzilla after the nuclear strike since the creature disappeared.
Instead, Godzilla remained in hiding for several years until he eventually emerged once more in 2014.
In particular, Godzilla returned to fight some of the other monsters plaguing the city.
This Godzilla is also part of the MonsterVerse.
All creatures belonging to the MonsterVerse are essentially ancient titans who grow large and strong by feeding off radiation.
While Godzilla acts as more of a balancing force among these titans, others act for more evil purposes.
6. Nuclear Waste
The 2016 film, Shin Godzilla, had another slightly different origin story.
In this film, the original Godzilla creature was a prehistoric sea-dwelling creature.
Eventually, it encounters nuclear waste in the ocean.
This causes it to become irradiated and slowly transform over the course of the movie.
This is a little different from the other origin stories in that this Godzilla wasn’t exposed to radiation through a nuclear attack or test.
Instead, it became irradiated due to nuclear waste that existed in the ocean.
Could Godzilla Exist In Real Life?
Although Godzilla isn’t real yet, you may wonder if Godzilla could exist.
After all, radiation can cause genetic deformities that might alter a creature’s appearance.
According to Business Insider, it isn’t possible.
The problem with Godzilla is its sheer size.
If the creature relies on the same biological limitations as everyone else, its heart would be too small to power its body.
In particular, the heart would be unable to pump enough blood to the other parts of its body.
Its brain wouldn’t receive the blood, and thus oxygen, that it needs to survive.
As a result, Godzilla would become brain dead.
For Godzilla to survive, it would need to evolve and find a better way to supply blood and oxygen to its brain.
Its heart, for example, would need to be extremely large.
The downside of that is that its heart would also be extremely vulnerable to attack.
In most cases, a creature like that would be unlikely to survive in the wild.
As such, Godzilla isn’t a creature that could ever exist, normally, in nature.
Where Does Godzilla Live?
Like its differing origins, Godzilla has several places that it lives or comes from.
Here are some of the places where Godzilla is usually found.
1. Hollow Earth
One of the places where Godzilla lives or comes from is the Hollow Earth.
The 2019 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters is one of the films that depict this location.
The Hollow Earth is a series of underground tunnels at the bottom of the ocean.
In the film, it’s explained that it used to be a place where an ancient civilization worshipped Godzilla as a god.
The inspiration for the underwater city came from a set of ruins near Yonaguni, Japan in the water.
The ruins are around 10,000 years old.
In the film, however, Godzilla uses the Hollow Earth city as a place to rest and recuperate.
2. Godzilla Island
A TV series featured Godzilla Island.
This was an island in the Pacific Ocean where many of the big monsters ended up.
Military organizations forced some of the monsters there while others chose to move there or discovered it while looking for somewhere safe to rest.
Godzilla lives on the island in relative peace except for when the Xilien, the enemies on the show, decide to cause havoc.
Godzilla often finds himself fighting against the monsters that the Xilien throw at him.
He also tends to ally with some of the other monsters on the island to fight off his enemies.
Many consider Japan, and more specifically the ocean close to Japan’s coast, to be Godzilla’s home.
Whenever Godzilla emerges, he tends to do so from the ocean close to Tokyo.
As such, a common place for Godzilla to live is in the ocean close to Tokyo.
For many of the Godzilla films, it’s also that specific area where he originates.
For the 1998 film, Polynesia is where Godzilla came from.
He spent his life as a simple iguana in Polynesia before he became irradiated.
Then he made his way to the waters close to New York City.
He lived there for a time before emerging and destroying the city.
What Are Godzilla’s Weaknesses?
Godzilla is a titan of strength and endurance.
Not unlike Superman, it may be difficult to first discern any weaknesses that Godzilla might have.
Here are some of the weaknesses that Godzilla has throughout the films.
Due to Godzilla’s size and bulk, agility isn’t his strongest suit.
He isn’t able to move or dodge as quickly as other monsters.
As a result, when he’s faced with several different targets or enemies, he may have a difficult time.
When facing King Ghidorah, for example, Godzilla has to fight against the creature’s three heads.
Being able to dodge attacks from the multiple heads isn’t easy for Godzilla.
Due to his size, it’s hard to move the whole bulk of his body away from a strike, especially if another one is coming on the other side.
Not only does it take speed to move that fast, but it also takes a certain element of balance.
Godzilla is a reptilian-like creature that stands on two legs.
He usually has a long tail and some sort of plates or spikes on his back.
As a result, he doesn’t have the most balance.
His tail can help, but if he’s pushed backward, there’s only so much his tail can do.
His sheer weight makes him likely to fall.
Due to Godzilla’s bulk, agility isn’t one of his strong suits.
2. Lack Of Oxygen
During the first Godzilla film in 1954, the way that the city was able to kill Godzilla with a weapon called the Oxygen Destroyer.
The Oxygen Destroyer basically removes oxygen in water.
It makes the oxygen dissolve.
All animal life requires oxygen to survive.
Not even Godzilla can survive without oxygen.
As such, the Oxygen Destroyer is one of the only weapons known to be able to hurt Godzilla.
3. Incapitation Through The Destruction Of A Second Brain
Not every Godzilla has two brains.
However, in the 1993 film, Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II, he does have two brains.
One of Godzilla’s brains is in his head per usual.
The second brain is actually along his spine.
In one of the fights between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla, Mechagodzilla incapacitates Godzilla by injuring the brain on the spine.
While Godzilla was able to get revived later, it is a bit of weakness since future enemies could target his second brain to make him pass out.
Finishing the monster off afterward would be a no-brainer.
4. Too Much Radiation
While Godzilla, in many cases, may have evolved from radiation exposure, he’s also weak to it at a certain point.
Depending on the film, Godzilla tends to have a positive relationship with radiation.
He uses it to power himself and enhance his abilities.
However, in the 1995 film, Godzilla vs Destoroyah, Godzilla ends up taking on too much radiation.
He ends up melting down his own heart to get strong enough to defeat Destoroyah.
He dies in the end after successfully defeating his enemy.
That said, his son, Godzilla Jr., ends up soaking in the radiation and growing stronger.
He essentially takes his father’s place as the new defender.
This demonstrates that in some iterations, Godzilla is weak to radiation when he’s exposed to continuously high levels.
5. Powerful Missiles
Although many don’t consider the 1998 Godzilla film canon, it’s worth mentioning this version’s weakness.
Godzilla was his usual strong self in the film, but he eventually fell to a series of torpedoes launched at his body.
The onslaught eventually killed him.
As such, it suggests that Godzilla’s body can only take so much damage before it starts to come apart.
It took several missiles to kill Godzilla, but the powerful torpedos eventually broke through his hard exterior.
While Godzilla isn’t real, some of the iterations of him did use real-life creatures as his original form before he mutates into Godzilla.
That said, a real-life Godzilla couldn’t exist in the form popularly used in the films because he is far too big for his heart to power his body.
Real biology aside, there are a few weaknesses that Godzilla has displayed throughout the films about him.