Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky, released his annual “Festivus” report highlighting unusual or questionable expenditures by the U.S. government in 2022.
The report revealed that the federal government funded a study to investigate whether the Marvel supervillain “Thanos” could snap his fingers while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet in the film Avengers: Infinity War.
The study ultimately determined that it would not have been possible. However, the funding for this study has raised questions among taxpayers about the use of their hard-earned money for seemingly frivolous research.
Georgia Tech researchers led a study on the speed at which humans can snap their fingers and found that a finger snap “produces the highest rotational accelerations observed in humans, even faster than the arm of a professional baseball pitcher.”
Before conducting the study, the researchers had developed a “framework” to understand “ultrafast motions” in living beings. The idea for the study came from the popular Avengers: Infinity War film, where the character Thanos snaps his fingers while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet.
However, the study also delved into more general questions about the purpose of finger snapping in humans and whether other primates have this ability.
Senator Rand Paul called out the $118,971 grant awarded to researchers for investigating whether the Marvel villain Thanos could snap his fingers while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet.
The report humorously referred to “national debt” as “the real infinity war.”
In addition to the Thanos study, the report also highlighted a grant of nearly $200,000 “to verify that the relationship between pets and children is beneficial to mental health” and a $50 million investment to promote tourism in Tunisia.
These examples have raised concerns among taxpayers about the use of their hard-earned money.