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Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) Poster

Goofs

Factual errors 

Magnesium is a highly flammable metal, but while it is easy to ignite when powdered or shaved into thin strips, it is difficult to ignite in mass or bulk.
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Anachronisms 

When they first realize they are standing on the muscovite when the camera pulls back and above there is a heart traced in the muscovite just behind Trevor.
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Character error 

Hannah says "there are no roads to the north". If she means there are no roads to the Snaefells Glacier, she is wrong. Anyone can drive a regular car within 500 meters of it.
Sean mentions "booking a flight to Reykjavik". International flights going to, from or through Iceland use Keflavik Airport. The airport in Reykjavik is what most countries would consider a regional airport, unable to handle large jetliners.
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In the opening, Trevor is explaining continental drift to a class while he plays a video. However, the video shows India moving westward across the Indian Ocean and colliding with Africa. This video is playing in reverse.
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Trevor identifies the luminous birds as a species that went extinct "...150 million years ago." However, the oldest known bird, Archaeopteryx, emerged between 150-145 million years ago, meaning that the luminous birds went extinct before birds began.
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Continuity 

From the giant mushroom scene to the "sunset" scene on the beach, the sweat on Trevor's, Sean's, and Hannah's shirts keeps disappearing and reappearing.
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(at around 1h 18 mins) In the scene where Prof Anderson, Hannah and Sean are stuck in the magma pipe in the T-Rex jaw, Prof Anderson tries to ignite the magnesium with a flare. He instructs Hannah and Sean to hold his legs so he can reach further down the magma pipe. As he holds the flare to the rock face you can see that the T-Rex teeth are at chest height, indicating that he is not leaning far out of the jaw. When he tries to get back into the jaw you can see the teeth are at waist height now.
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(at around 1h 20 mins) After Prof Anderson has ignited the magnesium seam in the magma pipe causing the water to pour into the pipe and generate a steam geyser, the trio can be seen lying in the bottom of the T-Rex jaw as it hurtles towards the surface at great speed. At first, despite the speed, the trio's hair (particularly Sean's) is hardly moving from the wind. The next moment, as Sean declares, "This thing's heating up." you can see that their hair is waving around wildly.
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When the trio is first standing on the muscovite, the group reacts to falling before the muscovite floor falls out from underneath them.
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When Sean is lying on the "beach" after being carried across the ocean by the kite, he is wearing gloves. In the next shot, when he is standing up, the gloves are gone. In the next shot, he takes the gloves off. In the following shot, as he begins to follow the bird, they are gone again.
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When Trevor Anderson looks at the book in his flat, the front cover reads Journey to the Center of the Earth. Moments later, as he is flicking through the same book, the page headings read Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
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As they are flying the kite, there is a closeup of the rope feeding quickly through the carabiner yet in the next shot of Prof. Anderson holding the rope, it is not moving at all.
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When Hannah rolls over at the end of the ride in the mine, a loop of rope is over her right breast. Seconds later, the rope is gone.
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Just before the group are about to head out to sea on the raft, Trevor is shown explaining things to Sean and Hannah. When Trevor starts to explain things, he has a noticeable pimple (apparently covered with make up) then the scene goes away. But, when it returns, the pimple is gone.
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A few minutes after the mine-wagon race, the three main characters explore a vast cave. Hannah's necklace disappears, then reappears back a few seconds later.
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When Trevor and Sean go to the lab, Trevor has gloves on when he begins typing; both hands are bare when he begins pointing at the screen in the next shot.
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After Sean's adventure with the magnetic rocks, his waistband-knife holder falls down. Later on (at around 1h 7m) it is on his waist again, however it would have been impossible for him to obtain the knife after it fell.
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Backpacks tend to reappear at certain important plot turns and such. For example; when they first discover the world at the center of the earth, they throw away their backpacks and continue on without them, then, however, they reappear again prior to leaving on the raft and then while on the raft they are gone once more only to reappear once again prior to meeting the dinosaur. As for Sean's backpack, it is clearly missing when he is jumping the floating rocks and then at the end it reappears when they have landed the dinosaurs skull in Italy. Furthermore, no one is seen carrying an extra backpack at any time, maybe suggesting that the other two carry Sean's pack.
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Just before Trevor almost falls down the shaft Hannah is behind Sean. When she grabs Trevor to save him she has moved in front of Sean between shots.
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When Professor Alan Kitzens is measuring up Trevor's lab with the view to closing it down, Trevor folds his arms after the two shake hands. The scene then cuts to a view of Alan as he walks towards the door, where you see Trevor in the left of the shot folding his arms again.
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When Trevor gives Sean his dad's compass before they cross the ocean the compass is shown pointing different directions relative to his static position in three different shots. He is sitting on a log and his left and right hands don't move which gives reference, first it shows south-southeast is at his front, then in the next shot it's west at his front, and finally showing south-southwest at his front.
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Sean loses his gloves in the last half hour of the film however, for only one second during the slide in the skull you can see he has gloves, before they disappear again.
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(at around 1h 19 mins) During the slide down the volcano, it appears the skull will land towards the left of the house. Without any visual steering, it manages to land on the right of the house.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Trevor and Hannah's mine cart crashes into the wall, cables are briefly visible in the middle of the tracks.
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Errors in geography 

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where the party makes its descent, is a volcanic zone. They wouldn't be able to get very far down without reaching lava.
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Factual errors 

A diesel generator that was abandoned 60 years ago would not start by simply pushing the starter button; the batteries would be totally dead.
When Trevor tries to ignite the magnesium with a flare, he claims that it's "...too wet...". Magnesium burns in water, producing magnesium oxide and hydrogen - in fact, pouring water on burning magnesium intensifies the fire; the most effective way to douse a magnesium fore is to cover it with sand or dry dirt.
A steam geyser capable of lifting a boat with 3 passengers several hundred meters would scald the passengers to death, and the accompanying G-forces would flatten them into pancake smears.
Sean walks across a chasm on magnetic rocks that float on a horizontal plane and bump off one another like bits of flat wood. Magnetic poles either attract or repel, so the rocks should either snap together or repel from one another, spin, then snap together. Even if large, flat magnetic rocks somehow found a natural equilibrium between their weight and magnetism, the weight of a person walking on them would destroy it.
When falling down the entrance shaft, they yell at each other. It would be impossible for them to hear each other. Skydivers in the same situation cannot communicate with each other verbally due to the wind blowing up away from their faces and would not carry over to another person. The TV show MythBusters proved verbal communication in such a situation is impossible.
When Prof. Trevor Anderson asks Hannah Ásgeirsson the temperature, a Kestrel 2500 is shown briefly with a spinning fan. In actual fact, this fan is for detecting wind speed and will not move without wind. It would be impossible for the fan to be moving in its position at that time.
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Twice, the explorers run across veins of free metallic magnesium in the ground. Magnesium is extremely active chemically, and is only found in compounds. Since it also has a relatively low ignition temperature, and can burn under conditions that do not normally support combustion (such as under water or in certain oxygen-free environments), it would be unlikely to exist in a place that had been formed out of molten lava.
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Iceland lies over a volcanic plume at a place where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart. The earth's crust is rather thin at that point, and any existing cave systems could not go too far down. Based on current geological science, Iceland is a very implausible location for an adventure of this depth.
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A rock wall contains raw diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. The diamonds are clear and already cut. They should look like dull yellow pebbles.
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The lightning bolts in the movie are highly unrealistic. Lightning can't strike the same spot as quickly as in the movie, even with a highly attractive device. Lightning only forms when a charge from the ground meets a charge from the air, so Trevor would have been hit by the first bolt when it connected with the metal rod. It is also highly unlikely that a lightning strike would have enough energy to break through the rock in the mountain.
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When traveling through the subterranean forest, Trevor reads aloud from A Journey to the Center of the Earth, "The waterfalls, which for a long time could be heard flowing from afar, now cascaded along the towering canyon walls streaming along the rock with no end." This line does not occur in any English translation of the book.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

In neither this movie nor Journey to the Center of the Earth nor the source Jules Verne novel, does anyone get anywhere near the literal "center" of the Earth. The title is only a metaphor, like "the sun rises in the East" - it's useful for describing what we see, but is not scientifically accurate. We know this for several reasons. 1) It is not known how long Trevor, Hannah, and Sean fall (after the talk about water and stalagmites, they continue to fall and scream, and then it fades to later), but it's definitely not a day and a half, which is how long they would need to fall to reach the actual center of the earth. After a few seconds of falling, they would reach a terminal velocity of about 120 miles per hour, so a 4000 mile fall would take about 33 hours. However, this is true only if they go to the actual center of the planet. Since the Earth's core is molten metal and rock, it's obvious that they don't travel that far. 2) The pressure at the center of Earth is believed to be 3X10 to the eleventh power pascals. The pressure at sea level is approximately 101 kPa, meaning anything from the surface would be crushed by the enormous pressure of the Earth's center, and anything from the center would collapse when exposed to the pressure of the surface. So Trevor, Sean, and Hannah would have been crushed to death, and the blue bird would not have been able to live, let alone fly. 3) At the direct center of the earth, the mass of the earth is equal in all directions. As such, the gravitational force would be equal in every direction such that it would seem to the group that there was no gravity, and they would float. 4) In the climatic scene near the end, in the magma pipe, the magma pipe extends farther down with magma rising up out of it, indicating that the actual center of the earth is still farther down.
A T-Rex skull looks like it can't float; the eye sockets and nostril would let in water. However, the T-Rex's skull is a honeycombed lattice, not solid bone, to provide both strength and flexibility. Theoretically, there could be enough air pockets to make the skull float.
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In the tube, Trevor tries to light the magnesium with a flare. Seconds later, the flare is out. Flares usually last up to 15 minutes, but they can be smothered.
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The Giganotosaurus is bigger than its fossilized forebears in the Cenomanian Stage, 96 million years ago. This could have happened since that time.
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Plot holes 

Apart from the fact that the existence of the zero-gravity "magnetic field" which Sean reaches is implausible, everything seems to float around there, including the rocks and even Sean's Swiss Army knife. Although, Sean doesn't and is still subject to gravity and in danger of falling into the abyss. His head torch also drops into the chasm while he is clinging to the overturning floating rock. However; the pocket knife is metal, and is it plausible then that to an extent that the rocks are too (as they are "magnetic", and therefore likely metallic). Sean and his head torch are not, therefore would not be able to float as they are not a part of the floating magnetic field.
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Revealing mistakes 

While Sean is Googling in the airplane, he types without an on-screen keyboard. The PSP's only method of text input is through the triple-tap on-screen keyboard.
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When racing down the mine track, all three of them have to quickly duck. When Hanna ducks she leans on the handle on the handcar and raises the other end into the wooden beams, and it does not collide - obvious CGI in use.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

When they find the equipment left behind by an earlier expedition, Trevor remarks that it is "...state of the art... for a century ago." He's off by almost fifty years. Verne's novel was published in 1868, and he described the events as taking place in the year 1863. Anyone who was as familiar with the book as Trevor is supposed to be would know this.
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Continuity 

When Trevor and Hanna kiss after getting out from the volcano, Trevor does a movement with his arm twice, first while the camera is focusing on Sean, then he does it again in the actual scene.
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When the trio is in the T-Rex jaw, riding the steam geyser to the surface of the earth, Trevor's left arm is seen on top of Hannah's chest in one scene and behind her neck in the very next scene.
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(at about one hour twenty-one minutes) After the trio have been ejected by the steam geyser, they can be seen sliding down the mountain in the T-Rex jaw. The view from outside the jaw shows them moving at great speed through the vineyard while the view from within the jaw shows them moving a leisurely pace.
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When Trevor is placing the final rocks on Max's grave, he is looking out to sea, but as Hannah and Sean approach him he is seen bowing towards the rock pile. When the two get there, Trevor is again still looking out to sea.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Max died alone. Some years later, Trevor, Hannah and Sean found his body and built a cairn over it; we see Trevor placing the last stone. The abrupt scene transition misleads some viewers to believe that they improbably found a cairn already standing when they arrived.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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