When Charlie is broadcasting in Yellowstone, he says he is at the top of Mount Bighorn. He also passes the wooden sign that says "Mount Bighorn - Elevation 2500 feet". Not only is Mount Bighorn completely fictitious, the lowest elevation in Yellowstone is 5,314 feet.
When the Tibetan village is evacuated in the beginning of the movie, the ridge for the arks is shown. A massive explosion from the ridge is simultaneously seen and heard in the village. Because of the distance, the explosion should be seen first, then heard a few seconds later; light travels faster than sound.
Phones go dead a few times due to the communications network being destroyed. When the line cuts, the phone makes a rapid high pitched beep, typical of a land-line phone left off the hook for a while. Cell phones don't make that sound, they just go silent.
When the Antonov is departing from Las Vegas, the tower calls on the radio: "Tower to Antonov." Standard radio format is "[You] this is [me]." Also, if the radio is on the tower frequency, there's no reason for the tower to say who's calling.
At the G8 summit, the U.S. president enters the conference room and asks to be left alone with the other heads of state. The Russian president whispers to his interpreter to stay put ("Ti ostajes") in Serbo-Croatian, not Russian. When the U.S. president asks again, the Russian interpreter can be heard in the background, translating in Russian. The Russian president tells his interpreter he is free to go ("Mozes ici") in Serbo-Croatian, not Russian.
In the Antonov plane, Jackson scans FM frequencies on the Bentley's radio. FM frequencies are relatively short-range, and can't be heard at all when flying over open ocean. Jackson may not realize that.
Near the beginning, the U.S. President enters the G8 summit conference room and announces he wishes to speak only to the heads of state. Had those present done as he asked, he would've spoken only to the President of France. Canada, Great Britain, and Japan have a monarch as head of state. Germany, Italy, and Russia have a president as head of state. Germany sends the Chancellor to summits, the other 5 nations send the Prime Minister. Only the United States and France send their heads of state to such summits.
When Jackson shows his driver's license in Yellowstone Park, his name appears on the card as "Jackson, Curtis." It should be either "Curtis, Jackson" (Last name, First name) or be written without the comma.
When descending into the copper mine in India, Satnam tells Adrian that the mine is over 11,000 ft. deep. Scientists worldwide, including those from the United States, have formally adopted the Metric System, so he should have used meters instead of feet.
The Antonov that takes off at the Las Vegas airport is clearly a 124 model, with its two engines on either side and its normal tail. When they are in the air it is an Antonov 225, which has three engines on either side, and a double tail made to carry the Russian Mryia space shuttle.
When Jackson Curtis' children call him to the tent, he places his laptop in the folding chair in front of him and moves to the tent. In the next shot, the laptop is on top of the ice chest. It moves back to the chair for the following shot.
When Curtis is driving back to the light aircraft in the RV as he puts his foot to the floor he is wearing Nike Shox trainers in black. However, when he gets out of the RV he is wearing other black shoes.
When the camera pans to Caesar's Palace on boxing night, the Bellagio is to the south. When the camera pans to the south of Las Vegas Strip, showing the destruction of Vegas, the building to the south becomes Paris Las Vegas.
The tsunami carrying the JFK as it destroys the White House is shown approaching from the left of the White House, as seen from the South Lawn. The Atlantic Ocean is east of the White House, not west, so it should be approaching from the right.
After the Tibetan family rescues the other family, all of the signs are in Traditional Chinese characters. Tibet is part of the PRC, and Mandarin is not a native language in Tibet, so all signs would be written with Simplified Characters.
In the many shots of the light twin aircraft, the ailerons are fully deflected during turns, but the aircraft's bank angle remains the same. When ailerons are deflected, the bank angle will continue to increase, eventually rolling the aircraft upside-down.
At the G8 summit, the U.S. president enters the conference room and asks to be left alone with the other heads of state. A few moments later, an interpreter turns a button on her console to switch it off, puts down her headset, and leaves. The console is a genuine, contemporary piece of equipment, actually used by interpreters in 2010, but there's no need to switch it off (it's actually impossible). The knob is for selecting the language channels.
After John Cusack's character returns to LA after his trip to Yellowstone, he picks up Woody Harrelson's pirate radio station, 1,000 miles away. While some high-powered 50,000 watt AM stations skip their signals off of the ionosphere and reach listeners 1,000 miles away, it would be impossible for a personal radio transmitter to reach that far. Given the instruction to 'download my blog', it was more likely, even with today's tech, that the broadcast was being streamed on internet radio site. It is far less clear how it was picked up on car radio in 2012 with normal AM/FM tuning.
Yuri says the Antonov "An-500" aircraft is Russian. The Antonov is actually a Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer. Most people born before the fall of the Soviet Union refer to the entire former Soviet Union as Russia.
The latest Antonov model is the 225. The only completed AN-225 does not have a rear access door, but an uncompleted 225 airframe was built with this feature. Yuri Karpov may be rich enough to buy, finish, and re-designate the abandoned aircraft. Alternatively, it may be meant as an aircraft of "the future".
When Jackson is camping with the kids, Kate calls and tells him to bring them home early. He does, then says he is late for work. Jackson had at least one more night of vacation planned, but he could've spoken to Yuri during the drive back and said he could come to work.
Charlie tells Jackson to "download his blog", but the small red X over the monitor icon (near the clock) clearly shows that the computer is not online. If the computer is setup to allow VPN connections, the red X means no users connected (via VPN) to the machine. Furthermore, Charlie's blog is probably stored locally on his laptop.
When the camera pans to Caesar's Palace before the boxing match, you can see for a small moment the Las Vegas Strip and the Caesar's Palace marquee showing Bette Midler's "The Showgirl Must Go On" poster. While Midler's last show was slated for January 2010, it is entirely possible that in the movie's world, Midler's show had a second run in 2012.
An old portable TV (with rotary dial tuner) has a distorted picture on screen, as if it's been watched recently. The June 2009 Digital Television switchover should have rendered it useless without a ATSC converter. While full-power NTSC broadcasts in America ended in June 2009, the TV could be tuned to a low-power regional, religious, or foreign-language station, which were still broadcasting in November 2010. It would also explain the poor reception.
"Mutating neutrinos" are changing or changed neutrinos. Mutation, from the Greek 'Mutatis', simply means 'change.' The dialogue in the film indicates that the neutrinos have changed to a different type of nuclear particle, so the term 'mutating' is correct.
When Curtis drives the Bentley out of the Antonov's cargo hold, he fights to retain control of the vehicle and bring it to a stop. He should be able to see the Antonov and the other driverless cars move away from him in the same direction. Instead, they move away from the plane toward him.
In at least one of the flooded compartments at the end there are stairs in the background leading to a small balcony above the water line. Yet the various characters insist on standing in the cold water.
The director of the Louvre drives a Citroen DS, but the views inside the car show a different model. The rear-view mirror is located at the top of the windshield; a DS would have it near the dashboard.
The goof items below may give away important plot points.
When the wave first strikes the ark, a tech on the bridge reports "collision pressure just below 80 Pascals, Captain". Air pressure at sea level is 101,325 Pascals, and during the day can vary 50-100 Pascals. Water pressure increases 101,325 Pascals for every 32 feet of depth. With water and air pressure alone, pressure on the ark would be closer to a 1 million Pascals. If he meant 80 kiloPascals (1kPa=1,000 Pascals), it would still be a relatively low pressure change.
When Adrian Helmsley talks about the people dying outside of the arks, and Carl Anhauser interrupts, the time on the clock says 6 minutes 10 seconds to impact. In the next shot, the clock says 15 minutes 52 seconds.
When Jackson is in the hydraulic chamber, trying to get the door closed, Helmsley gets a video feed, and reports to the captain "We have a visual, I think we found the problem." Prof. West then shouts "Show us the Hydraulic Chamber". The video screen shows Ark 006 (in the upper left corner); however they are on Ark 004. Then next time we see that screen, it says Ark 004.
When the Arabian sheik reads a contract on the laptop (obviously the contract enabling him to board an Ark), the screen shows the sum of 1,000,000,000 with Arabic characters all around. In the next scene, when the characters are reflected in the sheik's glasses, the number 13-10 is clearly visible right above the 1,000,000,000 as the text scrolls down.
The supervisor holds Yuri Karpov and other Green Boarding Pass holders. Karpov hits the supervisor out of the way, then runs to the departing Ark. In the next scene, when Adrian Helmsley and Carl Anheuser argue about letting Yuri Karpov and other Green Boarding Pass holders on the Ark, the supervisor is behind Laura Wilson, watching the argument.
CNN shows the destruction of Rio de Janeiro, and earthquakes ravaging South America, immediately after it shows Mexico City being devastated by quakes. Mexico City is in North America, not South America.
Chinese helicopters airlift a rhinoceros and a giraffe (among others) to the tunnels where the Arks are located. They fly over the Himalayas, in weather cold enough for a thick layer of snow to remain unfrozen on the ground. Between the extremely high altitude, the temperature, and the frigid wind blowing past them in flight, the African animals would die of either hypothermia or oxygen deprivation.
After Ark #4 collides with the mountain, the captain orders "hard to port", but the helmsman pushes the port side engine control full ahead. In a twin screw vessel, "hard to port" means pushing the starboard engine full ahead while idling or backing the port engine.
The Arks are high in the Himalayas, (up near 8000 meters, too high for all but specialist helicopters), certainly too high for a helicopter carrying 2 tons of (frozen) rhinoceros. It has been suggested that height above sea level should be considered, and the helicopters would be able to operate. However, the concerning factor is altitude above *average* sea level. The massive waves would leave massive troughs behind them. Even with lava and coastal collapse, it would still be too high for helicopters.
Giraffes make sounds during the ark scenes. It's a myth that giraffes do not have vocal chords. They can make soft bleating sounds, like sheep or goats, but they usually rely on body language to communicate.
The Antonov crashes because of engine failure due to thick dust in the air, not because of empty fuel tanks. When it finally hits the ground after falling of the cliff, a large amount of fuel could be left in the tanks.
The White House Chief of Staff would normally never be in a position to succeed to the office of President of the United States. There is always a designated survivor amongst the line of succession to maintain continuity of government. However, the Vice President is dead and the House Speaker is missing. Considering the amount of confusion, we must assume that no cabinet members were able to board Air Force One before it left Washington. Otherwise, he wouldn't have appointed himself Acting President.
When Ark #4 almost collides with the north face of Mount Everest, the mountain is a massive pointy pyramid with pretty steep slopes on the uneven ridges, jagged pinnacles, and colors strewn across most of the mountainside. In real life, the northeast ridge forms a massive wall, with a large amount of snow covering its north face. However, seismic activity severe enough to make southern Africa "the roof of the world" could certainly change the shape of Mt. Everest.
When the USS John F. Kennedy is washed towards the White House, multiple aircraft are on the deck, then washed overboard. During storms all aircraft are stored on the hanger deck. If they are close enough to land to leave the carrier, they would do so. However, most aircraft carriers have more aircraft than can be stored in the hanger. If it wasn't possible for all of the aircraft to be sent ashore, some would remain tied down on deck.
The Genesis Ark is set adrift when a floating Air Force One damages one of its docking clamps. If the clamp was designed to withstand the impact of several billion metric tons of water, it should've survived the comparatively small impact of a plane.