In the John Carter 2012 movie, there is the ninth ray, that is a weapon and, supposedly a source of life.

What it is exactly?

1 Answer 1


If it's not explained in the movie, then all that's left is the explanations in the original books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. From A Princess of Mars (which is here on Project Gutenberg. Unfortunately, there's no one succinct explanation that includes all nine rays of the sun, so I've summarized it. (The book is in public doman, so the link to it, above, is perfectly legal and from there you can download and read the entire book in several formats.)

The first 7 rays are the colors of the rainbow, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. In the books, the 8th and 9th rays were colors not seen on Earth and one place John Carter sees them is shining from a jewel on the man who runs the atmosphere plant that generates the air so everyone can live on Barsoom.

When he sees this man, wearing a diadem, the diadem scintillates in all 9 colors of light, including 2 we've never seen on Earth, the 8th and 9th rays. Again, this is in the book. The 8th ray is what makes light move -- it's a propulsion ray that propels light away and is what they capture and store in the bladders of their fliers so they can fly. (When a bladder bursts, this ray leaks out and the flier falls.) The 9th ray is never explained in detail, but it's critical for them to use in the atmosphere plant to provide enough oxygen for everything on Barsoom to live.

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