The FLDSMDFR is a pretty handy piece of kit. It's the,

  • Flint
  • Lockwood
  • Diatonic
  • Super
  • Mutating
  • Dynamic
  • Food
  • Replicator

It mutates the genetic makeup of water to make food. It needs lots of power for this (Flint ends up hooking it up to an electricity pylon, for the needed 17000 more gigajoules). However once it's blasted into the sky it just hangs there unpowered churning out food.

How does it do this, when it's unpowered?

enter image description here

  • You missed the second "D": Dynamic.
    – gnovice
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 14:11
  • @gnovice Thanks!
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 14:21
  • This is Science Fiction / Fantasy? I'm genuinely curious about this. Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 14:22
  • 3
    "Wildly speculative" may be an understatement, considering water doesn't have a genetic makeup to mutate. ;)
    – gnovice
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 14:46
  • 12
    I guess I don't understand that, given a world where water has genetics, power is measured in joules, and meatballs rain from the sky, a serious question can be asked about a logical science consistency error. Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


The intial charge received by the FLDSMDFR comes from a series of around 300 mains outlets.

Assuming each outlet is rated to 2400 watts per hour (the normal max for a US plug socket) then his first attempt uses around 2.4 Gigajoules of current.

enter image description here

Not only is this insufficient to begin the food reaction but also results in him burning out a fuse in his house and blowing up his father's television.

He then states that "I just need to hook it into the power station" and "I just need 17,000 more gigajoules".

Frankly this is an astounding amount of power. The average nuclear power station is capable of generating a maximum of around 3600 gigajoules per hour. The FLDSMDFR is connected to the power station for just 9 seconds which means that it can only have received a fraction of that amount of power before it turns into a rocket and shoots up into the sky.

enter image description here

The next time we see the FLDSMDFR it appears to be attached to a giant food ball by a glowing umbilicus which attaches directly onto the power connector.

enter image description here

When Flint manages to block the output slot on the FLDSMDFR that same umbilicus begins to swell and crackle with electricity. It therefore seems likely that the glow (which we can assume was powering the FLDSMDFR) was at least partly caused by some form of electrical discharge, potentially static electricity from the glowing vortex of water vapour going into the top of the giant meatball.

enter image description here


I don't think this is dealt with in the film.

Speculation: It could still be running on its first charge of "17000 more gigajoules" I don't know if it needed all the charge it got to make just the first item of food (A burger if I recall correctly)

So like rechargeable batteries it may run out of power, it just hasn't yet.

  • Or it may run off of ambient electricity in the air.
    – Xantec
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 19:17
    – Monty129
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 16:09

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