Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has used science to determine the likely location of Barbie Land.
The Barbie movie, which is directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is partly set in the fictional wonderland filled with plastic palm trees and bright pink houses.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Tyson observed the film’s sun, moon, and vegetation in order to determine where such a place would be if it really existed on Earth.
“In @BarbietheMovie, the moon’s orientation places Barbie World between 20 and 40 [degrees] north latitude on the Earth,” deGrasse Tyson wrote. That places it roughly somewhere between the lower half of the U.S. and the northern half of Mexico.
“Palm trees further constrain latitude between 20 and 30 [degrees],” he continued. That narrows the potential Barbie World locations to West Texas, the U.S. Gulf Coast, and northern Mexico.
He concluded: “The sun and moon rose and set over the ocean. If it’s in the U.S., Barbie World lands somewhere in the Florida Keys.”
In @BarbieTheMovie, the Moon’s orientation places Barbie World between 20 & 40 deg North Latitude on Earth. Palm trees further constrain latitude between 20 & 30 deg. The Sun & Moon rose & set over the ocean. If it’s in the US, Barbie World lands somewhere in the Florida Keys. pic.twitter.com/Vh05tiqraX
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 10, 2023
While Barbie Land itself doesn’t appear to be set in a real-world location in the film, director Greta Gerwig and her team previously told Architectural Digest that the design was inspired by midcentury modernism in Palm Springs.
Barbie reached the $1billion dollar mark at the global box office just two weeks after its release. Gerwig‘s film is the 53rd movie of all time to hit the milestone, and the first ever to be solely directed by a woman.
On the films’ first weekend, Gerwig’s comedy brought in $110million (£86.6million) at the US box office, over twice the expected takings of Christopher Nolan’s biopic about the creator of the atomic bomb.
Barbie is currently the third-highest grossing film of 2023, behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3.
In a four-star review of the film, NME wrote: “The script contains unexpected subtlety, particularly during the tender moments which pack an emotional punch. Presumably, part of Mattel’s motive for bringing Barbie to the big screen was changing her outdated image of rigid beauty ideals and unrealistic body conformism. So sprinkled throughout are marketing messages (“Barbie means you can be anything”) that sound like they come straight from a press release.
“Gerwig is clever enough to deliver these with self-awareness and some sarcastic jokes (Mirren thanking Barbie for ending misogyny is a highlight), meaning the balance between reality and commercial is never lost. For a movie that ostensibly exists to promote a doll, this is laudable. Now come on Barbie, let’s go party.”