Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why We'll Never Have 'Back To The Future' Hoverboards

06/07/2015 03:32 pm ET | Updated Jun 07, 2015
Universal Studios

Where we're going, we don't need roads. We need hoverboards. Unfortunately, we might not be getting them after all.

In "Back to the Future Part II," Marty McFly's hoverboard goes on water, on land and pretty much everywhere. And with October 21, 2015 (the date McFly travels to in the movie) quickly approaching, everyone is wondering where their hoverboard is.

To find out, The Huffington Post asked astrophysicist, TV host and all-around awesome person Neil deGrasse Tyson and he gave us the cold hard truth:


Image: Tumblr

"There are people working on it, and there are working versions of it, but hoverboards that cover everywhere? Where you would have taken a skateboard? I think that’s unrealistic, and it requires a special under surface to support it," Tyson said.

That's heavy stuff, Doc. It looks like if McFly ever does travel to 2015 in real life and gets in a fight with Biff's grandson, he might be in trouble.

It's not all bad news, though. "I can imagine hoverboards in certain hoverboard venues where they've actually done the physics right in the hoverboard and the ground surface as well," Tyson continued. "But otherwise, no."

Okay, it's not the version from the movie, but at least it's something.


Image: Giphy

Tyson did mention one piece of sci-fi technology we may actually see one day.

"Maybe in the future airports would be wormhole portals," he said. "You open the door, and you’re in London. You pack your bags and still have to go through customs and everything, but the door is a wormhole to London. That’d be cool. Or Tokyo. Or Shanghai. Whatever.”

Tyson is currently hosting "StarTalk," the television version of his radio show and podcast, on the National Geographic Channel. On the show, Tyson talks to guests from pop culture who you "hardly ever see talk about science," including George Takei, Chris Nolan and even our own Arianna Huffington.

One of the best things about the show is to find out "how geeky this person actually is," Tyson said. "People you wouldn’t think got geek in them, they got geek in them," he added.

And who knows? Since Tyson's show covers pop culture influencers, perhaps one day it'll even introduce us to someone working on those hoverboard venues or airport wormhole portals.


Image: Giphy

"StarTalk" airs Monday at 11:00 p.m. ET on National Geographic Channel.

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