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MFF Special: Analyzing the Odds – Zara’s Demise in Jurassic World

January 31, 2018

Many people have been killed in the four Jurassic Park films. Whether it be getting smooshed by a Tyrannosaurus Rex or sideswiped by a clever Velociraptor we’ve been blessed with some gnarly dinosaur related deaths. The majority of the deaths have all happened somewhat organically due to the fact that on multiple occasions people been dumb enough to travel to islands filled with carnivorous monsters. Death is par for the course when battling dinosaurs and aside from Peter Stormare being dumb in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, I’ve never really felt that they were unnecessary or cruel. However, there is one death in Jurassic World that has garnered a lot of attention for being straight up mean. The destruction of Zara the assistant (Katie McGrath – long live A Princess for Christmas)  via two Pterosaurs and a Mosasaurus is unique because she is the first women to be killed onscreen in the franchise, and it is a very long and brutal demise that is brought forth by her being forced to be a babysitter.


Zara’s death has gotten a lot of press (here, here and here) and her character is even considered to be a hero to some (Thanks Cracked!). I kinda love that one death in a film stuffed with murder via dinosaur has stood out and become a lightning rod. That is why I watched the movie again, took a ton of notes and analyzed pretty much every diagram of the park. The reason I did so much research is that I wanted to know the odds of Zara’s death. I’m not here to hate on the film, or create something snarky in regards to Jurassic World. If you’ve read my other stuff you know I love filling in the blanks via educated guesswork, randomness and burning a lot of my free time.

It was a long day for Zara.

The following features total guesswork and after looking at all the factors there is no way to accurately answer the following question:

What are the odds that Zara the assistant would be picked up by two Pterosaurs, dumped into the massive lagoon, and swallowed whole by a Mosasaurus while at Jurassic World?

As I tracked Zara’s progress through the park I originally came up with odds that were astronomical (1 in 300 billion). After a lot of soul-searching (via punch dancing in abandoned warehouses) I decided to go with a more pragmatic approach. I originally included divorce rates, square mileage, aviary destruction and stupidity in the equation. But, after talking to people who are much smarter than I am, I was able to narrow down the odds and get it to something that slightly resembles a believable number.

Here we go! 

Sidenote: There is no way to know the exact answer. However, I’ve tried to be as pragmatic as possible in an effort to make this number somewhat practical.

  1. Jurassic World had been open for 10 years (all year round = 3,650 days) and they never had an animal escape.  – (1 in 3,650)
  2. According to park numbers, there were 21,216 guests at the park.
  3. I’m guessing that 150 Pterosaurs (and other flying beasts) escaped when the Indomnious Rex and helicopter crashed into the aviary. Let’s say one-in-three of the flying beasts (50) were big enough to pick up one of the guests, and that each one picked up one person (50 in 21,216 – 1 in 424).
  4. The majority of the guests had been pushed into the front area of the park. It is a very large area and I’m guessing half of the people were close to the massive lagoon that housed the Mosasaurus. (1 in 2).
  5. If a large Pterosaur attacked you, the odds of it flying off with you alive or able to fight would be about 1 in 2. I gave it those odds because there is an instance where the large flying beast landed on a guy and seemed to be destroying him on the ground.
  6. After being grabbed by a Pterosaur, the odds of you fighting back would be 1 in 2.
  7. If you were picked up close to the water you’d have a 1 in 2 chance of being dropped into the water.

Poor Zara. She didn’t deserve such a gnarly fate.

The pragmatic odds of being at Jurassic World during a mass animal escape in which you are picked up by a Pterosaur and dropped into a Mosasaurus tank is 1 in 24,761,600 (3,650 x 424 x 16). There had never been a large scale dinosaur escape in the 10 years the park had been open and nobody had ever been dropped into a large lagoon by a Pterosaur. Also, being that there are 20,000+ people, the odds of being singled out by the 50 attacking Pterosaurs was very slight. Also, I feel terrible for her because she ended up dead because she had to watch two punks while people willingly let out a dinosaur that had active camouflage.

Here is what lead Zara to her death.

  1. She is forced to look after her bosses nephews because their parents are getting a divorce (She’s British…she will be great).
  2. The nephews promptly run away from her leaving stressed out, worried and still having to do her day job.
  3. Due to some very bad decisions, the Indomnius Rex is let out of its cage.
  4. The nephews decide to ignore park warnings and stay out in the park in the moving bubble thing.
  5. The Indomnius Rex is chased into a massive aviary holding very hungry flying creatures. The people in the helicopter essentially chased it into the aviary……
  6. The nephews hotwire a car and drive back into the park via the west gate.
  7. Zara collects the kids, and they run away from her which forces her to chase them.
  8. The nephews stop in the middle of the carnage and Zara turns to see what they are doing.
  9. A massive pterosaur picks her up and flies away with her.
  10. Another pterosaur steals her away and flies toward the lagoon.
  11. Poor Zara is dropped into the lagoon.
  12. Pterosaurs dive into the water and one of them managed to lift her out of the water.
  13. A Mosasaurus eats both Zara and the bird.
  14. None of the main characters care.
  15. I hope her fiance and parents get a massive settlement.

In conclusion: I feel really bad for Zara.

If you like this post make sure to check out my other dumb data posts! Enjoy!

  1. Jet Ski Action Scenes Are the Worst
  2. Breaking Down The Mariner vs. Sea Beast Battle in Waterworld
  3. How Long Did it Take The Joker to Setup the Weapon Circle in Suicide Squad?
  4. Michael Myers Hates Blinkers
  5. Jason Voorhees Can’t Teleport?
  6. How Far Did the Merman Travel in The Cabin in the Woods?
  7. How Far Did Matthew McConaughey Jump in Reign of Fire?
  8. How Fast can Leatherface Run?
  9. Deep Blue Sea and Stellan Skarsgard
  10. How Far Did Michael Myers Drive in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
  11. How Did the Geologist Get Lost in Prometheus?
  12. People Love a Bearded Kurt Russell
  13. A Closer Look at Movies That Feature the Words Great, Good, Best, Perfect and Fantastic
  14. An In-Depth Look At Movies That Feature Pencils Used as Weapons
  15. Cinematic Foghat Data
  16. Explosions and Movie Posters
  17. The Fast & Furious & Corona
  18. Nicolas Sparks Movie Posters Are Weird
  19. Predicting the RT score of Baywatch
  20. The Cinematic Dumb Data Podcast
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  22. How Fast Can the Fisherman Clean a Trunk in I Know What You Did Last Summer?
  23. It’s Expensive to Feature Characters Being Eaten Alive and Surviving Without a Scratch
  24. How Long Does it Take Your Favorite Horror Movie Characters to Travel From NYC to San Francisco?
  25. What was the Guy’s Blood Pressure in Dawn of the Dead?
  26. Why Were There So Many Lemons in National Treasure? 
27 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2018 9:21 am

    Haha! Love these numbers! It actually gives some interest level to what is a terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE movie!

    • January 31, 2018 9:22 am

      Thanks! I tried to be as fair as possible. They seem legit haha.

  2. John permalink
    February 1, 2018 5:22 am

    Great article : )

  3. Timber permalink
    September 4, 2019 5:01 pm

    Wow… it makes it even more heartbreaking that with those crazy odds it had to happen to poor Zara… I wanted to reach in the TV screen and snatch her away from the bird…. ugh… poor girl…


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