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MFF Dumb Data: A Spoiler-Filled Analysis of the Rabbits in ‘Us’

March 29, 2019

Quicknote: There is no correct answer here. I’m just analyzing and hypothesizing my way to statistics and numbers that have no way of being correct. Also, I know this is bonkers.

While watching Us (which I really enjoyed) I couldn’t stop thinking about the logistics of tunnel living. How many people lived in the tunnels? Did they only eat rabbit? How do they wash their clothes? Do they travel from tunnel to tunnel? These questions were totally normal as I’m certain Jordan Peele intended his sophomore feature to raise a lot of questions. However, in his quest to raise questions he introduced tiny facets into a world that turned them into MAJOR operations that involved billions of rabbits, millions of towels and thousands of gallons of laundry detergent.

In an effort to gain some clarity of the under-explained fictional world I focused on only the rabbits and everything that comes with it.

Here are some guesses:

  • The creating of the “Tethered” most likely started after World War 2. I’m saying this because they seem to age naturally, and in 1986, Adelaide’s (Lupita Nyong’o) parents are their 30s. Which means they were created in 1956 (at the earliest).
  • The “Tethered” were eating rabbits in 1986. So, rabbit consumption has been going on for over 30 years.
  • It’s unclear when the military (or the Cult from Get Out) left the operation. I’m going to guess 1985.
  • The title card leads us to believe that the underground people are living all over America. Also, news reports claim that attacks are happening all over America.
  • Let’s take a guess and say there are 6.5 million “Tethered” living across the United States. I say this because that’s how many people held hands during Hands Across America.
  • 6.5 million rabbits are consumed each year (one a day, for each person. They look very healthy so they can’t be starving themselves).
  • 221 million rabbits have possibly been eaten since 1985
  • Towels would be needed to clean up after they eat. So, everyday thousands (at least) of hand towels would need washing. If 100 industrial washing machines were used in a 24/7 rotation (in each tunnel system) it would mean they would need 136 gallons of laundry detergent and use at least 31,200 gallons of water each day in each location.
  • There is no way to calculate the energy cost. Somebody has to know what is going on.
  • This is random but I’m guessing the scissors and jumpsuits were holdovers from the government agency that set everything up. Because, figuring out the costs of acquiring and purchasing everything would lead me down a major rabbit-hole.
  • The Tethered don’t use forks or knives. Things get very messy (more laundry…)

Quick Thought: Even if there are only 100,000 Tethered in the United States. The cost of feeding, cleaning and breeding the rabbits would be a massive undertaking. Let’s say only 50,000 rabbits were eaten each day. That’s still 18,250,000 meat rabbits a year.

Here is what I know:

  • They eat rabbits raw. They do not cook them. You see this during a flashback, they are tearing into the rabbits.
  • The average meat rabbit weights 4-5 pounds. For this analysis I’m going with 4 pounds
  • Meat rabbits should be fed 6 ounces of manufactured pellets a day
  • This operation is very expensive
  • The daily waste would be millions of pounds (not getting into specifics)
  • The underground lair was very clean. This means the “Tethered” have cleaning supplies and towels.
  • They have laundry machines
  • They need water and electricity
  • They need laundry detergent
  • The Tethered eat
  • Each rabbit consumes 136 pounds of food per year. So, 877,500,000 pounds of rabbit food is needed for the rabbits. It would cost millions to feed the rabbits.

So many rabbits to feed.

Conclusion: Jordan Peele included the rabbits because he is frightened of them and he wanted to show duality. However, by including them as the sole food source for the Tethered he created a multi-million operation that included wholesale rabbit food purchasing, maintenance of industrial washing machines and millions of pounds of waste. I LOVE IT!






2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2019 1:24 am

    Went and saw this last night with my 19 year old daughter, another horror fan. We discussed it the entire way home but that pales in comparison as to the thought you’ve put into it haha.

    As far as the movie goes, during it I bounced back and forth from thinking it was one of the dumbest horror movies I’d ever seen to thinking it was one of the coolest (and scary) concepts in a long time. Then when the ending happened, or better said the chain of events leading up to the end that explained things, it all came together and what made me think it was ridiculous earlier in the movie then made sense. Kind of a “now I get it” moment.

    Lupita Nyong’o was excellent in this flick, but the one that stole the show for me was Shahadi Wright Joseph. How she went from the average teen to that disturbed, crazy look I don’t know. Her expressions spoke volumes.

    On a side note we exited the theater through the back where it was dark and eerie, and as we turned the corner a little black girl (apparently waiting on her mother to come out of the building) stepped in front of us, stopped, and just looked at us in silence as we passed. Thank goodness she didn’t have scissors or I would have screamed like a schoolgirl.

    • March 31, 2019 12:41 pm

      The cast was fantastic! I really enjoyed the dad jokes of Winston Duke too. I love the world Peele built, I think he swung for the fences which is awesome. I still can’t wrap my head around the Tethered logistics haha. It’s quite an operation. Thanks for the comment!

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