Home How does Ditto actually work? Pokemon fans tackle one of the franchise’s mysteries

How does Ditto actually work? Pokemon fans tackle one of the franchise’s mysteries


  • Physicists on Reddit explore how Ditto’s mimicking powers could work within our scientific laws.
  • Debates cover conservation of mass, energy conversion, and how Ditto’s weight changes with transformations.
  • One theory suggests Ditto converts PP (Power Points) into mass, but it's unlikely to work in reality.

Ditto is a Pokemon known for its ability to mimic other Pokemon and even humans – in a way that breaks the laws of physics.

The impossibility of Ditto’s powers (looking past the fact that it’s a fictional pink blob) has caused physicists on the Pokemon subreddit to investigate, seeking some way to make Ditto’s powers actually work according to our laws of science (which wasn’t an issue in this case of Pokemon weirdness). There are hundreds of responses attempting to explain how Ditto’s unique ability could actually be achieved.

Does Ditto actually change mass?

The discussion starts with a breakdown of the law of conservation of mass, with one user asking how Ditto, a 4kg lump of slime with a face, can spontaneously become a 400kg Steelix. Just where does the mass come from?

“Ditto’s HP stays the same, it’s not changing mass,” reasons one redditor. “It’s imitating the opponent.”

However, another argues back: “Ditto’s weight DOES change though. It needs to change weight for weight-based moves such as Low Kick, Grass Knot, and Heavy Slam. Thus it is changing mass.”

Yet another hypothesis states that PP (Power Points) which Pokemon need to perform attacks, could hold the answer to the question.

“PP is a form of stored energy that the Pokemon’s biological processes are capable of using to fuel various effects,” reasoned a Pokemon physicist (an unofficial title). “That’s where the extra mass comes from. It’s converted directly from PP. That’s also where a water Pokemon’s oceanic supply of liquid artillery comes from.”

While this checks out, it would require an unheard-of amount of energy in order to convert it into matter. Sadly, it seems that Ditto just wouldn’t function in the real world — although one element of Pokemon has made it into the real world.

Featured image: The Pokemon Company

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Rachael Davies
Tech Journalist

Rachael Davies has spent six years reporting on tech and entertainment, writing for publications like the Evening Standard, Huffington Post, Dazed, and more. From niche topics like the latest gaming mods to consumer-faced guides on the latest tech, she puts her MA in Convergent Journalism to work, following avenues guided by a variety of interests. As well as writing, she also has experience in editing as the UK Editor of The Mary Sue , as well as speaking on the important of SEO in journalism at the Student Press Association National Conference. You can find her full portfolio over on…

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