In the end-credits scene of Captain Marvel, the Tesseract was thrown up by Goose on Nick Fury's desk. I remembered the final fight scene in Captain America: The First Avenger where the Tesseract was dropped after the Skull was teleported to Vormir. It 'burned' through the metal walkway after dropping (or is it the floor? nor sure of the right term) on the ship, as seen here:

However, why did it do not 'burn' through Fury's desk? It seems to be made of just wood, compared to the metal on Red Skull's ship. Is there some kind of special requirement so that it does not 'burn' through someone or something?

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    You see the Tesseract multiple times being held in briefcases, and can be picked up by your hand. It 'burning' like that is more unusual than not.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 12:34

2 Answers 2


This Tesseract in Captain Marvel was stable and wasn't overreacting.

However, it was overloaded in The First Avenger, that's why it burned a hole through the metal aircraft. When Red Skull and Captain America fight in the plane, they broke the hydra-built machine holding tesseract. It was already reacting in that machine and breaking it caused it to overreact and melt. After that Red Skull holds it with his bare hands while it was overreacting so it sent him to the other world.

Whereas in Captain Marvel, it was not the case. Tesseract was in its normal state. Even Nick Fury holds it with his hands.

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    Yes, they broke the machine and Red Skull used the tesseract. Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 12:17
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    How does overloading a power stone work exactly? I thought it is potentially an unlimited source of power. And it seems to have a will of its own. So, it can, technically, prevent overloading itself, right? 'When the power used to harness its energy is cut off, the Tesseract turns the power back on.' This was noted by Selvig in Avengers.
    – I. Am
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 13:04
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    'It was already burning in the machine built by Hydra...' If it was, how come the machinery did not break? Does this mean that Hydra was able to create a container that the Tesseract cannot burn through?
    – I. Am
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 13:07
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    @I.Am If it has a will of its own, maybe it chose not to stop itself from overloading, in order to escape its current situation. Heck, maybe it chose to begin overloading in the first place.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 16:14
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    If it has a will, perhaps the Tesseract objected to being used in a machine. It wasn't overloading. It was hopping mad.
    – user30594
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 21:38

In the Captain America scene the Tesseract is handled while it is active and powering the plane. Even more energy is presumably required to then transport Red Skull to Vormir (we don't know whether he consciously triggers this, or if it's just something that happens if you don't know what you're doing and pick it up while it's active). It must have deactivated shortly afterwards otherwise it would've continued burning through the seafloor and been unrecoverable (or been a lot easier to find due to the massive plumes of steam).

In the Captain Marvel scene the Tesseract is inactive, so nothing in particular happens.

  • Red Skull says in IW that the Tesseract "cast [him] out", so he probably didn't intentionally trigger that reaction.
    – DanDoubleL
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 14:26
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    @DaniellYancey I was considering the possibility that he had the general desire to “be somewhere else”, which triggered it.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 14:37

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