During a point in Mad Max: Fury Road, Nux says something about these bumps that would eventually kill him but I don't recall if he actually explained what they were or if it was left to our interpretation. You can see the bumps in this image:

enter image description here

So, do we know what these are?

  • I thought they were wounds from having blood lines attached, and maybe Larry and Barry had escaped. And now Nux ponders their revenge.
    – user30650
    Feb 3, 2016 at 0:08

7 Answers 7


We were shown in the beginning that Immortan Joe also has those tumors, may be it's because they're extremely unhealthy/ill. Nux is also unhealthy and has tumors, so, he keeps on transfusing Max's blood from a pipe injected into Max's neck.

Those were his tumors and he nicknames them Barry and Larry.

Here's a post explaining about them.

Turns out the irradiated wasteland is bad for your health, and Nux has a couple of gnarly neck tumours which he draws smiley faces on and nicknames Barry and Larry.

  • 1
    He's not drinking the blood... It's a blood transfusion. It's going directly from Max's veins to Nux's.
    – Catija
    May 26, 2015 at 6:46
  • @Catija Sorry, my mind was occupied with the action sequences while watching the movie. I'll correct it. May 26, 2015 at 6:49
  • I have read that it is lymphoma. A blood transfusion does not cure it, but it helps the symptoms.
    – Gusdor
    May 26, 2015 at 11:55

So cancer looks like an obvious here, given the amounts of radiation from a likely worldwide nuclear war. Just going on an anatomical basis, what about cancer of the carotid artery? It's a major blood vessel that runs along the length of the neck, and cancer of this sort tends to be tumours that surround said artery in lumps that press against the skin, making them fairly easy to see, so could explain Larry and Barry on Nux's neck. Just throwing it out there


It might also be because they have been exposed to contaminated air maybe with radiation (assuming it because the soil was also red) as these war boys go out regularly even Joe himself was a war rig driver before like he declares it in the speech, but for Joe's wive's there is fresh air supply and they are surrounded with greenery, maybe this explains the perfect baby that is delivered.

  • 1
    The soil was red because that is the color of the desert in that part of the world. Also, what is the 'perfect baby'? I don't recall that part of the film.
    – DA.
    Jun 1, 2015 at 16:06
  • The new born that was delivered, Joe asks was it perfect remember Jun 1, 2015 at 16:21
  • I may have misunderstood that scene, but from what I recall, the baby was severely deformed. Something along the lines "if it had a mouth, it would have been perfect..." or something.
    – DA.
    Jun 1, 2015 at 16:26
  • 4
    I think the line was "One more month, it would have been perfect". The baby was too immature to survive after the mother died.
    – Austin
    Jun 1, 2015 at 23:27

I believe Half-Life Warboy pretty much says it all. They're tumors from the radiation (half-life) and they're killing them all.

  • What extra value this answer add then the existing answers.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Jun 1, 2015 at 9:55

The soil is red from the rich iron deposits found in the Nambian deserts where the film was shot. I only know this because where I am from in Oklahoma the soil is the same red color from the same kind of deposits the waters from millions of years ago deposited here as it did there before it receded.

But yes in the film the tumors were caused from sour soil, toxic air and ground water and everything else that came from that region where the war boys grew up. I say this only from reading multiple articles and coming to the conclusion in my own words on how the apocalypse came about destroyed the earth & souring the soil and water leaving their bones irradiated and becoming half life.

I edited a comment above this explaining what was said during the scene where the "perfect baby" was taken In a make shift crude representation of a C-Section delivery.


I think they maybe cancerous tumours maybe caused by radiation and radiation sickness causes weakness tumours and hair loss look at the victims of Heroshina Nagasaki and also Chernobyl and Fukushima same symptoms so I think Nux and his friends war boys maybe the kids or pups what ever their called may have some form of cancer leukaemia or that caused by toxic levels of radiation and half lives which even Joe said their all dying hence the blood transfusions


Did anyone else get a vibe that there is inbreeding also possibly causing some of the deformations and genetic disease? Joe had dozens of unhealthy offspring of different generations and there can't be that many healthy beautiful women left for him to procreate with. I wondered if maybe the Mother's Milk cow-ladies might have been Joe's former beauties who grew too old for his taste and got turned out to pasture, so-to-speak. I don't know what else made me think of inbreeding except maybe that some of the War Boys and their illnesses remind me of mutant-hillbilly-The-Hills-Have-Eyes and Deliverance-type people.

  • Mad Max is only 5 minutes into the future. There hasn't been multiple generations to allow for inbreeding to affect anything.
    – cde
    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:14

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