Incorrectly regarded as goofs

A CO2 concentration of 3% in the atmosphere is still not a lethal amount for human beings. Only after 5% does it become toxic. However, Ford actually states that the CO2 levels are *over* 3%, suggesting that was the minimum amount the preliminary sensors had detected.

Character error

When Charlie is describing the civilizations that provided the clues and star maps leading them to the distant moon, he explains that these civilizations were all separated by centuries and had no contact. In this list he includes Sumerians, Babylonians, and Egyptians (among others). The Babylonian Empire rose out of the city-states of the Sumerians, borrowing heavily from their language, culture, and religions. It is also well known that the people of Sumer/Babylon had much contact with the ancient Egyptians via trade and war.

Revealing mistakes

All EKG monitors of the expedition party's HUD shows the same heartbeat pattern and rate regardless of individual or stress.

Character error

When Charlie gets sick on the second outing, Elizabeth calls to have "a medical team standing by" when they get back to the ship. The ship's medical team are all in the field with her.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

Despite being set 30 years before the events of Alien, the technology available to the crew on board the Prometheus seems to be far more advanced than anything seen in the 1979 movie. However, the Prometheus is a state-of-the-art science vessel, whereas the Nostromo is simply a cargo towing vehicle that does not require as much high-technology (it would be like comparing a fishing trawler to a nuclear submarine). By the time of Alien, the Nostromo is clearly an old ship. It could well have been made even before the Prometheus was.

Factual errors

At one point the characters use "a carbon probe" to date a dead alien body. Carbon based dating of organic remains is based on knowing both the ratio of radioactive carbon isotopes over time in a planetary atmosphere, and the level of such carbon absorbed into the body of a living organism by it breathing. So far, we only know the atmospheric carbon ratio for one planet: Earth. Even with advanced technology, you'd always need to know the carbon sequence of the home planet of an alien species to carbon date anything from there. The movie's plot clearly shows that no-one knows the origins of the Engineers. Logically then, the carbon probe sequence is impossible.

Revealing mistakes

Just before Dr Holloway points out the area to land, he unstraps himself from his chair. While leaving the chair he bumps it and you can clearly see the chair is loose on the floor.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

When David is talking with Charlie in the bar/lounge, David has the drop of black liquid on his right index finger intending to place it in Charlie's drink. But during the lead time, his finger touches other objects such as the glass, bottle and the metal billiard ball. However, it is plain to see that David always keeps his right index finger extended throughout the scene and the tip of it (where the black liquid drop is) does not come into contact with the billiard ball, glass or the bottle. The first contact the tip of his finger makes is Charlie's drink.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

In the first shot of Prometheus, it is moving at high speed through space. When it enters the target planet/moon's atmosphere, it must slow down which should mean that the thrusters would be pointing forwards and down, not straight backwards as seen. However, the ship will have slowed down (offscreen) as it approached the destination moon, though it would still be necessary to have the thrusters pointing backwards so as to propel the ship to a landing site. It does not mean the ship was still travelling at the same immense speed it did when in deep space. Also, the thrusters are indeed pointing downwards when the ship lands.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

Meredith Vickers mentions that she flew herself "half a billion miles from ... Earth." 500 million miles, however, is only about Jupiter's aphelion; interstellar distances are conveniently expressed in light-years or parsecs, and if one were to (ab)use miles or km, it would be trillions, at least. However, it is quite obvious Vickers was being sarcastic and speaking figuratively when she made this comment to Janek.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

In Miss Vickers suite there is the MedPod. However the MedPod states it is configured for male use. A bit strange when there are so many females on board including the mission director. However, the med-pod was not there for the crew's use (Vickers told Shaw not to touch it) and was clearly there for Peter Weyland's use as he was already in failing health with little time left to live.

Revealing mistakes

The film is flipped when Shaw picks up David's head to place into a bag. This can be most clearly seen by Shaw's camera on her left shoulder changing to her right shoulder.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

When Elizabeth has the alien "fetus" removed by using the "Pauling Med-Pod", she breaks the umbilical cord which is still internal, thereby leaving the "placenta" in her abdomen. This alone would probably kill her, causing her internal bleeding. However, as this was not a "traditional fetus" (as David described it), it is questionable as to whether a traditional placenta had even formed. Even if there was a placenta of some kind, it is still possible for women to have a "retained placenta" even after a C-section which can later be expelled from the body naturally or with the assistance of medication.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

While watching "Lawrence of Arabia," David has white treatment in his hair. A few seconds later, his hair is clear of the treatment. After another few second the treatment is in hair. However, this sequence shows how David spent two years by himself aboard the ship while the rest of the crew were in cryosleep. The sequence is not necessarily linear, though it could also show David repeating certain activities several times during that two year period (in order to lighten hair, multiple treatments are often required).

Factual errors

The alien head is on the examination table. A probe is to be inserted into the head. One of the women says: "30 amps. No more." A current of 30 amps through any (Earthly) organic material would cook it. Thirty microamps in or near a brain or would have been more appropriate.

Miscellaneous

Prometheus crashing into the Engineer's ship would have pushed both vessels AWAY from where the Engineer's vessel finally crashed. When two objects strike one another , especially when one is being propelled as was the Prometheus, the impact drives both objects in the direction the propelled object was going, even if only slightly. The Engineer's ship should have fallen to the immediate left of where Vickers was standing on the surface at the very least, if not several miles away.

Continuity

When the sacrifice engineer's arm breaks off, the remaining limb is just past the elbow, and can be seen as such when he falls into the river. When he's shown at the bottom, the point of loss is much closer to the wrist.

Revealing mistakes

(at around 54 mins) When Fifield and Milburn are examining the pile of dead alien bodies, one of the alien hands (in the right part of the screen) wiggles slightly as if made of rubber.

Continuity

When Meredith Vickers finishes her push-ups, just after 'waking up', she is wearing cloth around her chest. After the shot where she puts on her bathrobe, she wears no cloth under the robe.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

David is an android and, therefore, does not require sustenance. While taking linguist lessons and before the humans exit stasis, he is eating and drinking. However, there are various possible reasons why David is eating and drinking. It could be because he wants to experience food and drink to become more human (androids in the previous Alien films were seen eating and/or drinking). It is also likely that androids, like any machine, require fuel of some sort. Food is simply a biological form of fuel.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

Near the end of the movie Shaw enters the lifeboat and she is carrying an axe. When the Engineer enters and attacks her the axe is gone. However, you can clearly see the axe in Shaw's right hand as the Engineer enters the pod and confronts her (Shaw's back is to the camera). Shaw then drops the axe as the Engineer lunges towards her. You can even hear it hitting the floor.

Continuity

Charlize Theron's dark roots in her hair appear, disappear and re-appear during the movie.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

The paintings found in the cave on the Scottish Island of Skye are said to date back to 33,000 years ago. However, the northern part of the British Isles was covered with the icecap of the Würm glaciation at that time. However, Cro-Magnons (the first early modern humans) are believed to have been present in the regions of what would become the British Isles around that time, and depopulation of the region did not occur until around 23,000 years ago.

Crew or equipment visible

Just before the crew descend into the lower level of the alien structure, a white folding chair can be seen leaning against the wall behind them.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

Holloway regards the mission as a failure because the Engineers on the planet are all dead. This, however, makes little sense, as it's obviously very unlikely that this was the Engineers' home world. Additionally, his work has directly found conclusive proof of the existence of advanced intelligent alien life, found preserved biological specimens of that life to examine, and working advanced technological artifacts from their culture including writing, art and still-working information technology. The mission had been a massive success by any metric. That said, Holloway could be considering it a failure in that he wanted to meet the Engineers and interact/ learn from them directly.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

The windscreen of the personnel carriers they use on the planet has the familiar arc pattern created by the wipers. However the carriers have been been kept in the hold the entire journey and would have no dust on them whatsoever. Plus the wipers are never seen being used so they could not have created them. However, that does not mean the carriers had not been used on a previous mission or even exposed to weather as they were being loaded into the Prometheus.

Continuity

When Vickers is standing and facing Weyland while she talks to him about why he made the journey, her hands change position several times. In one shot, they are in front of her while in the next shot, they are behind her.

Miscellaneous

When Dr. Shaw is talking to David near the end of the movie, you can see wind blowing her hair inside the helmet, suggesting the helmet was added with CGI.

Continuity

During Elizabeth's auto-surgery, you can see that a fake body is inserted during specific elements, such as when the laser opens the abdomen. You can tell by the fact that her legs visible are shaking when there is a real person and still when not. (the laser element of the scene was done with CGI)

Continuity

When David and Elizabeth are discussing the DNA results, you can see Elizabeth from behind with her hand draped over her knee, but when it switches to her face, her hand is against her head.