Sunday, December 23, 2012

Skydiving Cats & Falling Cats

There was a ruckus last month over a Swedish insurance ad showing cats skydiving.  Evidently, as this CNN story points out, some people thought it was real.  *sigh*

Actually, it seems that real cats without parachutes would do just fine being tossed out of airplanes at random!  (Not that I am advocating doing this for a second, mind you.)  Read about it here (article in Natural History), here (BBC shortie), and of course at Wikipedia.  Why?  Cats, being relatively small fluffy things, have a fairly low terminal velocity, about half that of humans.  Throw in their natural shock absorber legs, and on the whole they do surprisingly well in falls from high places.  Strangely, they seem to do better when falling from heights over five stories.  The reason for this seeming contradiction is that they need the extra height – and hence time – to rotate themselves and get their legs under them.

Still, don't try this one at home kids.

No comments:

Post a Comment