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Slow Motion Flipping Cat Physics Why Do Cats Always Land On Their Feet?


The physics of why cats are always able to land on their feet has been understood for some time now — it’s called an aerial righting reflex — but that doesn’t lessen the splendor of being able to watch those reflexes in action through high-speed video.Destin drops the cat from several feet above the ground onto a platform below.

image/text credit: SmarterEveryDay 

The camera shows Gigi arch her back, dividing her body into two sections that rotate away from one another, as Destin explains just what’s happening physically.GiGi was not hurt during the making of this video. We took great care to make sure she would be safe. Next I’ll explain how the physics involved in flipping cats allow us to operate Space Telescopes (Seriously).

So as simple of a question as this is, it turns out to be a MAJOR POINT OF STUDY in Physics, Robotics, Space Satellite Control, Weapons Development, Biomedical Engineering, etc. It’s stumped scientists and engineers since Newton’s day. Here’s something interesting.


The cat isn’t twisting his back.. he’s actually BENDING it. The next video will go into great detail about what’s going on there, and explain how it relates to studying the farthest points in the universe (Seriously… the fact that a cat can do this allows us to study the Universe.. no exaggeration).