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High Speed Video Makes Falling Slinky Appear to Hover [VIDEO]

Prepare to be blinded by science!

We all had Slinky’s growing up. I remember standing at the top of the steps at the house I grew in up near St. Phillips on Evansville’s west side and spending a ridiculous amount of time sending my Slinky down to the bottom. These days I watch my kids do the same thing until they get it so knotted up it takes me 20 minutes to untangle it. Which nine time out of ten leads to it being a little bent out of whack, never to bounce right again. It’s fun while it lasts I suppose.

A few science geeks from Veritasium.org, a website which aims to “to present topics in all areas of science from the simplest to the most complex. The goal is to make scientific ideas clear, accessible, and interesting,” got the brilliantly nerdy idea to drop a Slinky from two different heights and capture what happens using high speed video equipment.The end result is the bottom of the Slinky appearing to hover in mid-air as it waits for the top to catch up.

Pretty wild, right? If you stuck around to hear the explanation of how it works, but didn’t quite understand, or you didn’t bother watching the explanation because all the science talk put you to sleep like a high school chemistry class, the short answer, according to Yahoo! Games, is that the gravity is trying to pull the bottom portion of the Slinky down at the same time it’s being pulled by the force of the spring recoiling, therefore cancelling each other out. Make sense? If not, that’s OK, you don’t have to understand it to appreciate it’s awesomeness.

Watch a Slinky 'walk' on a treadmill

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