Busted Myth: Getting Hit By a Penny Dropped From The Empire State Building
If a person would get hit by a penny dropped from the Empire State Building, its falling rate would be so big, it could kill anyone hit by it on the street.
Probably you’ve already heard this myth. Well, luckily for us, an awesome myth buster from the University of Virginia decided to put his life to the risk and test this story.
Physics professor Louis Bloomfield gladly accepted to have pennies being thrown at him from the top of the Empire State Building, just for the sake of it. Considering the fact that he lived to tell us the test results, well, the consequences of the experiment are pretty clear already.
Bloomfield launched a helium balloon filled with pennies a few hundreds of feet in the air and made them drop using some magical radio-control airplane parts. As he was on the ground, our hero did his best to catch the falling pennies.
As he describes the feeling, we get that it’s not exactly something that would kill you.
“The pennies didn’t hurt. They bounced off me and it felt like getting hit by bugs, big raindrops, or little hail pellets. No bruises, no injuries. I was laughing the whole time.”
But wait! There’s a catch to it.
Bloomfield went on to explain that any object that would fall from a height such as the Empire State Building one hits the ground at a speed of 210 mph – but only in an airless environment. Only in those conditions would a penny break your skin or something. Even then, though, there’s no way anybody would get killed.