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Reality Upside Down - Crazy Gravity

Updated on April 12, 2015

It's time for an article that will change the way you think about a very basic rule of nature: the law of Gravity.

Picture this:

You're standing at the top of the leaning tower of Pisa. You have in your left hand a bowling ball weighing one pound, and in your right a bag of one pound of feathers. You drop both of them at precisely the same time. Which will hit the ground first?

If you said the bowling ball, you're thinking very logically. Congratulations. But you're also wrong.


Yes. According to physics, both will hit the ground at the same time. A pound is a pound, no matter what form it comes in. Legend tells the story of Galileo performing this experiment himself. While that is true, however, he did not do it from the leaning tower of Pisa.

Taking this even further, if you took one feather from the bag, and the bowling ball, and went on a little journey to the moon to repeat the experiment, you'd find that the feather and the bowling ball each hit the ground at the precise same time. No matter the weight difference. Why? You can understand a pound being a pound, but a bowling ball is a LOT heavier than a little breezy feather!

But that's the keyword here. Breezy. On Earth, the feather and the ball will experience friction from the atmosphere. The ball is more able to resist the friction and will hit down sooner. But on the moon, there is no atmosphere, and thus, no resistance to create the difference. So they both hit the surface of the moon at the same time!

Oh and...

An additional interesting little tidbit about gravity... Gravity is not as strong in every place on earth. There are many points where it's higher or lower than average!

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