This crazy basketball trick isn’t an optical illusion — it’s just physics

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basketball magnus effect

Drop a basketball from a height, you’ve got a few flights of stairs to descend to retrieve it and you might even owe an apology to an angry passer-by.

But if you give it enough height and add a dash of backspin, you can watch it say GOODBYE, FRIEND as it curves a great distance away from its intended flight path.

This is the Magnus effect, where the descending, spinning basketball drags air around it, forming areas of lower pressure and high pressure, causing it to swerve away.

Check out this video below from Veritasium, where Derek Muler explains more about the fascinating phenomenon.

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