Magical balls? Nope. It's the Magnus Effect.

When you think of gravity, your first thought is probably just 'down,' but then you might remember Bill O'Reilly's "tides-go-in, tides-go-out" fiasco, and start thinking 'possibly horizontal.'

Then, you might start to think about flying planes and the interaction between lift, drag, pitch and yaw, and you might start to see how the interaction of gravity with other forces could imply 'up' under some specified conditions.

Finally, if you've ever 'bent-it-like-Beckham' playing soccer, or if you've ever spiraled a football or tossed a frisbee (or even a boomerang), then you probably already have some intuitive and pre-theoretical understanding of how spin can influence the path of a moving object sideways (assuming there's air resistance). And by the time you think about that, you realize that you kind of already understand what you're seeing in the gif above, even before you click on the video below, which is not to say the video won't have a few surprises of its own up its awesome sleeve. :)




Click on the physics tag for more awesomeness.
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