Why Do Cats Always Land On Their Feet? 🐈‍⬛

3 min read

Morning Moggy!

Why is it…that when you drop a cat…

They always somehow land on their feet?

This is a question that drove 19th century scientists absolutely insane.

Until this one scientist guy called Étienne-Jules Marey came along…

And managed to figure it all out, using this fancy new piece of technology known as…

A Camera!

A camera that looked oddly gun-like.

The issue was, he wanted to capture motion, not just a random snapshot of time.

So, he modified his camera setup with a little disk with slots in it.

This disk would then spin.

Covering the camera, then uncovering it briefly, then covering it again and so on and so on.

This is a technique called chronophotography.

Showing something human eyes can never see on their own… stages of motion.

This brings us back to the cat.

Thanks to this camera technology, Étienne-Jules was able to capture exactly what was going on.

Before this, it seemed that the cat was able to right itself by flipping in the air without pushing off anything first.

But this would contradict one of Isaac Newton’s laws of motion.

Basically, you can't just change direction mid air. It goes against physics.

So, how do cats do it then?

Well, this is what Étienne-Jules found out.

See, when you drop a cat like this:

It starts by arching its back.

And by arching its back, it divides its body into a front part and a back part.

Meaning these 2 parts can work independently.

The cat then pulls in its front legs and leaves its back legs splayed out.

This causes the front part of the cat to rotate faster while the back stays still.

Then halfway through falling, the cat switches, front legs stretched out and back legs tucked in to flip the back part of its body.

And then finally stretching out with all four legs.

Preparing to land perfectly on its feet.

Without breaking any laws of physics.

Stay Cute,
Reece, Henry & Dylan 🌈

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