WATCH: Magnus Effect Whisks Basketball Into The Spin Zone : The Two-WayA viral video by the Australian trick basketball team How Ridiculous demonstrates a property of physics that can make the ball appear to momentarily defy gravity.
What happens when you drop a regulation Spalding basketball from a 415-foot-high dam? It depends.
For a group from the trick basketball team How Ridiculous who sank a basket from atop the Gordon Dam in Tasmania, it meant landing a spot in the Guinness World Records book.
But at the same time, the record breakers were able to demonstrate a bit of science: It turns out that by giving the ball a little spin before its release, it can appear — at least momentarily — to defy gravity. The resulting video, posted on the YouTube channel Veritasium, has gone viral.
The explanation is something called the Magnus effect, after physicist Gustav Magnus, who described how it works in 1852.