Watch: The physics behind this crazy basketball trick

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Well let's play a little game called "what will happen when you throw a basketball off the top of a 126.5-metre (415-feet) dam?" The answer's quite clear: it's going to fall, right? But what happens if you give it a slight backspin before you let go? Well, that's an entire different story, as you can see in the newest episode of Veritasium. And let's just say we absolutely were not guessing that to happen. As Derek from Veritasium describes, the ball succeeds to soar such a vast distance through the air thanks to something called the Magnus effect, which affects all spinning balls or cylinders as they fly through the air. This spectacle happens because the air on the front side of a spinning, falling ball is going in the similar direction as the ball's spin, which means it gets pulled along with the ball and bounced back. The air on the other side, though, is moving in an opposite direction to the ball's spin, and so the stream splits instead of getting deflected.

Derek clarifies this much better in the video below with some awesome diagrams, so you can watch th episode below:
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