Ever since mankind has looked up at the stars, we have dreamed of flight. This dream has been pretty much realized, to the extent that we’re now trying to figure out the specifics of fancy things like vertical take-off and landing. But still, some aspects of the dream are unrealized, like flying using two KFC buckets.
The buckets are using the Magnus effect, first discovered in 1852 by Gustav Magnus. It’s the same principal that’s used when you are shooting basketballs or throwing curveballs. But it doesn’t just apply to sports. As Peter Spriol note in the video above, the Magnus effect is “creating a differential pressure from the top and the bottom of the buckets.” Air flow is moving faster to one side than the other, creating a spin.
Video credit: PeterSripol
This article was originally written for and published by Popular Mechanics USA.