Never Do a Superhero Landing

Never Do a Superhero Landing

– Here’s why you should
never land like a superhero. Superheroes love to make an entrance. And if they are flying or falling, that entrance is frequently
them crashing down, knee and fist first, in a stance that is undeniably cool,
especially in slow motion. But unless you are a
superpowered individual, you should never break
out a landing like this, because it’s almost perfectly designed, from a scientific
standpoint, to break you. Ow. The superhero, or three-point, landing is where you land in a half-crouch, with one knee and sometimes a fist or two impacting the ground directly. It surely looks cinematic, but as I claim, like Deadpool claims, it is really, really hard on your knees, and
it is totally impractical. But why would the superhero landing be impractical or dangerous? How is it any different
from landing on your feet? What is going to make any
landing that you attempt harder or softer is gonna come down to impact force, and if you
are falling on this planet, that force is gonna be applied to you by the surface of the Earth, or whatever comes in between you and the surface of the Earth when you are falling. Physics nerds like me like to say that it’s not the fall that kills you. It’s the M delta V over delta T. Does not have the same ring to it. But this equation describes how quickly something’s momentum changes. Momentum is mass times velocity. So right before impact, the
more something’s momentum is about to change, go from some velocity to zero, or the more
quickly all that momentum comes to a complete or partial stop, the more force it is going to take. That is why something like an ant with a tiny, tiny mass
and therefore momentum, can hit the ground after
falling off of a cliff and be fine, but Deadpool cannot. Ew. Ah, ah, ah, it’s on my hand! You cannot change you
mass, and you can’t change Earth’s gravity, so the
easiest thing for you to do to reduce the forces on you when landing is to extend the amount of time it takes for your momentum to
come to a complete stop. And to demonstrate this,
consider this simple egg. It’s a wonderful little
evolutionary creation that is famous for both its
strength and its fragility. Now, if I threw this egg up
and let it hit the hard ground that I’m standing on, it would break. But if I extend the amount of time the egg comes to a stop in by catching it with something soft, like this sheet… Heh, the egg is fine, as you can see. Timing is incredibly
important in this calculus. When the timing is extended,
then the egg is fine. But if the time is shortened, then… Ow, they get it! Ooh. Oh. Oh. Oh, it hurts. Oh, is it dripping? How much is it dripping? Ow. Did you get it? How does all this apply
to the superhero landing? Well, let me show you
by getting out of here. Comin’ in hot! Here I am at my local rock-climbing gym. Because time to stop is so
important for impact force, let’s time how long it takes
me to attempt a normal landing and a superhero landing respectively. My SHL attempts averaged
about a third of a second. Wow. So cinematic. And here are my normal landing attempts. These averaged a little
over half a second. As you can see, the SHL stopped
me quite a bit more quickly, and trust me, you can feel
that force difference. For superheroes that
fall from great heights and therefore land at great velocities, this time difference
is even more important. Mr. Stark! It’s me! So now let’s estimate the kinds of forces that a real superhero like Iron Man would undergo during a superhero landing. How about when Iron Man slams down on that stage during Iron Man II? I know, I know. But I like Sam Rockwell. For the sake of simplicity,
I’m gonna assume that Iron Man first stabilizes himself and then turns off his repulsors to freefall from a distance
of 30 meters above the stage. About 100 feet. And I’m gonna assume no air resistance, because it is easier that way. Now, knowing the fall
distance and the acceleration due to gravity, we can use
these kinematic equations, or equations of motion, to first find how long it takes Tony
to freefall to the ground during the superhero landing, and then his velocity right before impact. Plug all of that into
our it’s-not-the-fall- that-kills-you equation
along with Tony Stark’s mass, his final velocity from
this kinematic equation, and the time it takes
for Tony Stark to come to a stop, which looks
like just a single frame of the movie in Iron Man II, and you get a total force when Tony Stark comes slamming down onto that stage of 112,000 newtons, the equivalent of a head-on car
collision at highway speeds. No, Mr. Stark, wait! Comfort me! I don’t feel good! Treat me like a Spiderboy! Speaking of car crashes,
how about another example? Like when Batman crashes
down on the hood of a van during a superhero landing
in The Dark Knight. Using the same equations but
changing some values around, I’m assuming that Batman
weighs 95 kilograms, that he’s falling from a
distance of around six meters, about two stories, and he comes to a stop within four movie frames, and
you find that in that scene, when Bruce’s knee comes smashing down on the top of that van, he is enduring over 6,000 newtons. Now, for context,
estimates for what it takes to shatter the strongest
bone in your body, the femur, come in at 4,000 newtons. That means that without some supersuit or something else to protect you, these kinds of superhero landings, at least in these examples,
would totally break you. I do not want to be here when
that starts to grow back. The only thing that you can really control in these force equations
is the stoppage time. And that’s exactly why,
during a normal landing, we bend our legs. It extends the amount
of time our momentum has to come to a complete stop, and thereby it lowers the forces on our bodies. And trust me, you wanna do that. You feel the difference. But do not take my word for it. For the sake of completeness, and to prove just how much of a difference a simple difference in timing can make, I ramped it up. Whoa. Okay, so here I am about
to attempt a normal landing from the exact same
height that Batman landed in The Dark Knight, the scene
that we just went through. There’s a lot of padding under me, and our positions aren’t exact, but it’s close enough for our purposes, and I didn’t want to hurt myself. Clocking my stoppage time here, it takes me just about 0.275 seconds to come to a complete stop. If you extend Batman’s stopping time in that Dark Knight
scene to my stopping time doing a normal landing
from the same height, you get a reduction in force of a full 39%. Now, I know that Batman
was trying to crush that bad guy’s van, but
what I am trying to prove is that the difference
between a normal landing and a superhero landing,
even though the times are just fractions of a second, can be the difference
between maybe walking away from a landing and definitely not. Because this percentage reduction takes the force that’s on Bruce Wayne well out of the
femur-shattering bone zone. It’s better. Because there is little to no leg bending, the superhero landing is almost designed to break you, but if you
could withstand these forces, it would make for a pretty good entrance. Right, Batman? That is annoying. Looking back at those
SHL forces we calculated, those forces are gonna be
acting over some surface area. Let’s just assume that’s
mostly the surface area of a knee. Now, I measured the
surface area of my knee, and it came to around
39 square centimeters. Now, if Tony Stark came flying in and did a superhero landing with the mass and velocity that we assumed earlier, then the pressure at his knee upon impact would be nearly 30 million pascals. The compressive strength of concrete ranges from around 17 to 28 megapascals. Which means that if a hero like Stark came screaming in for a superhero landing with forces at his knee
like we are assuming, then just like in the
movies, at point of impact, the concrete would
crack, and it would crack other similarly strong
materials, at least if those heroes had the same mass
and velocity of Mr. Stark. Wait, don’t go! I still don’t feel goo… Oh boy. But even though the required
pressures are there, to make a superhero
landing really look right, you would need another particular power. Superdensity. Smartboy Isaac Newton
came up with a very clever approximation for how far
one object would penetrate into another if everything was moving at sufficiently high velocity. He found that the depth of penetration will depend on the length of the object and the ratio of the densities of the impactor and the impacted. For example, a bullet
versus Jell-o will have a very high ratio, meaning
the penetration will be high. But for something like wood
versus the density of steel, the penetration is very low,
because the ratio is low. Now, this approximation
really only applies to really fast-moving objects like bullets and meteors, but it gets
us where we wanna go. A normal human knee, made
out of skin and bone, is much less dense than concrete, which means that without some power like superhuman density, a human knee during a superhero landing
is more likely to smoosh than smash. Some superheroes might still be able to pull off this grand entrance, though. Remember in the first Iron Man film, when Tony Stark says that his suit is made out of a gold titanium alloy? Well, gold is the seventh-most
dense element on Earth. It’s even denser than uranium, and uranium is highly valued in weaponry for its penetrating power
because of its density. So if Iron Man had an ultra-dense suit, or if another superhero had an ultra-dense property to their body because
of some other superpower, then there’s actually a good chance that they could come in
for a ground-shattering superhero landing without
smooshing themselves. Come on, man! I’m already like Bucky. But you, with your squishy human body, should never land like a superhero. If you’re falling from a
height of a meter, it’s fine. Trust me, I tried. But any higher than that,
and the three-point landing is impractical on almost every level. Deadpool was right. Even if you could
withstand the high forces that the superhero landing imposes on you by minimizing the amount of time your momentum has to come to a stop, you still need another
superpower like superdensity to make sure that you do not
smoosh during the process. The three-point landing is
already a term in aviation. It describes when an airplane
lands with all three wheels at once, instead of two and then the nose. It’s considered bad, because
the nose landing gear isn’t designed to take
those kinds of forces. And neither are your knees. I know it doesn’t look as cool, but your patellas will pa-thank you. Because science. Time to jump on outta here. Oh, oh. Oh, my quads. Can’t do it. It was for science. I mean yes, if you’re falling 100 feet, you’re gonna get messed up regardless. But what I’m saying is that you will be messed up less if you land normally, because it extends the amount of time. That’s the same thing
that parkour guys do. They land and roll, and
they’re falling further than they otherwise
would, and that increases the amount of time and lowers the force. That’s how they can
drop from so far and… I am limping around,
around the void today. My quads are killing me because of this. Morpheus knew that. That’s why he always landed and tried to hurt someone with his knee powers. Thank you so much for watching, Robert. If you like this video and you are on the Because Science
channel, please consider liking on the Facebook
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bell on the YouTube page. There’s a lot of other nerdy stuff that we get up to on this
channel, so go find it. If you want more of
me, check out Muskwatch on, where me and my colleague Dan Casey talk very sillily
about a very serious man. And go to Project Alpha
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you can get this show two days earlier than anyone else. Look at that. And follow me and Because Science hereish.

David Anderson

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100 thoughts on “Never Do a Superhero Landing

  1. Because Science says:

    Thanks for watching! Yes, my thighs were destroyed by this, and yes, that egg hurt real bad. I told them to really whip it at my chest. — KH

  2. Alex The VII says:

    Wow, you really seem to hate everything superheroes do lol.

  3. Name2site says:

    4:31 Cheater. Need a follow up video with the math including air resistance.

  4. Griffinnator says:

    cut ur hear

  5. Samuel Kalvin says:

    6,200 ÷ 3 limbs each limb = 2000,& half of stated shatter point plus Batman and iron both have body armor and maybe exosuits but Probobly they have exosuits

    And a 3x the division of better than 2x division of force on limbs go figure

  6. BHD Gaming says:

    I go free running with my mates all the time I always make a superhero landing of the roofs

  7. Mads Holm says:

    :u can not change ur mass

    watch me eat 3 ben n Jerrys

  8. Juma Muhammad Usman says:

    What bout spider man's landing

  9. Isaiah Tufor says:

    I always do a Superhero Landing after taking a shit… right off the toilet.

  10. Rakib is bd says:

    But i feel comfortable in while landing in the superhero landing

  11. alexjacky person says:

    Like what deadpool say

  12. Game Program says:

    9:56 that's what she said

  13. Robert Stancu Constantin says:

    Me:A good boy called Robert watching this episode like all of us should be
    Kyle saying Robert at the end of the video
    Me: Happines noise

  14. Bengt Bepponen says:

    love smart ppl videos =)

  15. Curlyque 89 says:

    Can I call you Thor

  16. OJC Maboloc says:

    Vibranium is a good fix

  17. valiroime says:

    It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the bottom.

  18. Joseph Innes says:

    Didn’t think you’d catch the egg in the sheet, huh? Lol

  19. Ryan McCormick says:

    Crushing the van roof absorbed Batman's force, just like crumple zones in any vehicle.
    I'm a FireFighter Paramedic who once picked up a suicide attempt victim years ago, they jumped from a 20 story building ~230ft according to that buildings statistics. They landed on a car, and crushed the roof all the way down to the center console between the seats. He lived with only a broken pelvis which landed on the trunk with more structure at the rear bulkhead. His his torso and head hit the roof saving him, his legs hung off the end of the trunk when we extraction his body.
    They were unbelievably angry, his emotional pain was still there, with the embarrassment of his public injury, and the physical pain from the pelvis fracture.
    But I'm used to people cussing at me and threats while doing my job.
    But landing from a height is possible to survive.

  20. Huehuehue Hue says:

    Wait is there a clear white board in front of him

  21. HumA says:

    You're right about the Iron Man superhero landing, but I think that the Batman landing it's a bit different.

    The hull of the car bents when he impacts the vehicle so there isn't a direct relation between how much energy your bones will suffer, part of that energy is absorbed by the car on the process of bending, with the superhero landing with a solid floor you receive "all" the force, but with a bending floor you wont. That's why the same jump landing on different surfaces hurts more or less( concrete vs foam, for example). I'm not saying that it's enough to not break your legs, I don't did the calculations, but the numbers wouldn't be a direct relation.

  22. Brett Barager says:

    Well, ya lost me when you started talking in newtons and pascals . . . why not just convert it to PSI? Most people understand that. So, 112,000 newtons (per square meter – I assume that you are talking about per square metre since all of the calculators I could find on google used this) equals 16.244 psi. If it takes only 4000 newtons to cleanly break the femur (or, 0.58 psi) then Iron Man is landing way over what it would take to break his leg . . . like 32X more . . . Batman lands at 6200 newtons (or 0.899 psi) . . . Same with pascals. You suddenly stopped talking about newtons and switched to pascals. WTF?? So, 30 million pascals converts to 4351.1 psi on his knee. I also got confused when you spoke about all of the force on his knee. In looking at the superhero landing, not all of the energy is at the knee. Some of it is also at the fist and the other foot hitting the ground at the same time; thus, the actual energy distribution changes from just landing on the knee to being equally distributed across three points. I don't dispute that that the landing force is way beyond what a human can survive (even if it were equally distributed between the knee, fist and other foot). All I am saying is that it helps if you speak in terms we layperson's can relate to: psi. If you had said that Iron Man lands at 16.244 psi and it only takes 0.58 psi to break the femur, then this would have made more sense – even if that were 16.244 psi equally distributed among three landing points (or 5.4146 psi) . . . still WAY more than the 0.58 psi referred to earlier)

  23. Speedy Gunz says:

    Well, I plan on being a supervillain, so this is non-applicable to me.

  24. neberyx says:

    There is no way this man is not a Viking

  25. Nicolaus Volentius says:

    To be fair, Batman landed on his feet in a crouching position.

  26. IQ Cracker says:

    Because Science #Thor telling not land like he did in the movies😂

  27. Gregory Goett says:

    I had assumed that the Super Hero Landing was a truncated Parcor landing. A 2 step landing, where mere mortals would have to continue to a roll, the Hero could stop short, and on their fist.

  28. teddy freddy says:

    he has to write every thing backwards

  29. Sidewayz says:

    Being able to write mirror style is a pretty good, but kinda useless skill to have =D

  30. Gabriel Rodriguez says:

    Earth doesnt punch back

  31. Gabriel Rodriguez says:

    Goku beats superman before he was conceived

  32. Gaming Legend says:

    I only heard momentum hero and deadpool in this video. Physics is hard

  33. Richard Samuelson says:

    11:04 I thought uranium was highly sought-after because of a different, more long-lasting and deadly, property…

  34. 420 says:

    this makes me want to do a superhero landing

  35. Isaiah Riley says:

    Laws don't matter on movies

  36. Mar s says:

    What if you have weridly thick bones

  37. Thomas says:

    So what you're saying is spiderman is the best superhero

  38. Scott Sanders says:

    Is that science Fabio?

  39. 1000 subscribers without any video challenge says:

    3:38 Thor landing 💥

  40. Boudosaved says:

    Now i understand why a T Rex can get seriously injured or even die if you just make them fall if they are on the ground

  41. сука Haw says:

    2:50 when you throw an unborn baby chicken at a debatably muscular blonde
    Get nae naed
    Speaking of nae naes, better nae nae the pain away.

  42. Jimmy Strudel says:

    Do it with crack and you'll be fine

  43. Zenny Vassallo says:

    One Time When i Was at School i fell of the iron bar thing i sat on and Landed Palm First like a Hero from a low Distance, Even tho it Hurt a little that was Pretty Sweet

  44. SIMPLE VIEW CLAN kansai says:

    The most educated video ever

  45. Friendly Neighborhood Asian Man says:

    YES! these really hurt, and I've only done them from 15 feet. always remember to roll, like captain America.

  46. Queenx says:

    Too bad ricochet already did it and doesn't hurt him

  47. it’z nothinn productions boiss says:

    u look lile thor

  48. Sonnenabend says:

    I also remember Trinity’s landing in Matrix (or Matrix 2?).

  49. Megachaingunman says:

    I tested it of my bed
    I can feel it

  50. Colin Campbell says:

    Hey, if you are in "the void", how can you be standing on hard ground?

  51. charles g says:

    The only thing your formulas don’t account for is plot armor.

  52. experimenter19 says:

    so anyone but superman should not try it got it

  53. The Devil of pubg Mobile says:

    Mr.stark it’s me mario

  54. Narrative Knight says:

    I just have to say that your super hero landing looked awesome! I highly recommend keeping that in your repertoire. Totally awesome!

  55. Swamon 3 says:

    Hehe, trust me I’ve done it on accident before.

    I was maybe 9-10 and jumped from the 11th step of stairs and my wrist was very hurt

    Wait you landed on your feet then to your knee and fist? I landed directly on my fist and knee

  56. Apaleus Aldore says:

    Ironman: exists
    Thor: I don't feel so good

  57. Dusty Miller says:

    Remember. It's not the fall that kills you; It's the sudden stop at the end.

  58. Cartoonfan Nikola says:

    Diamonds are also extremly hard but fragile

  59. Dom Vasta says:

    4kN to shatter a femur sounds really low, like there are people who weigh more than 400kg who can walk, plenty of people can lift more than that, their bones don't shatter under the weight, that same force applied in a shearing motion might break bones, but not in pure compression.

  60. Dinnin Freeman says:

    What about landing like Spider-man?

  61. Elliott Cooper says:

    What about the extra deceleration time from 3 point landings.

  62. FoilCandy says:

    Deadpool Reynolds needs to co-host a show with you. Just Saiyan.

  63. eric dayse says:

    Well the heroes you name and you said yourself unless you have a super suit it not possible without injury…. state in the new batman movies we see the injuries incurred doing such missions. So you are right without their super suits they wouldn't be the heroes we know

  64. robert hicks says:

    I always assumed that batman and others use some kind of springs in their suits to absorb a lot of the energy of impacts.

  65. kuriboh rulez says:

    In America superhero landings break you In Soviet Russia you break superhero landings
    In America aerogel Defies law of physics in soviet Russia laws of physics defy aerogel

  66. Ants Netherlands says:

    Yup, your right. once at the gym at school i was swinging on those ring things on the ceiling, then i slipped off backwards, made a backflip and land on my fist and knee because i could not land on my feet. so i land like that on the gym floor… i broke my:arm knee big toe 4 of my fingers and my wrist

  67. Glitched Blox says:

    Thor u ok?

  68. Aj freerunner says:


  69. don don says:

    Bro can you do an analysis about the leg weights that Rock Lee from Naruto season 1 trains with and removes during his fight with Gaara??? To gain super speed?

  70. Sindre bjørkly says:

    In the Batman example, wouldn't the bending of the cars hood and roof act as some sort of padding for Batman? I do not know how much though.

  71. Juju Feirrieo says:

    When I first found this channel I'm like why does he look so familiar then I realized he looks like Thor

  72. Liam Perich says:

    okay, so pretty much this does not look cool whatsoever.

  73. Noob Master69 says:

    You look like matt&heff hardy cousin

  74. GuidoAnchovy B says:

    the gayest pose ever

  75. Shin m0h says:

    The "superhero landing" is the prelude to the move called , in Japanese , "zenpo kaiten" : a forward roll to reduce the landing impact by rolling forward.
    In parkour when you land from a very high jump, you reach the ground in the "superhero landing pose " from a fraction of a second before rolling forward.

    That's probably why that kind of landing looks so cool, because it implies that you don't even need to roll to withstand the impact.

  76. dmdz says:

    There's a reason traceurs and freerunners roll when they hit the ground. There's also a reason they can jump off of high roofs without injuring themselves (assuming they roll correctly when they hit the ground).

  77. RJ Drakon says:

    It's not the force that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the end.

  78. RJ Drakon says:

    Eggs, Kyles Kryptonite

  79. RJ Drakon says:

    Maybe super heros have gel packs in the knees of their suits/boots?

  80. Anders Sorenson says:

    The "Gold Titanium Alloy" Isn't this Titanium Nitride?

  81. Darth Mushyhead says:

    Ummm… sorry, could you say that again? I don't speak nerdese

  82. HelpfulVader99 says:

    So if you’re shopping for super powers, invest in super durability or nigh invulnerability first and foremost if you’re planning on being a hero that does a lot of physical feats.

  83. ding dawng says:

    Who would've guessed thor doesn't like superhero landings

  84. Darkslayer_53 says:

    But iron man is a super genius so he probably knows this and made his suit to protect from that ad well as fights

  85. joey rosenbaum says:

    So as a kid I always had the theory that if you went say. Halfway into the earth. Then the force of gravity would be halved. A more refined version of the theory was later that if you shaved off half the earth (keeping the orb shape) then the gravity would half. Hence why the gravity would be lowered the further into the planet you weny

  86. Zero Flak says:

    How much would the stop time increase if I used another human as a cushion?

  87. Marjohn Buncio says:

    I fell off a 3 story building and landed on top of a car square on my back. I can attest to this!

  88. xX_Charon_Xx says:

    I dont know if someone already said it or not, but for the Batman landing, a lot of energy was absorbed by afore mentioned vehicle and would lessen the impact on Bruce's skeletal structure. While yes, he would still sustain injuries from this event, but they would be less than they would have been had he just landed on the concrete.

  89. Ivan Aparte says:

    I do this to skip the steps on the stairs but instead of a fist, i spread my fingers
    I dunno if it affects anything or not

    Please help

  90. Spider59er says:

    Never do the superhero landing
    But always land like Spider-Man

  91. mike L says:

    the classic roll off

  92. Mr. X says:

    No need to explain that, in fact deadpool prove that 😂😂🤣🤣

  93. Ian B says:

    You should do one on invulnerability or some thing that that

  94. T Greene says:

    Question. How much effect would Batman's cape that he extends before he crashes into the van to slow him down affect his impact?

  95. The Rex / Man of Steel says:

    basically the only hero who wouldnt take damage would be antman

  96. Donkey says:

    batman is a bit safer in the example because of the deformation of the car roof + shattering of the glass

  97. Neon Foxy says:

    me brain hurt

  98. Twofingersonmobile says:

    What about Spider-Man landing?

  99. Zelex says:

    Thor telling us not to land like he did 800 times

  100. ItsKianPlaysRB YaBoi says:

    i am iron man

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