Have you ever wondered how much bubble wrap you'd need to envelop yourself in to survive a 60-meter fall? Oh, what am I saying — of course you have. But I bet you've never actually sat down and worked through the physics to arrive at thoroughly reasoned answer.
That's where Wired's Rhett Allain comes in. With the help of some physics and a little math, Allain considered factors like bubble wrap thickness, density, and spring constant, to calculate (with the help of some experimentation) just how many layers of air-cushioned goodness you'd need to jump off a building and walk away unscathed.
So just how much wrap do you need? According to Allain:
I am going to go with 39 layers of bubble wrap. Should you actually do this? No. Don't do this. Well, I guess you could do this with a dummy or something.
One more quick question. I wonder how much bubble wrap you would need to survive jumping out of a plane. You might not need too much more since all that bubble wrap would also slow your terminal speed down.
In the end, maybe you shouldn't pop that bubble wrap. It might be useful someday. (WARNING: jumping out of a window is not a good idea – just to be clear)
You can check out all the calculations and experiments behind Allain's answer over at WIRED.
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