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This video is more proof that science is awesome. Veritasium explains the concept of the magnus effect using a basketball.

At first they drop the ball down the ledge and watch it fall essentially in the same place it was dropped.

Now, apply a bit of backspin, and something entirely different happens. The basketball floats along in the air for quite a bit before falling into the river. It even bounces off the river a few times before finally landing.

This is called the Magnus Effect and it probably explains why Ray Allen is such a good shooter too. He applies a strong amount of backspin to his shot and that’s why he’s such an accurate shooter. But more importantly, when you’re up high over a river and have a basketball you have a cool experiment to try out now.

[h/t Rare]