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Is the Incredible Spinning Bullet on Ice Real?

Illustration for article titled Is the Incredible Spinning Bullet on Ice Real?

Apparently, Mythbusters is going to film a segment to test the incredible case of the spinning bullet on ice. Many people are discussing if this is possible or not. After watching it repeatedly and reading the arguments, I believe it.

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Some people say that this is impossible. How can a .40 caliber bullet stop on the ice like that, losing all its forward momentum and still keep spinning? I don't know the what the physics are, but the video is pretty clear and I don't see any way of faking that, which is probably why Mythbusters is going to put it to the test. Like one of the commenters in the Discovery forums said:

either they did many many hours planning and editing and Photoshop work, or they have access to very powerful special effects editing software with good knowledge on how to use it, and still spent hours working on it. Or they just found an interesting seemingly impossible thing that bullets do in ice and filmed it. If they got paid to put all the work into making this a fake then that would be another story, but since it has nothing to do with any viral add they didn't get paid, putting in the work it would have taken to fake it would be a little nuts…

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That's why other people are saying that this is possible, and would fall be one of the many crazy things that a bullet can do. You know, magic bullets. Like the one that killed Kennedy.

In any case, I'm glad the Mythbusters are on the case. We will know the truth soon enough. [Youtube via Mythbusters Discovery Forums]

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DISCUSSION

donjumpsuit
donjumpsuit

The physics is quite simple. The bullet is a spherical object, that is very hot, the ice is an compound that can go from a solid to a gaseous phase when contacted with a hot object. The bullet spins because where it touches the ice, it creates microbursts of steam that when released, creates a motive force on the bullet.

A confirmation and replicate experiment would to heat a bullet up with fire (not a live round), or heat up a spherical metal object (like a marble or ball bearing), and set it on ice to see how it moves.