Why Do Cats Always Land On Their Feet? High-Speed VIDEO Reveals Secret

The physics of why cats are always able to land on their feet has been understood for some time now -- it's called an aerial righting reflex -- but that doesn't lessen the splendor of being able to watch those reflexes in action through high-speed video.

Destin, an engineer from Alabama who is behind the series of YouTube videos called Smarter Every Day, got his hands on a Phantom Miro M320S high-speed camera and a cat named Gigi to show viewers the physics behind a cat being able to right itself.

Destin explains how a cat can rotate into position and then stop its rotation to land comfortably. It's trickier than you'd think.

That's where Gigi comes in.

Destin drops the cat from several feet above the ground onto a platform below. The camera shows Gigi arch her back, dividing her body into two sections that rotate away from one another, as Destin explains just what's happening physically.

Of course, Destin isn't the first to show a capture a cat's movements in slow motion.

An old National Geographic video uses photographic footage to explain why a cat's anatomy makes it adept to surviving falls.

The video also notes that cats that fall from higher distances are often in better shape than those that have fallen from shorter ones, because they have more time to reach free-fall, relax their bodies and align themselves.

But cats have a natural advantage in the air, at least compared to humans. A BBC article from earlier this year explains that cats don't weigh much in comparison to their surface area, which means that they reach terminal velocity at slower speeds than a human would. A typical cat might hit terminal velocity at 60 mph, while an adult human would fall about twice as quickly.

In 2006, a cat survived an 80-foot fall after spending eight days stuck in a tree. The cat received only ibuprofen for stiffness and hydration as treatment, according to MSNBC.

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