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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Would 50lb of this, this, this or that hurt if you were hit by it details inside?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26783points) March 21st, 2014

If you were hit with 50 lb of goose feather, cotton balls, shelled sunflower seeds, empty Easter eggs, or 50 lb of croutons which would hurt more?

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17 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Please clarify; what is an empty Easter egg; the egg shell? Dyed or not?

White, whole wheat, rye or gluten-free croutons?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Easter egg = empty plastic ones.

Croutons = either, so long as it is 50 lb of them.

Brian1946's avatar

Would these items be held in a container or not?

If so, what kind(s) of container(s)?

Winter_Pariah's avatar

Yeah, there really isn’t enough information to go off of, are they in a bag? Are they falling from some height or being swung or tossed by someone at you? Assuming they’re just being dumped onto your head from above, I’d go with the plastic Easter eggs. Contained in a sack, the sunflower seeds.

NanoNano's avatar

It depends on how tightly packed they each are. They could all hurt substantially or not at all.

You also have to consider the height they are dropped from. Terminal velocity in Earth gravity at sea level is somewhere in the range of 120 mph for a human, but it will vary based on the drag force for these other objects, again, based on how tightly compacted they are and the shape of the container.

Also, you need a certain minimal distance to reach terminal velocity…

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Brian1946 Dropped from 15 ft or greater or flung as if by a Mangonel

@Winter_Pariah Loose, no bags, sacks, or any other thing to keep them bunched,

Brian1946's avatar

Any of those items dropped from about 16 feet would be hitting me at about 22 MPH (probably less for the feathers), so unless the point of a seed or the corner of a crouton hits me in my eye, none of them would hurt.

Because of their aerodynamic properties, I don’t think feathers or cotton balls could ever reach terminal velocity from any height unless they were propelled by a 120 MPH downdraft. Therefore, I don’t think either of them would hurt regardless of from what height they’re dropped.

If they were dropped in a vacuum and therefore reached terminal velocity, the impact might sting a little, but I doubt that they would cause any injuries.

I’m sure the other items would hurt if they hit me at terminal velocity.

Berserker's avatar

The seeds would hurt, they’d probably sting a lot, then break and get into your eyes and stuff. Same for the croutons. But honestly I have no idea which one of those weighs the most.

longgone's avatar

^^Don’t they all weigh 50lb, per the OP’s definition? :]

NanoNano's avatar


Yes. The real question here is the application of force over distance and time. (The very same principle that makes air bags capable of saving lives when you run into something made out of steel at 65 miles per hour.)

cheebdragon's avatar

50lbs is 50lbs so it’s going to feel about the same, give or take any sharp edges.

NanoNano's avatar


Not really. 50 lbs. of feathers compacted down to the size of a sugar cube is going to hurt pretty bad if it hits you in the head. 50 lbs. of feathers compacted down to the shape of a ball point pen is going to hurt pretty bad if it hits you in the head. 50 lbs of feathers spread out over an area of 100 square feet is probably going to feel like a soft blanket if it hits you in the head.

gailcalled's avatar

Density vs. mass. Density is the quantity of mass per unit volume.

cheebdragon's avatar

@NanoNano I thought we were using logic to solve the problem, not hypothetical technology. My bad.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@cheebdragon Here is a bit of logic for you, if it were spread out over 100 yd, or even 20 yd it would be difficult for it to all hit you, so, logically for this question, it is delivered tight enough for you to be struck by 97% or more of it. <wink wink>

cheebdragon's avatar

If if were spread out, it wouldn’t all be able to hit you so it wouldn’t really be 50lbs hitting you. Right?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ You got the logic! :-P

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