Shoe Fly, Don't Bother Me, or Mike Tyson?
September 3, 2009 8:09 AM Subscribe
Why aren't tiny insects killed by the impact of a swatting hand?
posted by thankyoumuchly to home & garden (11 answers total)
Why aren't tiny insects (flies, bees, mosquitos, etc.) killed by the force of the impact of a human hand, (or any other "solid" object...fly swatter, textbook, etc.)? For example, the following does not kill insects:
(hand) Solid Object -> Insect <> Air
I was thinking this may be due to a "cushion" of air surrounding the striking object, but I've also swatted insects directly into the pavement/concrete before and I've never seen one die this way either:
(hand) Soilid Object -> Insect <> Air -> Solid Object (concrete)
Crushing/clapping the insect in between my hands in mid air (or between my shoe and concrete) DOES result in death to the insect, but that seems obvious to me, see the following:
(shoe) Solid Object -> I >n >s e < c < t <- Solid Object (concrete)
. . .
So what gives? Why is this? It seems like most living objects larger than a mouse would not survive any of the above scenarios, but an insect can survive 2 out of the 3? Hell, a human can't even survive all 3 of these sometimes (a Mike Tyson punch to a human head in mid air may end badly). Surely my hand (relatively speaking of course) swats a fly in mid air with more force than does the force of the hand of Mike Tyson punching a person in the head?
What's the reason???>>