When you drop a basketball from a great height, in this case, 415 feet (126.5 m) off of Tasmania’s Gordon Dam, the basketball will generally fall down into the area below where it was dropped. But what happens when you add some backspin to the basketball as you drop it?

This video from Veritasium’s Derek Muller shows us exactly what happens and why, and then goes on to explain some of the Surprising Applications of the Magnus Effect, also called the Magnus Force, “the commonly observed effect in which a spinning ball (or cylinder) curves away from its principal flight path.”

Pair this with Veritasium’s 2011 video about the effect’s influence on balls in sports, complete with an easy paper cylinder experiment you can try:

Related reading: The “Perfect” Free Kick & the Magnus Effect, the Flettner ship, and Mega Ships of Tomorrow May Be Driven by Technology From the Past.

Related Magnus Effect fun: Physics Girl’s The Physics Behind a Curveball.

Thanks, @arisb.