Main Not The Fall That Kills You Discussion

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12:35:29 AM Mar 8th 2013
I don't have the source to hand at the moment. But a few years ago I was reading a book about forensic autopsies, and the subject in question had jumped off a building, apparent suicide. He had landed on his feet, but they weren't sure if the distance to fall had been enough to kill as opposed to severely injure him. (Even in the city on a sidewalk.)

Turns out that somehow, the way he hit and when he hit as his heart beat forced a massive amount of blood into his heart. (That was the theory.) His heart literally exploded; the one telling the story said it looked like his heart had shredded into fine spaghetti. Very unusual. And another way for the stop at the end to be lethal.
01:35:33 AM Mar 8th 2013
... Eww. Hope that's an urban legend.
03:03:54 PM Dec 6th 2011
Shouldn't we add the Leap of Faith thing into the assassin's creed examples? It seems like pretty much the same thing to me. Jump off 10-story building, land in hay bale, magically survive.
02:11:35 PM Dec 4th 2011
New troper, but what would the best way to discuss climbing ropes as a possible real life example?

I would like to point out that modern dynamic ropes are elasticated and so potentially avert(?) this trope as opposed to the old school climbers who first tied inelastic hemp ropes around there waists which would of course have helped very little.
08:52:36 PM Oct 3rd 2010
Moving an example to the examples page: the gist appears to be that if a character can change their vector by wrapping a cable around a fixed object when following a trajectory in zero-G he must have been moving fast enough to get hurt if he hit something. That's too complex and indirect to make a good example.

  • Subverted in Ender's Game and by Proxy Ender's Shadow. Bean becomes Ender's 'Special Tactics' team leader and Bean procures a bunch of steel rope. He uses it in the Zero-G environment of the battle room to make pin-point turns, and considering that "The enemy gate is down" most times he'd be swinging up and around a crate and shows that unpadded and without proper training it really fucking hurts.
05:43:36 AM Aug 4th 2010
edited by KSonik
You know we should really only list examples in video games when it happens within the story. If it happens within the gameplay then shouldn't it be associated with Acceptable Breaks from Reality?
06:11:30 PM Apr 16th 2010
Cut the following paragraph. We don't need a physics lesson embedded in the trope description:

Mind you, it's not the stop either. It's the SPEED of the stop that kills you, and how you feel that speed. Decelerating from terminal velocity to zero in 15 seconds is significantly less fatal than the 0.0001 seconds you get from hitting concrete. Also, the human body can theoretically sustain sudden accelerations of up to and beyond 46 Gs (451.3 metres per square-second, or transitioning from a speed of just over 1000 mph to 0 in a second for reference). This requires the person to be very well-restrained, however, to distribute the force along the entire body, must also be in very specific directions (pushing into the body laterally from the front, or "eyeballs-in"), and will still result in permanent damage (as the test subject, John Stapp, learned). Unrestrained, an average person's tolerance tops out at 17 Gs eyeballs-in, 12 Gs eyeballs-out (laterally from the back), and only 5 Gs up or down along the spine, as long as the entire decelerative force isn't concentrated at a single weak point (like that shoulder that once happened to attach the arm presently grabbing at the ledge to the rest of your body). To put these numbers in context, Apollo 16 briefly reached 7 Gs on re-entry, while a Formula 1 racing car decelerating from top speed might reach 5 if the driver is feeling daring. When in 1983, Soyuz "T-10-1"'s escape system fired to blast the capsule clear of the burning rocket, the two-man had almost 20 Gs and were badly bruised.
05:21:33 PM Apr 8th 2011
It's not even the "the speed of the stop" that kills you: it's the fact that one part of your body decelerates rapidly and the rest of it starts to decelerate… a little bit later. Squish.
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