What Really Happens If You Drop A Penny From The Top Of The Empire State Building? [Video]


Can a penny dropped off the Empire State Building really kill you? What does happen if you drop a penny from the Empire State Building?

When you drop a penny from the empire state building video - Kids Activities Blog
Could a penny dropped from the Empire State Building really kill someone?

Childhood Lore of Drop a Penny

There are a lot of things we hear as little kids that we believe well into adulthood.

I’m not talking Santa or the Stork or any of that…I’m talking about how you have to hold your breath walking past a cemetery.

Related: More fun facts

Or how counting to 10 cures hiccups.

Or if you count the second between thunder and lightening you know how many miles away a storm is.

Can a Penny Kill You if Dropped from the Empire State Building?

Or, a really big one, that a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building could kill someone.

Could it, though?

screenshot from video about dropping a penny off the Empire State Building and if that could really kill someone - man and penny
What would actually happen if you dropped a penny that far?

Empire State Building Penny Drop

Turns out, the answer is no.

And the solution to this comes straight from the world of physics.

See, when something is falling it is acted on by gravity, but also by air resistance.

So there’s a point after you drop that penny where it reaches it’s maximum speed (surprisingly low) and there’s nothing that can happen that’ll make it fall faster.

screenshot from video about air resistance and gravity related to dropping penny off empire state building
It is science.

What Happens When a Penny is Dropped

Something else that makes this an unlikely happening is the fact that pennies are not very aerodynamic.

They’re flat, and flip, and flop around.

And chances are one gust of wind is going to blow it completely off course and it might not even end up hitting the ground!

Take a look!

What REALLY happens if you drop a penny off the Empire State Building Video

More Science Fun from Kids Activities Blog

What had you heard about dropping a penny from the Empire State Building as a child?


Our names are Fareedah and Kamilah Amoo. We are seven and five year’s old sisters and live in Ontario, Canada, with our parents and little brother, Awad. We love writing stories, painting on canva, coding, reading books, and enjoying arts and crafts. Our goal is to motivate every child worldwide to read more books.

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