If big falls don’t kill some bugs then why do those same bugs get killed if you hit them mid-air?



*It’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop.*

This basically means that the impact is what kills you. But bugs don’t weigh enough to reach a speed that could create a big enough force to kill them on impact.

However, when you hit a bug mid-air, it generally kills it but how? It’s an impact to isn’t it basically the same thing as a fall?

They’re suddenly coming into contact with an object in both situations so what’s the deal?

In: Physics

When you’re falling your sudden stop is relative to an inmoving object (the ground) so a fly’s terminal velocity isn’t enough to kill it hitting the ground, swinging your hand or a flyswatter at it is much faster than their terminal velocity.

Survival of the fall would most likely be due to a lowers terminal velocity. The lighter an object the slower they fall. I’m sure getting hit by a hand would be at much higher speeds.

Force is mass times acceleration, and everything falls with the same acceleration (gravity 9.8m/s/s) so this bug that weighs almost nothing, and has a very low terminal velocity (because its so light the air it falls through slows it down significantly) we have F = mass(very tiny number) times downwards momentum( relatively tiny number) this leaves us without much actual energy being transferred into the bug from its fall. Now when your hand hits that bug you have a mass thats 100s or maybe 1000s times larger moving at some speed, the force of that impact is incredible from the bugs perspective. Its like a human being hit by a truck.