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The Black Mamba jumps a pit of snakes



Kobe Bryant just retired after 20 years at the Lakers. As a player straight from high school into the NBA he has set many records and is arguably one of the best basketball players of all time. One thing that him and other basketball players are known for is his jumping (which might not be as good as it was 10 years ago). I figured this would be as good a time as ever to analyze his jumping skills in two videos - one of him jumping a pit of snakes and dunking a ball, and of him jumping over a car (in my next blog post). Many believe that neither were real, so I'd like to discuss the physics of both stunts.

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So the video above is of Kobe jumping a pit of snakes (I'd assume not venomous since other people were in the pit before him). After some statistics were found on this, it was calculated that his vertical acceleration was -9.56m/s^2, which is close enough to an object's acceleration due to gravity (9.81m/s^2). This evidence points to it being real, since air resistance should account for a decreased acceleration in either direction. 
After scaling Kobe to the pool it can be concluded that the pool is about 12 feet across. Using various displacement measurements, The horizontal velocity of Kobe can be determined to be a little less that 12 mph - a realistic velocity as well. 
Given the two data sets I can only assume that this jump could be realistic, since Kobe Bryant has a crazy amount of athleticism. I think that it could be real, but this one comes down to decision making - and I'm not sure Kobe would risk anything on a stupid (yet interesting) stunt.


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