Fall is here in Michigan and things are falling out of the trees. Leaves are falling, branches are coming down and acorns are too. Be careful out there Michiganders, acorns are looking to leave a mark on you.

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Acorns are a vital part of the ecosystem. Wildlife need them for food.

I was cleaning up the yard this weekend and felt the impact of an acorn on my noggin 3 times. I've heard them hitting our vehicles and our roof hundreds of times this season, this was the first time I'd heard an acorn hit a skull, mine. It was a solid thud that left a small sting, nothing too bad.


How fast does a falling acorn move?

I felt the impact and heard the thud on my hollow head when I was cleaning up my yard. Although it wasn't painful, I didn't see the size of the acorn that hit me. I'm guessing it was small compared to other acorns I have found in my yard. The bigger the acorn, the bigger the welt.

William & Mary:

An acorn falls from a branch located 9.8 m above the ground. After 1 second of falling, the acorn's velocity will be 9.8 m/s downward. Why hasn't the acorn hit the ground?

We learned this in school, remember? Decades ago.....

Even though after 1 s the acorn is moving 9.8 m/s, its average veloctiy over the interval of 1 s is 4.9 m/s so it has only moved half the distance.

If an acorn is traveling at 9.8 m/s, that's approximately 22 mph. Any type of nut or branch coming at me that fast isn't going to feel good. Neighbors have told the tales of the old man on the corner who got rocked in the forehead by an acorn, the acorn broke his skin. Be careful out there hiking and in your yard in Michigan, these nuts are crazy.

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Gallery Credit: Scott Clow