Why a cat always lands on its feet

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In 1894, a French scientist used a camera to solve a physics problem.

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Étienne-Jules Marey was a French scientist and inventor who analyzed how things moved. He developed a way to photograph multiple stages of movement onto a single glass plate, a technique called chronophotography. Later, when Kodak introduced celluloid film, Marey swapped the glass plate for a roll of film that moved in between exposures. This technique formed the basis of cinematography, and it’s how he recorded the stages of a cat righting itself in midair. He published his findings in Nature and demonstrated how the cat splits its body in two and uses the inertia of its own body weight to spin around.

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