If you dropped a coin from a tall building, would it hurt a passer by?

Picture the scene. You’re on your morning commute through the big city and a clumsy tourist drops their loose change as they stand on the observation deck of the tallest skyscraper in town. It’s heading your way, should you be worried? Well not really, no. Why? Here’s the science behind it.

Despite the idea of a piece of metal rising up to a great speed and hitting the unaware pedestrian below, the impact would be rather weak.

Study has shown that a coin would fall in a very similar way to how a leaf falls gently to the ground. The penny would reach a rather slow maximum terminal velocity as they are flat and not very aerodynamic so they will stop accelerating very quickly and cause only a slight stinging sensation if they were to hit someone on ground level.

So, there is no need to take shelter and every need to start a coin collection!