How Does a Boomerang Work?

Boomerangs are a big hit among kids. What was discovered as a hunting weapon, is now a cool play-thing. But have you ever wondered how they work? Read this post to find out.

“What Goes Around…Comes Around” is an age-old saying. However, this adage is not as old as something that is probably the most fitting example of this phenomenon. While boomerangs are now very popular among kids, do you know that they were discovered as hunting tools by aboriginal Australians?

Moreover, have you ever wondered how these tools always come back when thrown? Let us go back to the history of these hunting tools and understand how they work.

Discovery of Boomerangs

Aboriginal Australians are known as the inventors of non-returning boomerangs around 25,000 years ago. They used tusk of mammoths for creating them. However, some sources suggest that they were also commonly used in many ancient cultures, including Egyptians. These non-returning tools were first discovered for hunting.

The tools were carved in a way that it would stay in the air for a long time and travel in a straight direction. When thrown correctly, this tool could help the hunters hit animals from a distance.

How Was Non-Returning Boomerang Invented?

Most of the sources suggest that the invention of returning boomerangs was an accident. One of the hunters carved this hunting tool in a way that when it is correctly thrown, it would return back to the thrower.

While this returning tool was not very popular in hunting, it soon became famous for recreational activities. This is where the modern boomerangs draw inspiration from. Now, to understand their working, it is essential first to understand their structure.

Design of Boomerangs

Boomerangs generally have two wings designed as the wings of an aeroplane or airfoil. These wings are curved from one end and flat at the other. It is this airfoil that is responsible for providing the required lift, allowing the tool to stay in the air.

Nowadays, you can also find 3-winged boomerangs mostly designed for kids. The design of these boomerangs are similar to 2-winged models, but they are known to be safer.

But How Do They Come Back?

Gyroscopic precession is a scientific phenomenon that is responsible for the return flight of the boomerangs. When you throw a boomerang, its top wing moves faster in the air when compared to the wing at the bottom. As a result, the lift created by the top wing is more than bottom wing.

This difference in the lift between wings helps create torque. The torque tilts the boomerang, enabling it to come back to the thrower. However, to achieve this result, it is vital that you throw the boomerang in a particular angle and position.

Master Boomerang-ing

While boomerangs can return to the thrower, you need to know the correct technique so that it returns accurately. Understand the right technique and practice as much as you can to make the boomerang return to your hand.

Rest assured that once you master the skill, the feeling of the boomerang returning to you is just amazing.