29 Delicious Slow Motion GIFs

Serial killers aside, this week’s full post is kind of intense and just taking more time than usual. It’ll go up early next week. In the meantime, these 29 succulent slow motion GIFs will serve as a distraction.

Let’s start with what happens if you shoot a bullet into a steel wall.


The wall wins.

But a watermelon loses.



Doesn’t go particularly well for the egg either.



Squishy pool table edge.



The tip of a pool cue distorts slightly when it hits the ball.



Things popping.

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It seems like a drinking dog is just licking the water with his dumb tongue, but he’s actually doing stuff.



Officially a monster.



I wonder who the first human was to realize this happened when you heated up corn.

giphy (1) ug6QKot


A violin being creepy.

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Lightning actually worms its way down to the Earth and the big bolt you see is generated when it first touches the ground.



Not really sure what the glass was doing between when it was hit and when it shattered.



2 for 1.



The ball gooeys around the bat.



A golf ball slightly gooeys too when it’s hit by the driver.



But it gooeys when it hits a metal wall.




giphy giovanni-lorenzo


If you want to appreciate matches, just read about how many different inventors came up with different solutions, over hundreds of years, until they finally got it right.




How dare that many things happen when a droplet hits water.



Here’s a slow motion explosion. The force field thing is the explosion’s shock wave. It always seems odd how a not-that-large meteorite hitting the Earth can do so much damage—a huge amount of that damage is caused by the shock wave generated by the impact.



Light moves at about 300 million meters/second. Which means that when you slow it down 10 billion times, it moves 3cm/second. This is a single burst of light washing over a tomato.



And a single light burst moving through a bottle and then bouncing off the far end.


This whole GIF takes place in less than a nanosecond. If you watched a bullet fired at that same bottle, also slowed down 10 billion times, it would take a year for the bullet to get through the bottle. The full story on this ridiculous camera technology here.

  • fangirl from delhi

    wow tim you really do love your fans !! 😀

  • Steven L

    This is making me worry about the true intensity of the actual post. Am I going to end up rethinking the human race again after this one? Then again, that’s the usual standard for posts on waitbutwhy.

  • I am really disapointed!

    In fact I… OOH GIFS!

  • Katherine

    The book by Tomie dePaola called “The Popcorn Book” describes a really fascinating history of popcorn. Of course, fascinating from the age of 5-8 for me, which is probably the last time I read it. The facts are there! Check it out. It’s even on youtube.

  • Viliphied

    The ball in that hunter pence gif (“two for one”) actually hits the bat 3 times

  • Leo X

    The light GIFs should show the light source for credibility. The way it is shown here could be nothing but a guy moving a flashlight slowly through an object.
    In fact, since light moves crazy fast, how can the light burst in the first GIF appear to be so slim? The slightest interval would show a big swath washing through.
    All the others…wow!

    • Rutger

      @Leo X

      This is a femtosecond camera developed at MIT, and it really is awesome. In fact, the team that made this had to correct for many distortions you usually don’t see due to the speed of light. Here, the fact that light from one side actually arrives at the camera earlier than from other sites really distorts the image, so you have to do a slight time-transformation to make it right.

      Source: http://web.media.mit.edu/~raskar/trillionfps/

  • Brooke

    You’re killin us tim! where is the new post?

  • Manuel

    Tim, please stop saying that you are going to post on one day and then not posting on said day. You are just dissapointing your readers, and at least for my case it is starting to make me not want to check the site because I feel like I have been lied to. And dont get me wrong, I am not saying that you should rush your work to get me my fix. I am just saying that you should post whenever you are ready to post without promising a date that you cant meet. Its your site, we are not your boss, you dont owe us any explanations of why you are late. Having said that, It gets annoying when you are promised something and you dont get it, so Just post whenever you are ready and stop making promises.

  • Mmeli

    How much did you pay that poker-faced guy who volunteered to take a punch for our viewing pleasure?

  • Hoi-Ying

    I admit I have to second Manuel. As much as I love your work Tim, but the last weeks I find myself disappointed. Not because there is no post, but because you say (promise) things that aren’t true. It results in not wanting to check your otherwise super awesome site anymore.

    Like Manuel said, I’d rather enjoy an occasional post as a nice surprise, which I am happy to accept that it won’t be on a weekly basis, than feeling disappointed. You have no obligation to your readers or whatsoever. Still, since you’re putting up your site for us readers anyway, I would rather have you take your time on a good post and feel good about it (which will also make me as a reader happy), rather than creating expectations you can’t meet and have dissatisfaction on both sides (assuming that you’re also not happy about this situation).

  • Luis

    Well I’m *not* happy to accept that you’re not posting on a weekly basis. Blogs like this live or die by their dependability. If you are only posting once a week, you had better make damn well sure that you don’t miss a week and you always post on the same day. I’m prepared to accept extenuating circumstances when you are travelling abroad, or an occasional family emergency, but that’s it. The currency that you use to buy my loyalty is consistency. If you start being a flake then I’ll give up bookmarking you and just read the posts that attract enough attention to get shared through social media. If your post is late it’s because you didn’t care enough about your deadline to hit it.

  • Samson

    The glass one is called a Dutch Tear. It’s made by dropping molten glass into water, so one end is bulbous, but then it tapers to a very thin end. The bulbous side can indeed withstand a hammer, but the moment you snap off the tip of the thin end, the whole thing shatters.

  • John Davison

    interesting collection of gifs. the 17th gif (the glass breaking) is called a Prince Rupert’s Drop… worth looking up and finding out why it does what it does. at least it was to me, being the science geek that I am…


  • wow,,,,this is awesome

  • Beautiful collection! I like it a lot!

  • Pingback: Awesome Slow Motion GIFs | Our Infinite Reality()

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  • holy shit this is pretty awesome. some reactions:

    most of them: holy fuck how does this happen
    golf ball gooeying a bit: what the fuck?!
    golf ball gooeying a lot at the metal what: oh HELL no
    guy punched in the face: the photoshop arm…?
    second match: this is … a bit unnerving
    droplet: recursive water…?

  • Some are just awesome no word to say more.


  • what a great resolution 🙁

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