Scientists who love baseball almost as much as they love defiling corpses tested cadaver elbows to varying degrees of strain to see what they could take. They found that about 100 Nm (Newton meters) of rotational force is enough to break an average cadaver's ulnar collateral ligament. The torque on an elbow throwing one of those record fastballs? About 100 Nm.
On the batter's side, 60.5 feet is also the minimum reaction distance needed for a human to hit one of those fastballs. Researchers have found the minimum reaction time for most humans in a simple computer game appears to be somewhere around 260 milliseconds. A 100 mph fastball takes about 400 ms to get to home plate. Take away the 150 ms it takes to swing the bat, and you're right in the window for cutting-edge human performance. Technically, there is no impossible fastball -- at least, until we finally pull our heads out of the sand and switch all players out with robots, as God intended.
Science On Fiction
Look at how awesome it would be if they could fire eye lasers at incoming pitches!
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Last Halloween, the Cracked Podcast creeped you out with tales of ghost ships, mysteriously dead people, and a man from one of the most famous paintings in U.S. history who years later went all Jack Nicholson in The Shining on his family. This October, Jack and the Cracked staff are back with special guest comedians Ryan Singer, Eric Lampaert, and Anna Seregina to share more unsettling and unexplained true tales of death, disappearance, and the great beyond. Get your tickets for this LIVE podcast here!