Wednesday, August 31, 2016

This amazing video of a watermelon being dropped 150 feet kind of shows the challenge helmet makers are up against when trying to protect football players from concussions.

In an amusing video that I found this week, some guys took one of those miracle sprays that promises to protect the lining of your pickup truck from damage and applied it to a watermelon. In proof that these sprays do indeed work, the watermelon survived the fall with a bounce. It was so hardy, that they couldn't get through its new skin with an axe, and they eventually took a drop saw to it. They discovered that the innards had been scrambled into slush, but the rind was intact and pretty much whole.

In some ways, my mind immediately drew a connection to concussions, which have been a source of fascination to me (I've done some research). Concussions happen when the brain sloshes around inside the skull and gets bruised or damaged as a result, a.k.a., what happened to the watermelon's innards. And there's not really any effective way of stopping this with gear that doesn't address the force rendered on the innards of something due to rapid deceleration. So stopping concussions isn't really going to be about armoring something to withstand an impact. We have the technology to keep a skin whole. We just don't have the technology to keep what's behind the skin whole.

Anyway, it's an interesting video if you have the time to watch it. And watching watermelons explode is entertaining, whether or not you are even thinking of concussions.


  1. That was impressive it bounced.
    Probably no way to stop the brain from being scrambled inside the head. But at least the helmet keeps it from spilling all over the road.

  2. So if I sprayed that stuff over my body I'd be like Luke Cage?

  3. An interesting video, but as has been commented this wouldn't do much to protect the brain if applied to helmets.

  4. That's a good point. I don't think they were thinking concussions, but that's an interesting connection. I just saw the movie Concussion, so this has been on my mind.

  5. A few years ago I read a disturbing profile about a hockey player who became addicted to pain killers and finally overdosed. The autopsy revealed that he'd had so many blows to the head he would have suffered from dementia if he had lived into his forties.

    No sport is worth brain damage.

  6. I wonder what would happen if they put a helmet around that watermelon because I think that would be more realistic for the experiment.