“Andreas Wahl is a daredevil of a scientist,” cnet.com reports. “He believes in the power of physics and isn’t afraid to put his own body on the line to demonstrate it. That’s why he willingly stepped into a pool, stood in front of a loaded gun and fired it at himself under the water.” According to the YouTube caption, he’s proving that . . .

It’s harder to create movement in water than in air, because water molecules are closer together than air molecules. To show the difference in resistance, physicist Andreas Wahl puts himself in front of a weapon submerged in water and fires it – on himself.

And lives! Who’d a thunk it? The SEALS for one.

[h/t instapundit and Texas Deputy]

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46 Responses to Scientist Shoots Himself Underwater — Just to Prove a Point

  1. I saw a Mythbusters several years ago where they fired a .50 bmg into a swimming pool. After something like a foot and a half of travel through the the water, the bullet was harmless.

    • I saw that one. Then they brought all sorts of guns and tried it again. Th bullets were not just harmless after a foot. They were torn to pieces by the impact with the water.

      • Except for the first part of the episode where they fired a 9mm and a shotgun straight down into a vertical column of water and the 9mm went through the gel and ricochetted off the bottom with enough force to wind up back in the top side of the gel block, and then the shotgun slug blew a cone shaped chunk out of the gel block about 10″ wide at the bottom and the hydrostatic shock blew the seams of the tank, but yeah otherwise the bullets were harmless in water.

    • They filmed that segment at the Hayward Plunge. An indoor pool in Hayward CA. It’s right off Mission blvd. near the intersection of Jackson Street and Foothill blvd. For those that don’t know Hayward that area is as trafficked as any freeway. Heavily congested and built up.

      I can’t imagine any part of the building would stop any of the rounds they tested, including the .50 bmg. How they talked anyone from the city into allowing that is beyond me.

      At the time I lived on Jackson street. Jackson street figured on at least one episode of “cops” and one of “Real stories of the Hi Way Patrol.”

      Jackson street was the last time I offered to gun fight a fool if he and his buddies didn’t back the phuck up and let me be.

      • As someone who used to take the San Mateo Bridge at least twice a day about a decade ago, the only place in the Bay Area that you could do something like this is Hayweird. Or maybe Oakland. Or East Palo.

  2. Who thought there was going to be a different outcome? This same test has been done hundreds of times, why would the outcome suddenly change now? Seems like RF had seen to many movies.

  3. Correct me if I’m wrong.. But it looks to be like the bullet do not actually hit him.. So its seems a error to say that he “shot himself”. More like he “shot At himself”

    • It costs like $10,000 to get a pound of material into orbit. At those prices, there’s no way NASA has the budget to get a HI-Point up there.

        • The russians did bring a space rifle onto Mir up until a few years ago, and recently admitted they had a mounted gun on said space station… Which they fired exactly once, to see if it worked. Admittedly, the rifle was because the Russians land in Siberia, which can be a bit “risky” if you’re stuck there for very long.


          On-board gun[edit]
          The Salyut 3, although called a “civilian” station, was equipped with a “self-defence” gun which had been designed for use aboard the station, and whose design is attributed to Nudelman.[1] Some accounts claim the station was equipped with a Nudelman-Rikhter “Vulkan” gun, which was a variant of the 23 mm Nudelmann aircraft cannon, or possibly a Nudelmann NR-30 30 mm gun.[11] Later Russian sources indicate that the gun was the virtually unknown (in the West) Rikhter R-23.[12] These claims have reportedly been verified by Pavel Popovich, who had visited the station in orbit, as commander of Soyuz 14.[11] Due to potential shaking of the station, in-orbit tests of the weapon with cosmonauts in the station were ruled out.[1] The gun was fixed to the station in such a way that the only way to aim would have been to change the orientation of the entire station.[1][11] Following the last manned mission to the station, the gun was commanded by the ground to be fired; some sources say it was fired to depletion,[11] while other sources say three test firings took place during the Salyut 3 mission.[1] (from wikipedia)

  4. So, Saving Private Ryan was wrong? After a few inches the German bullets at D Day would have stopped and not killed anyone?

    • There is a big difference between a bullet being fired under water and a bullet being fired into water. Fired under water the bullet never gets up to a lethal velocity. Fired into water the bullet is moving at its normal velocity which then decays rapidly once the bullet enters water.

        • If the bullets are entering the water at super-sonic speeds yes, I suppose to would probably disintegrate. But in reference to the Saving Private Ryan scenario, I would think that many of the bullets entering the water might have dropped bellow that threshold, and so travel further.

          Either way, the bullet is going to have more lethal potential if allowed to get up to speed.

      • Do look up the myriad “firing AK-47 underwater” videos on YT. You’re fine at 5 feet. At 1 foot, you might want to reconsider that whole ‘non-fatal velocities’ thing.

    • That is rather different in that the water in this case hampered the acceleration of the projectile. A bullet fire into the water from air would be at full velocity and slowed rapidly upon entry into the wTer. How ever yes for the most part that scene is total bs

  5. Eh, it’s not like he didn’t test fire several or more rounds so that he knew exactly how far the bullet would travel before actually standing in front of it.

    • And then it appears he moved back two or three times farther than the bullet stopping distance, for margin of safety. Sensible, but not as death defying as it sounded like it would be.

      • He was standing on the edge of the deep end. He might’ve slipped off and had to dog paddle. Not dangerous but damaging to his dignity.

  6. Yep-saw the Mythbusters pool party a few times. I guess this goof did too. Bellyflop from 50 feet up-you’ll see how hard water is. Just something gun owners already know…

  7. In RF’s defense, the original headline with this video that I saw on Yahoo News read exactly the same as it is here – Scientist Shoots Himself…

    • Repeating false “news” headlines is a real problem…..in fact the “news” outlets count on most people skimming headlines and forming opinions without actually reading the articles. It’s a clever way to broadcast blatant misinformation.

  8. I’d be way more impressed if he caught the bullet with a catcher’s mitt or let the bullet bounce off his body at the appropriate distance! Now that would sell some physics!

  9. It may not be 100% accurate, but I recall reading in one of the many WWII Submarine novels that consumed me as a teenager, one of the crew, as the boat desperately dived to escape strafing fire from an enemy airplane, exclaimed “a foot of water is as good as a foot of steel!”

  10. Maybe it’s just me… But Standing in front of a loaded gun, is never a good idea.. I dont give a damn what science has proven.whats worse is standing in front of said gun, while it’s being fired…It just lacks the basic fundamentals of self preservation.. I have WAY to much respect for Firearms to dabble in just games…. I also don’t poke caged lions with long sharp sticks.

    • Long time ago Robert posted a video of some Georgia boy demonstrating the effectiveness of Level III. body armor by shooting himself in the stomach at close range with a 10mm. Now that was a man of faith.

    • Much drama. I’m sure he test fired the gun many times, then tripled the maximum distance and stood well beyond that. As he should, if he were going to do this at all. But still, false drama.

  11. Title said “Scientist Shoots Himself Underwater — Just to Prove a Point” sorry boys, he did not shoot himself, he fired a gun at himself. And BTW any one who knows anything about guns knows it would not have harmed him.

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