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Can a potted plant kill?

  1. Mar 31, 2010 #1
    First off, this is not a homework question. But I am not a scientist, so I understand very little about physics. I am an author and currently writing a short story in which the main character throws (not drops) a potted venus flytrap out of her third-floor apartment window and hits a guy in the head as he is crossing the street toward her building. After looking into venus flytraps, it seems that the general pot size would be about a 4" diameter for a medium-sized plant. I don't know how much a 4'' terracotta pot filled with a peat moss/sand soil mixture would weigh.
    I'm wondering if the victim would die or just have a really sore head and maybe need stitches.
    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2010 #2

    Char. Limit

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    It also depends on the speed at which she throws it, but I'd likely say that yes, a potted plant thrown at a strong enough speed could kill.
     
  4. Mar 31, 2010 #3
    I'm not sure what the actual speed would be, but she pretty well chucks it out of the window. She hates the plant and is glad to be getting rid of it. She isn't aiming for the victim; she just isn't paying attention and the guy's crossing the road at the wrong moment. Also, she's of average strength for a woman in her early thirties. So, no weak granny toss, but also no bodybuilder discus throw.
     
  5. Mar 31, 2010 #4

    Char. Limit

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    Yeah, it should work.

    If the plant hits the side of the guy's head (around the temple), he's even more likely to die.

    Thwack!
     
  6. Mar 31, 2010 #5
    Great! Thanks! XD
     
  7. Apr 1, 2010 #6
    depends how high she is too

    -9.81 m/s for gravity
     
  8. Apr 1, 2010 #7
    -9.81 m/s2
     
  9. Apr 1, 2010 #8
    I'm not sure exactly how high a 3rd floor apartment window would be. :(
     
  10. Apr 1, 2010 #9

    Char. Limit

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    30 feet, so about 10 meters.

    In other words... you'd have about 20 m/s velocity going down... About the amount you'd see in a fast moving car, but in a much smaller object hitting a much smaller target.
     
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