“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.”
For many people, the fun of the boomerang lies in the fact that it seems to go against common sense. You throw the boomerang away from you, and it returns to you.
Boomerangs of various shapes and sizes – and made of different kinds of materials – are easily available in many places around the world. Boomerangs can be made into many shapes other than the classic “L” shape we usually think of. They have been made into the shape of a windmill with six blades. Boomerangs have also been made into the shapes of twenty letters of the English alphabet. Contrary to the popular myth, boomerangs never were used as weapons by Australian aborigines. They used them as toys just as we do today.
What makes the boomerang return to the thrower? The arms of the boomerang are curved on top and flat on the bottom, like an airplane wing. So as the boomerang moves through the air, its wings create lift just like an airplane’s wings. But as it spins, the edge of the boomerang wing that is speeding forward in spin creates more lift than the relatively slower opposite arm. This causes the boomerang to tip. As a result of a principle known as gyroscopic precession, this uneven lift causes a constant turning pressure on the boomerang, eventually returning it to the thrower.
The boomerang uses sophisticated aerodynamic and physical principles. It clearly was not invented by people who were primitive. Rather, it is a testimony to the intelligence that the Creator gave to every human being – from the first to the last.
Dear Lord, I ask that You would help me to make good use of the intelligence You have given me so that I may serve You more effectively and more joyfully. Amen.
Robson, David. 1983. “Many happy returns.” Science 83, Mar. p. 100. Photo: Australian Aboriginal boomerangs. Courtesy of Guillaume Blanchard. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 1.0 Generic license.