I Can Has Gravity? Watch Cats in Zero Gravity Freak Out and Lose All Their Natural Grace
Ever wonder how your cat would handle zero gravity? This hilarious- and only mildly disturbing- vintage video from 1947 shows adorable cats freaking out about their newfound weightlessness:
The footage is from Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories, as part of research conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense- for some reason. Really, it was just an excuse for bored scientists to see cats doing silly things when placed in the "vomit comet," a C-131 that simulates a zero gravity environment.
The video explains that the weightlessness throws off the cats' natural instincts to straighten their bodies while in a free fall: "In these experiments you can see the disorientation resulting when an animal is suddenly placed in a weightless state. Cats when dropped under normal conditions will invariably rotate their bodies longitudinally in midair and land on their feet. This automatic reflex action is almost completely lost under weightlessness." And you can see in the footage that the cats are, indeed, disoriented, although to be fair, they still mostly land on their feet when they figure out where the ground is.
Some are calling this video "cruel," and I'm a huge animal lover/bleeding heart myself, but for the most part I don't really see it. With the possible exception of one cat hitting the ceiling a little, everything that happens in the video would likely just be mildly aggravating at worst. I certainly accept the argument that we shouldn't be doing experiments on animals at all, but as experiments go, this seems to be a relatively harmless one.