• The Myth - A penny dropped from a skyscraper lands with enough force to either kill a pedestrian on the sidewalk below or embed itself into the sidewalk.
  • Verdict - Busted
  • Notes - Firing a penny at terminal velocity (65 miles per hour (105 km/h)) into concrete and asphalt disks and a ballistics gel head with a human skull failed to result in any penetrations, likely because the speed is too low and a penny's mass too small. Even when fired from a rifle, the penny was unable to penetrate concrete or a ballistic gel dummy's skull. Even modifying a rifle to shoot a penny at supersonic speeds failed to cause a penetration. In comparison, a real 6.5mm bullet split the dummy skull. Visiting the Empire State Building, the likely source of the myth, they realize that updrafts and roofs of lower floors would prevent a thrown penny from reaching street level.[1]


  1. Penny Drop (Episode) on Wikipedia