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Watch a Camera Get Smashed to Bits in a 264mph Tornado Projectile Test


Storm-chasing photographer and filmmaker Martin Lisius wanted to demonstrate the danger of flying debris in a tornado, so he got scientists to fire a camera out of a tornado projectile test cannon at 264mph. As you can see from the 1.5-minute video above, the camera doesn’t fare too well.

Lisius visited Texas Tech University’s Debris Impact Facility (DIF), which studies the ability of building materials to withstand debris during tornadoes.

“Normally, the guys at Texas Tech use their pneumatic cannon to fire two-by-fours at building materials for survivability testing,” Lisius says. “I wanted to try common objects we have in our homes, something we don’t normally think of as potential tornado projectiles.”

For his “common object,” Lisius chose a Canon SureShot 60 Zoom 35mm camera, which weighs 0.5 pounds (0.23kg). The relatively small and lightweight camera shot out of the cannon at a blazing 264mph (425km/h), making it the fastest projectile ever to be fired out of the tornado debris cannon.

“My goal is to show people that practically anything can be picked up by a tornado and become dangerous,” Lisius writes, noting that the resulting footage will be used in an upcoming documenting he’s producing about storms.