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The Mae West Malfunction

There are names for the different ways a parachute can go wrong. The above picture shows what’s called a “Mae West  malfunction.” Can you guess why? According to Wikipedia:

A "Mae West" or "blown periphery" is a type of round parachute malfunction that contorts the shape of the canopy into the outward appearance of a brassiere, presumably one suitable for a buxom woman having the proportions of the late actress Mae West. The column of nylon fabric, buffeted by the wind, rapidly heats from friction and opposite sides of the canopy fuse together in a narrow region, removing any chance of the canopy opening fully.

This is just one of a half-dozen things named after Mae West you can read about at Weird Universe.


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