The Science Of A Magic Carpet Ride

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Earlier today I watched Disney’s Aladdin while taking my daughter to visit my parents. What first struck me, was how racist and culturally insensitive parts of the film were. The second thing that struck me was how fantastic the late great Robin Williams was as the Genie. Then the third thing that struck me was that during the magic carpet ride Aladdin and Princess Jasmine started in the Middle East, fly through Greece (or a country sporting Grecian architecture) before ending their evening watching fireworks in China. Not only this but during the course of the magic carpet ride a couple of loop the loops are performed. How both parties don’t fall off is a little beyond me, but my main theory beyond it plainly being magic is that this is an example of centripetal force.  Centripetal force is a force that makes a body follow a curved path, a good example is lifting a coin into a cup without touching it.

How they got from the Middle East to Greece to China and back in one night is something that I am having trouble explaining. Most commercial jets will fly at about 550 miles per hour (210 miles per hour above the speed of sound)  now it would take about four hours to fly from Turkey to Greece one way, and given that Greece is in the opposite direction to china that’s eight hours of travel to begin with, then add on that the 10 hours that it would take to get from Turkey to China and that makes 28 hours of travel time at over 200 mph over the speed of sound, with no protection from the elements whatsoever. In order to do that journey in one night (12 hours at most) they would have had to fly at approximately 1500 mph or mach 2. Without protection, travelling at that speed would, undoubtedly, have caused sever internal injuries, or even death.

Another explanation is that Aladdin and Princess Jasmine were away for several days, which would also explain the negative reaction from the Sultans forces upon their arrival back in sunny Agrabah

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