In nature, many animals dive into water at high speeds, e.g., humans dive from cliffs, birds plunge, and aquatic animals porpoise and breach. Diving provides opportunities for animals to find prey and escape from predators and is a source of great excitement for humans. However, diving from high platforms can cause severe injuries to a diver. In this study, we demonstrate how similarity in the morphology of diving fronts unifies the slamming force across diving animals and humans. By measuring a time-averaged impulse that increases linearly with the impact height, we are able to estimate the unsteady hydrodynamic forces that an average human body experiences during the slamming phase of a feet-first, hand-first, or head-first dive. We evaluate whether the unsteady forces put the diver at risk of muscle or bone injuries for a particular diving height. Therefore, this study sheds light on a hydrodynamics-based protocol for safe high diving and an evolutionary driver for animal morphology.
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