You’ve probably heard the story – if you throw a penny from a skyscraper, it might bury itself in the concrete or even kill an unsuspecting bystander below. The open-air observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York City is 86 floors up; a staggering 1,050 feet (320 meters) in the air. That’s a lot of time to pick up speed during the coin’s free fall. So, what kind of damage might a falling penny cause if it hit someone? Should you avoid walking near tall buildings without a hard hat or is this merely an old and well-worn myth?

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