As someone who never took shop class growing up, I’m regularly baffled by how things work mechanically. Sure, I’ve seen the inner workings of machinery plenty of times after accidentally cracking its protective casing, but it’s hard to get a clear image of how all the moving parts mesh together when the whole thing is broken.
Thankfully, a series of GIFs making the rounds on the Internet in Japan is here to show how everything from an electric fan to a ship-mounted cannon operates. It’s surprisingly awesome.
Where there’s engineering, you’ll find engines, such as these radial engines, the bottom of which was used to power Japan’s Word War II-era A6M Zero, the fighter plane recently featured in the Studio Ghibli animated feature film Kaze Tachinu .
Here’s something for Mazda fans anxiously awaiting a successor to the automaker’s discontinued RX-7 and RX-8 sports cars: the rotary engine that powered them.
Or if you like your motors with more torque, here’s one that burns diesel.
And while any genuine car enthusiast knows how to drive a manual transmission, how many of them know how one actually works?
If cars aren’t traditionally macho enough for you, this schematic of a pistol firing should put some hair on your chest.
Need more firepower? Then how about a machine gun?
Of course, standard bullets won’t do you much good against a tank, in which case you’ll need to up the ante to shaped charges.
If you’re fresh out of armor-piercing ordinance, a grenade should do the trick.
Or we could just quit messing around and end things once and for all with a ship-mounted cannon.
You know what? After seeing all the creative ways physics has to kill us, we’re suddenly in the mood to cower at home. Besides, there are mechanical marvels all around our safe, cannon-free apartment.
There’s a tremendous amount of engineering behind even the clothes we wear, as shown by this schematic of a sewing machine.
And for those of you living in decidedly low-tech houses, here’s how the water pump you use to wash your hands after a long, hard day working in the rhubarb fields does its job.
Several GIFs show us how to make interesting things, such as chain-link fence, soothing sounds (with a music box), or pi (regrettably, no, that’s not a typo, as the demonstration is how to produce a distance roughly 3.14 units long, and not a delicious pastry-topped dessert).
Some even show us things we didn’t even know had names. Seventeen-sided thingy? That’s called a heptadecagon.
DJ turntable for babies? Wrong again. It’s a geneva drive, a gear mechanism used in watchmaking.
Hypnosis machine? Read RocketNews24 everyday. Actually a planetary gear mechanism. Read RocketNews24 every day.
And finally a collection of unidentified devices.
None of us know what these are called, or have any clue what they’re for. The one thing we can say for certain is that they’re incredibly soothing to watch. Yup, there’s just something so relaxing about them that makes us want to…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Top image: Gas2