To run or not to run, that is the question.
At least it’s what you ask yourself when you get caught out in the rain and can’t decide the best way to avoid getting drenched.
The topic has been the subject of many scientific investigations over the years, and the results have not always been definitive thanks to a range of complex mathematical factors that need to be accounted for.
But according to a 2012 study by Franco Bocci, a professor of engineering at Italy’s University of Brescia, your best option in most cases is to run as quickly as you can.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but with the specific combination of factors determining the ideal speed you need to travel at, Bocci told BCC News, “Let’s say that in general, the best thing is to run, as fast as you can — not always, but in general.”
Everybody’s favourite Mythbusting duo Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage famously had a go at finding a solution back in 2003 before revisiting it again in 2005, eventually declaring that running was, in fact, worse and therefore the myth was BUSTED!
However, it was later revealed that to conduct the experiment – rather than wait for the next downpour – an artificial rainfall apparatus was built, which contributed to the pair finding a false negative result.
To find the correct answer to this enduring question, Bocci and his team of researchers used a sphere, a cylinder and a slanted 3D parallelogram to uncover how body shapes affect the ideal running speed.
The in-depth study accounted for a series of intricate variables, including differences in raindrop size, wind speed, wind direction, the angle of your path and even how thin you are. All these weigh in on how fast you should hoof it to minimise how soaked you get.
Many of the previous studies on this subject were a little simplistic, with most forgetting to account for at least some of the many factors involved. Bocci says that walking is always the worst option, because the slower you end up moving, the more time you have to spend in the rain.
Who’d have thunk it?