Brains On! Curio: Flies on the Bus

A few weeks ago, we got two emails that were so similar and so intriguing we had no choice but to investigate.

The first from Uma read:

This morning I was riding the bus to school and there was a fly flying around bus. I was wondering if that fly was just hovering there, in the middle of the bus, shouldn’t it crash? The bus is moving fast, and the fly is not connected to it or sitting down, like everyone else. If it did, would it crash into the back or front?

And the second from Hazel and Eleanor read:

If a bee is flying outside of a car going as fast as the car is going and then it goes into the car through the window, would it still have to fly as fast as the car is going or could it just hover?

Turns out Albert Einstein wondered about the same kind of things. Listen to the episode above to hear how Einstein’s theory of relativity helps us tackle these profound questions.


Brains On! is an award-winning audio show for kids and families from American Public Media.

Science Topics
Einstein's Theory of Relativity, Physics
K-6, Middle School
4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade

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