Long before the invention of firearms, the bow reigned supreme as mankind’s ranged weapon of choice. The ability to engage a target from beyond arm’s reach may sound basic, but in the broad expanse of human history, some 200,000 years, most combat has been conducted using blunt, and eventually sharpened instruments of violence that could extend only as far as the hand could wield them. Longbows permitted commanders the ability to engage advancing troops from afar, thinning an opponent and, potentially, shifting the very outcome of battles.
For the most part, bow and arrow war fighting has been conducted in a similar fashion to firearm skirmishes – with distances limited by the type of weapon employed, the ammunition (or arrows) being fired, and of course, the skill of the warrior wielding the weapon. In both types of combat, one element holds true above all else: line of sight is key, because arrows, like bullets, travel in a straight line on the horizontal axis, with the arrowhead pointing in the same direction upon impact as it did when fired, despite the arc and wind deflection affecting its trajectory. Shooting around corners has always been relegated to comic book movie adaptations and flights of fancy….
Or maybe not.
Enter Danish archer Lars Andersen, who you may recall made a splash on the internet last year for his incredible displays of archery prowess, like firing three arrows on target in under 1.5 seconds, a feat many today struggle to accomplish with a semi-automatic firearm.
His latest challenge? An Arabic and English talent of old that may sound nearly unbelievable: shooting arrows around corners.
“It can be done with ordinary arrows, but it is far easier to learn with an arrow where there is air resistance at the tip of the arrow,” Andersen says in his video’s description. “Best with a set of extra feathers in front of the arrow.”
Although the trick shot has been historically recounted as deadly, and Anderson himself claims that even with his 53 pound bow, the arrow impacts with a great deal of force, the archer claims the only real purpose of this type of shot is really just “that it is very fun.”
Anderson starts with the same shot that gained notoriety as the premise of the movie, “Wanted,” bending an arrow around a man shaped target in front of him, and impacting a second target directly behind it. If that’s not impressive enough, don’t worry, he soon moves on to firing arrows around actual human beings, and showing off a few other neat tricks, like blowing out two separated candles with a single arrow – like the challenging 7-10 split in bowling.
Watch Anderson in action below:
Image courtesy of YouTube