Is Cow-Tipping Possible?

Scientists believe it took a genetic mutation for adult humans to digest milk.

Call it bovinemetrics. Call it cowculus. Whatever, the physics of cow-tipping is not exactly the well-funded darling of the scientific community.

Nevertheless, a 2005 study at the University of British Columbia investigated the mechanics of upending udders and found much about this rural legend to be complete bull. At least two people would be required to exert the force needed to topple a static cow . And they would have to act fast — it is unlikely that even the jolliest Jersey would allow itself to be jostled without some resistance, so the hopeful pranksters would need soft shoes and quick reflexes.

Unlike horses, cows do not sleep on their hooves. They may rest while standing but remain acutely aware of their surroundings. Cow-tipping may be possible, but it doesn't appear to be easy or pleasant. And the notion that cows can't get back up once they're down is just silly. Cows sleep on the ground and stand up without any trouble.

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