This didn’t make the FT list of unexplained phenomena on the spurious grounds that it is easily explained. THIS IS NONSENSE. Rarely will you get a scientist to explain it, they will try to fob you off saying that it just does not exist – which is obviously a lie. They are involved in a gigantic cover up on a scale unheard of since the great “there’s a floating gyroscope in my garage” incident of 1952.

Centrifugal force as portrayed in all good “science is fun (ages 7 to 10)” books is what keeps toy soldiers (or lego people) standing on a foil pie-case when swung around your head in a model of a space ship. But how does it happen? Normally the soldier will just slide off the pie case when you tip it up 90°? Centrifugal force must be a form of FRICTION – another unexplained phenomena!

(There really is a great deal that science fails to explain. Like cork floating. There are some things we, with our small animal perspective on the universe, are not meant to understand, and we should be more humble in the face of the infinite/numinous and know our place is not to pretend at even wanting to understand. Ever.)

If you ever get a scientist to expand on the initial “go away, there’s no such thing” lie, they will start to bleat on about “centripetal” force. This is clearly just the same thing – they’ve even copied the name, but with a slightly different ending! It’s so transparent a ploy that a child can spot it. I did – and I was just 7. Anyway, “centripetal” (ha) force they will say is “what keeps things going in a circle” blah blah (they will never get round to the important toy soldier/pie case thing) and it is equal and opposite to the centrifugal force because “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” SO… IT DOES EXIST!

How can centripetal force exist if it is equal and opposite to centrifugal force which you say does not exist!!! eh?

So where does centrifugal force come from? Well some say it comes from the edges of the universe – this is known as Mach’s Principle – and others say it is just very very clever. We may never really know more about this mysterious force.