What is a Boomerang?

            Boomerang is a curved wooden rod used for hunting and warfare by early Australian aborigines and some tribes elsewhere. There are basically two kinds of boomerangs-returning and non-returning. The more noted form is the returning boomerang developed by the tribes of eastern and Western Australia. It is so shaped that when thrown at a distant target, it returns to the thrower if the target is missed. Its length is about 30-75centimeteres 12-30 inches and weighs up to 340 gram. It varies in form-ranging form deep, even curved to the one whose arms are at 90 degree centigrade with the ends twisted in opposite directions. When thrown with power ad skill, it completes a circle, 45 meters wide or more and then executes several smaller circles, before it drops to the ground near the thrower.


            T.L. Mitchell, a Scottish explorer of Australia, gave their true explanation of this effect. He rejected the earlier notion that different air pressures on upper and lower parts of the boomerang were the main causes of its return to the thrower. According to him, first, the boomerang is held from one end above and behind the thrower’s shoulder, with the concave edge to the front. Then it is swung forward rapidly with the flat side underneath. Just before its release, it is given extra push with a strong wrist movement. If thrown downward of parallel of the ground, it rises upward up to a height of 45 meters or more. When thrown in such a manner that its one end strikes the ground, it ricochets into the air at a terrific speed, spinning endwise. It completes a circle of 45 meters or wider and then several smaller ones, before it drops to the ground near the thrower.

            Non-returning boomerangs are suitable for hunting and fighting, and have been used by North American Indians and other hunters against birds and small animals. A returning of spinning boomerang hits a target with far greater force than a thrown rock or stick.