Rescuers In Northeast India Use The Archimedes' Principle To Save An Elephant In Distress


Rescuers in Northeast India used the Archimedes' principle to rescue an elephant stranded inside a 25 foot deep well (Credit: Ramesh Pandey/Twitter)

An elephant, who accidentally fell into a dry, 25-foot deep well in Northeast India, lived to see another day thanks to the quick-thinking rescuers' scientific knowledge. The chain of events unfolded early in the morning on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, when residents of Amliya toli village, in the state of Jharkhand, awoke to the cries of the stranded pachyderm and called the forest department for help.

When the rescuers arrived, they instantly realized that pulling out the massive mammal, estimated to be about 30 years old, was not a feasible option. Fortunately, the forest department officials had been paying attention in their science class and were well aware of the Archimedes' principle. The physics law of buoyancy, which explains how ships stay afloat, states that when a body is partially or fully immersed in a fluid, it experiences an apparent loss in weight that is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the submerged part of the body.

The water helped lift the elephant up to the well's edge, from where it was able to pull itself out (Credit: Ramesh Pandey/Twitter)

In this case, that meant filling the well with enough water to displace the elephant's weight. It took the three motorized pumps over three hours to add the hundreds of gallons needed to enable the heavy mammal to float up to the surface. However, it was well worth the effort. The heartwarming video shows the villagers cheering as the animal, using the makeshift ramp excavated by the rescue team, pulls itself out of the well and scampers away to safety in the nearby forest.


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  • doggo020
    doggo020Friday, April 3, 2020 at 8:20 am
    Poor elephant but the way it got out was so cool!!!🐘🐘
    • jujubean4realz
      jujubean4realzThursday, April 2, 2020 at 1:33 pm
      Poor elephant!
      • bignoobo101
        bignoobo101Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 12:58 pm
        #savetheelephants! <3 :D
        • ailean99
          ailean99Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 2:46 pm
          I love Elephants!!!
          • doggo020
            doggo020Friday, April 3, 2020 at 8:20 am
            So do I!
          • applemango
            applemangoSaturday, March 28, 2020 at 10:43 pm
            Sorry that the elephant was stuck there...glad she got out! #amazingmath! math always saves the day. #braveproudelephant!!!!!!!
            • chimi
              chimiThursday, March 26, 2020 at 1:42 pm
              hooray for the elephant :)
              • eliserdbreth
                eliserdbrethThursday, March 26, 2020 at 8:13 am
                Poor elephant🐘
                • eliserdbreth
                  eliserdbrethThursday, March 26, 2020 at 8:17 am
                  I love that they saved it
                • hunterxz11
                  hunterxz11Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 4:56 am
                  My teachers favorite animal is an elephant because she has a disability and elephants give her the power she needs so go elephants
                  • kp2112
                    kp2112Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 5:18 pm
                    don't let your teacher see this that will make the teacher upset #LOVE ELEPHANTS
                  • boonyang
                    boonyangWednesday, March 25, 2020 at 2:30 am
                    thats good news. if anyone want to be a zoologist when you grow up FOLLOW ME because I am learning about a bunch of animals online now and ready to become one .
                    • doggo020
                      doggo020Friday, April 3, 2020 at 8:21 am
                      Good for you!!
                    • bluemoonsofhope
                      bluemoonsofhopeTuesday, March 24, 2020 at 4:36 pm
                      It's sad that the elephant got stuck but glad the elephant is ok.