whip-cracking-rodeoWhipcracking is a phenomenal event at rodeos that often leaves attendees in awe. Not only does it take precision, skill, and a little bit of good ol’ fashion talent, it is also a remarkable and scientific process. Whipcrackers break the sound barrier when the end of the whip, or “thong”, moves faster than the speed of sound, creating a small sonic boom. Although it is a very popular competitive sport in Australia, it is also regarded as a favorite in the American rodeo today. The whip is used during livestock driving and horse riding, and has been used to direct cattle for centuries. The whip is rarely used to strike a beast in order to get them to move, it is the sound that they object to and quickly move away from.