This video is more proof that science is awesome.
Veritasium explains the concept of the magnus effect using a basketball.
At first they drop the ball down the ledge and watch it fall essentially in the same place it was dropped.
Now, apply a bit of backspin, and something different entirely happens.
The basketball floats along in the air for quite a bit before falling into the river. It even bounces off the river a few times before finally landing.
“The basketball was subject to the magnus effect,” the video explains, “which effects all rotating balls or cylinders as they fly through the air.”