Owing to the prevalence of untuned, Styrofoam toy-store boomerangs, generations of American children wrongly grow to believe that building and throwing boomerangs is very difficult. This flies in the face of reason: Using less-than-ideal materials, human beings have been building, throwing, and catching returning boomerangs for more than 11,600 years. The oldest boomerangs found thus far were recovered from the Wyrie Swamp in Australia—but boomerangs aren’t unique to Australia. And despite the impressions you may have gotten from Mad Max and Crocodile Dundee, returning boomerangs were never used as weapons; they are, in fact, among humanity’s longest-standing ways of showing off.
Boomerangs are absurdly easy to make—this ...