60 Second Science: The Unbreakable Egg in a Fist

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This is an old trick that continues to charm and fascinate kids of all ages. No matter how strong you are, how young or old you are, you will probably never be able to crush an egg in your fist. Try it. Remove the rings from your fingers and place an egg in the palm of your hand. Now wrap your fingers around the egg and squeeze. Squeeze harder. Squeeze as hard as you possibly can.

What happens? Nothing. Even an adult’s  hand will have a difficult, if not impossible, time cracking the egg. Why? When you normally crack an egg you tap it on the edge of a bowl, concentrating the force upon one small area of the egg. When you squeeze an egg in your fist, you are applying equal pressure on all sides of one of the strongest architectural shapes in the world–the three dimensional arch. If your egg breaks, it is the likely result of one finger applying greater pressure upon the shell.

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