One In The Hand

Eggs are traditionally thought of as being very fragile, but in fact the physics behind their shape is astounding.

Ingredients:

  • raw egg
  • plastic bag or glove (for the unconfident!)

Instructions

Challenge audience members to break the egg just by squeezing it. Let them wrap the egg in a plastic bag or wear a glove if they're worried… Believe it or not, it can't be done!

How Does it Work?

The shape of an egg is actually one of the strongest designs possible. The curved structure means that applying pressure to any particular area actually spreads the force out over the entire egg. So just squeezing it won't cause it to break. Of course applying a very sharp force to one point WILL cause it to break – which is why we usually tap the egg on the side of a bowl to break it when cooking.

Tips for Success

Ask your volunteers to remove any rings etc. before trying this trick – the sharp uneven force from such metal objects can cause the egg to break. Check your eggs for hairline fractures before attempting this trick – if there is any existing damage to the egg it won't work.

Did You Know?

The ornate and intricate arched doorways and ceilings in many old buildings aren’t just there for their aesthetic qualities. Arches are in fact one of the strongest building structures. In effect, every brick or piece of masonry within the arch is falling on all the others, distributing the weight evenly over the structure.