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Lift a Bottle Without Touching It


Activity Overview

Lay a few easily accessible items on the table in front of a friend or family member and challenge him or her to lift a soda bottle without actually touching the bottle. They can only use the items in front of them in this challenge: a measuring cup full of uncooked rice, a pencil and the soda bottle itself.

Materials Needed

  • A soda bottle
  • A measuring cup
  • Uncooked rice
  • A Pencil

How To Do It

  1. Fill the soda bottle with uncooked rice.
  2. Grab the pencil and plunge it into the bottle of rice.
  3. Lift the pencil and in turn you will be able to lift the bottle.
  4. To release the pencil from the bottle, simply turn the pencil and you will be able to remove it from the rice right away.


The force that you put forth when you jab the pencil into the rice is evenly distributed among the small grains of uncooked rice. The rice is pushed outward and it is forced to press against the sides of the bottle as well as the pencil. Therefore, the pressure from the rice forms a strong hold on the pencil and holds it in place, making it easy to lift the bottle up by only touching the pencil.

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