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Do you think you’re tough? No matter whether you’ve got the strength of an Olympic wrestler or the weakness of a banana skin, you probably think you have enough strength to crumple a piece of paper. Here’s an experiment that shows how crumpling paper is not always as easy as it seems.

What You Need

  1. five full sheets of newspaper

What You Do

  1. Hold your arm out straight and hold one piece of newspaper in just one hand. If you’re right-handed, use your left hand. If you’re left-handed, use your right hand.
  2. Now, crumple up the paper into a tiny ball, using just one hand.
  3. Do it again with the next piece of paper, and until you’ve crumpled up all five pieces of newspaper.
  4. What do you notice?

What's Happening?

Is your arm tired? We don’t use those muscles in our arms to do hard crumpling jobs very often so your crumpling muscles tire out quickly. If you practice crumpling newspapers like that, your whole arm will grow stronger. Just buy a newspaper, read it, and then crumple it up! You’ll get smarter and stronger. It’s newspaper, so when you’re done, it’s easy to recycle.

Bill Nye