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When Mythbusters tried to fold a paper the size of a football pitch more than 7 times

Mythbusters raised the stakes in their challenge to prove the 7 fold myth about paper wrong by bringing in a field-sized specimen.

When Mythbusters tried to fold a paper the size of a football pitch more than 7 times
Cover Image Source: YouTube | @KidMythBusters1

Mythbusters captivated many childhoods with the interesting storylines they brought in every episode. One of their most interesting "myths" was trying to fold a paper more than seven times. According to The Paper Mills Store, "It’s commonly accepted that you cannot fold a single sheet of paper more than 7 times, no matter the paper finish, size or basis weight you’re using." Kari and Tory with the help of a couple of friends put this myth to the test.

Image Source: YouTube/MythBusters
Image Source: YouTube | @MythBusters

As easy as folding a paper 7 times might sound, it was nothing close to it. The team soon realized it was downright impossible to go more than 7 times on a normal-sized paper. So, they decided to enlarge their scope, increasing the size to a football pitch. The narrator explains in the video, "The plan is to get 17 individual rolls and lay them out side by side covering 170x 220 ft." To secure the individual rolls together, they used a double-sided tape. Kari showed the whole area the team wanted to cover with paper. It was sprawling and huge from all sides setting the stage for an epic myth-busting session.

Image Source: YouTube/KidMythBusters1
Image Source: YouTube | @KidMythBusters1

The dream team completed the impossible task and somehow got in place a paper equal to the size of a football field. Then began the daunting task of getting in more than 7 folds and restating the myth. Another video showed the whole process. The initial issue they faced was that the paper was turning into a "gigantic windstock with even a little bit of wind" as explained by Kari. The only solution was brute strength at least for the first fold. The whole team had to take up particular positions for the next one.



 

The narrator called the whole experience "like trying to fold the world's biggest bed sheet." For the third, there were a lot of hiccups. Kari shared, "It's crumpling in weird ways, it's not folding smoothly." Somehow the next five folds get out of the way. After each fold the team had to get some "tidy tuckings" in, so that no air remained between the two folds. From the looks of it, it was clear as day that the whole thing was exhausting to the core. Every member was huffing and puffing. The "additional layers" made it hard to "heave over" the sheet. But being so close to their aim, the team was in no mood to give up. They had to "squash out" the paper after the seventh fold.

The pivotal eighth fold brings the moment of truth. Tory noted how the team went silent as they reached the brink of busting this long-held myth. The team drags the paper and gets the eighth fold in. Despite resistance from the paper, the team managed to complete their aim. They did a celebratory dance, before deciding to go till the double digits. According to the narrator, "If it is worth doing then it is worth overdoing." Kari came out with a roller to flatten the paper to make the folding process easier. The trick worked and the 9th fold was "easy like a dough." They got a fork and roller in to facilitate the 10th and 11th and with that the exercise comes to an end.



 

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