Physics

We can’t stop watching this epic video of a marble travelling through a chain reaction


At first, it looks like a jumble of random things cluttering a desk – little bits of wood, a couple fidget spinners, some coins, a pencil.

Then, a hand reaches over and drops a tiny blue marble onto a slope, and the next thing you know both the marble and yourself are in for an epic journey.

As the tiny glass globe traverses the landscape, every wooden block, every odd angle, and that one plastic fork suddenly makes perfect sense.

This mind-blowing one-shot video of a chain reaction is the genius work of YouTube user Kaplamino, whose username is a portmanteau of Kapla – a type of wooden building block toy – and domino.

True to his name, both Kaplas and coloured building dominoes are abundant in this neat chain of tricks, but it’s the clever appropriation of everyday objects that really makes the whole project sing.

 

At one point, the marble is propelled into action after hitting the button on a spring-loaded ballpoint; at another, it’s fed into the next track by a pair of perfectly positioned scissors.

For creating this kind of wonder you need to have a very special skill set, and lots and lots of patience. Kaplamino notes that it took him quite a while to put this all together.

“After three months of work and probably more than 500 fails, I’m happy to present you my best video ever,” he states in the video description.

“I learned a lot about chain reaction, and I discovered the amazing power of the hot glue gun.”

On YouTube, you can find a whole community of people who tinker with elaborate domino effect schemes like this one – which are also often called chain reactions or, in the English-speaking world, Rube Goldberg machines.

Kaplamino himself has a relatively small, but impressive video catalogue stretching back six years, and there’s even a funky super-cut compilation of his best work.

While a lot of his tricks involve elaborate hair-trigger demolishings of Kapla structures, there is also a precedent to the blue marble video, although this time with more magnets.

Unlike the blue marble, the marbles and magnets video involves a series of separate chain reactions cleverly linked together in editing. Many of the things he achieves with those little magnets are super-creative – like this “swing” of magnets and a ball bearing just dangling off a coin:

(Kaplamino/YouTube)

Damn, that’s clever. And, if you haven’t watched the blue marble undertake it’s trip yet, go on – the ending was super-unexpected and very, very satisfying.

You can find this and other ingenious chain reactions over on Kaplamino’s YouTube channel.

 



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