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Paper Balloon Paradox

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The kamifusen is a traditional Japanese paper (kami) balloon (fusen) toy that became popular in the 1890s. A balloon made out of paper? Yes! Start out by unfolding it, and then blow into the reinforced opening just a bit - until it's about half way inflated. Once you've done that, spend a few minutes bouncing it in your hand and watch science do the rest! You won't believe your eyes as this crunchy, colorful balloon slowly fills with air. The balloon's deceptively simple design conceals an intricate process that includes elastic waves, fluid motion, and the plasticity of the paper itself. The result? An inflated balloon with an uncovered hole at one end. Air goes in... but it doesn't escape unless you crush the balloon! You will marvel at the ingenuity of the artisans who devised this elegant, intriguing toy. Approx. 6" diameter. Colors may vary.

Check out this fascinating article for more information on the Paper Balloon Paradox!


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