Impossible bottle

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Sealed decks of Bicycle Playing Cards inside glass bottles

An impossible bottle is a type of mechanical puzzle. It is a bottle that has an object inside it that does not appear to fit through the mouth of the bottle.

The ship in a bottle is a traditional type of impossible bottle. Other common objects used include matchboxes, decks of cards, tennis balls, racketballs, Rubik's Cubes, padlocks, knots, and scissors.

Ship in a bottle[edit]

Titanic sinks in a bottle

There are several ways to put a ship inside a bottle. The simplest way is to rig the masts of the ship and raise it up when the ship is inside the bottle. Masts, spars, and sails are built separately and then attached to the hull of the ship with strings and hinges so the masts can lie flat against the deck. The ship is then placed inside the bottle and the masts are pulled up using the strings attached to the masts.[1][2] The hull of the ship must still be able to fit through the opening.[3] Bottles with minor distortions and soft tints are often chosen to hide the small details of the ship such as hinges on the masts.

Alternatively, with specialized long-handled tools, it is possible to build the ship inside the bottle.

Pine cone in a bottle[edit]

This variation of the impossible bottle takes advantage of pine cones opening as they dry out. In constructing the display, a closed, damp cone of suitable size is inserted into a narrow-mouthed bottle and then allowed to dry inside the bottle.[4]

Fruit and vegetables in a bottle[edit]

Fruits and vegetables inside bottles are grown by placing a bottle around the blossom or young fruit and securing it to the plant. The fruit then grows to full size inside the bottle.[5]

Penny in a bottle[edit]

A US one-cent coin sealed inside a small bottle is a common souvenir. They are mass-produced using glassblowing techniques, by placing a coin inside a semi-molten glass cup, and then reshaping the open end into a narrow neck and mouth, completing the bottle. Non-metallic objects need to be protected from the hot glass to prevent scorching.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lardas, Mark. "September 2006 Boys' Life magazine". Boyslife.org. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  2. ^ "how to section". Shipbottle.ru. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  3. ^ "How is a ship in a bottle made?". Answers.com. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  4. ^ "Pine Cone in the Bottle Display". Instructables. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  5. ^ Science Fair Project Ideas: Grow Apples or Tomatoes in Bottles

External links[edit]