On September 6, 2013 in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest, Kurt Steiner achieved the Guinness World Record for “the most consecutive skips of a stone on water” when his skipping stone touched the water 88 times. Yes, eighty-eight.
Watch the epic 88 skips video, above, with annotations that highlight previous records by Jerry McGhee, Russell Byars, and Max Steiner (no relation). Below: What looks to be the throw in real time.
What’s behind the science of stone skipping? From Discover in 2003:
The key to a good skip, [physicist Lydéric] Bocquet says, lies in spinning the stone. On the water, a stone’s spin keeps it poised on its trailing edge, rather than somersaulting. In the air, spin provides stability, as with a Frisbee. If the thrower gets the stone off to a bad start, spin can bring it into better position before it hits the water.
Bocquet has developed a formula for estimating how many times a stone will skip based on spin and speed. He calculates, for instance, that for a stone to skip five times it has to spin five times per second; to skip 15 times (Bocquet’s personal record), it has to spin almost nine times per second…
According to Guinness, Steiner takes great care in selecting his stones:
He has collected more than 10,000 “quality rocks” and has sorted each according to its type, to prepare for the best possible throw. He looks for stones “that weigh between 3 – 8 ounces… that are very smooth (they don’t have to be perfectly round), flat bottoms and are between 1/4 – 5/16th of an inch thick.
Get some good stones, give it some practice, and let us know what your personal stone skipping record is.
Watch this next: Joe Ayoob Sets the Paper Airplane World Record.
via Boing Boing.
This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.
Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.