Talk about thirsty. The water-gulping feat in the trick shown here doesn't quite demonstrate Kobayashi-level skill, but it's still a shock to watch. In a tremendously un-scientific test, we determined that it would normally take about 12 seconds for the water to empty out of a similarly-sized bottle held upside down. This drinking champion does it in under five.
The plastic bottle is critical. If he were just holding it upside down, gravity would be doing most of the work, and that's just not fast enough. Instead, he squeezes the plastic bottle, forcing half the water out. Next, he wisely pauses for a moment there in the middle of his chug, allowing air to creep up through the water and into the space between the new, lower water level and the interior bottom of the bottle. Without that, the pressure exerted would be too great - he wouldn't have been able to overcome it and suck down that last bit of water. So he lets the air flow up, lets the bottle expand and regain its normal, uncompressed state, and then crushes it again, forcing that final enormous gulp down his throat. A champion indeed.—Gregory Mone
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.