Water experiment 1If you ever worked for a big company, then maybe you know those “team building” sessions which consisted mainly of playing all kind of games, more or less stupid, followed by wise debriefings, meant to consolidate the team and to make its members to better know each other. Yet, there was a series of games that I found interesting: the ones in which you are given several items and you have to complete a task using only those items.

This is one example of smart game (the best part comes at the end):

Get that coin out of the water without getting yourself wet and without moving the plate

Items given:
– one plate containing a small quantity of water
– one coin, on the bottom of the plate, covered by water
– one candle (this can come from your own candle making production, if you have this hobby)
– one glass
– one lighter

Briefing: you are not allowed to move the plate.

If you want to try it for yourself, stop reading. If you just want to see how it’s done, then here you are:
Step 1: put the candle in the water, not very close to the coin, and light it.

Water experiment 2

Step 2: Put the glass upside down over the lit candle.

Water experiment 3

Step 3: Wait. The candle extinguishes after the oxygen in the glass is burnt, then you will see the water level slowly raising inside the glass. Soon all the water in the plate gets sucked inside the glass, so you can safely take the coin.

Water experiment 4

For making sure you don’t get in touch with water, you can wait a few minutes until the plate and the coin get dry.
If you want to amaze your friends with this trick, try it before, in order to adjust the amount of water you need to use.

The best part comes now: you are challenged!


Three of the readers who guess what is the phenomenon that makes this happen and blog about it linking to this post with the anchor phrase cool tips and tricks win one year free hosting with Dreamhost for a domain, with MYSQL database included. I reserve myself the right to choose the winning answers. The other participants who answer correctly will get a free link from this site (PR5).

The contest starts now and it ends on April 30th at midnight (your timezone).

Good luck everybody, and remember the rules:

1. know the answer
2. blog about it
3. link to this post with the anchor text “cool tips and tricks”
4. leave a comment on this page, so I know that you are in