A professional stuntman will climb Rapunzel's hair at LSC

LSC News

Hear ye, hear ye! If Rapunzel were real, would her hair really be strong enough for a human to climb? This Saturday, we’ll find out.

In celebration of Liberty Science Center’s new MythBusters exhibit, we’re throwing a two-week event called “Once Upon a Myth.” Our Governors Hall atrium will be packed with activities where guests can put their favorite fairy tale myths to the test (i.e. Can you really feel a pea under a stack of mattresses? Can you really turn straw into gold, like Rumpelstiltskin did? Could an elephant really fly better with big ears, like Dumbo?).

On Saturday, April 8 – the first day of Once Upon a Myth – we’re kicking things off with a massive Rapunzel Challenge. On this day, a professional stuntman will attempt to climb Rapunzel’s 70-ft long hair, made of aluminum, right in the middle of the Science Center.

It may sound wacky, but this experiment is entirely based in science and replicates something the actual MythBusters would do if presented with the same challenge!

Here’s what we did:

  1. First, we researched the story of Rapunzel and discovered that it never clearly states how long her hair was. However, we were able to identify that the tower she was trapped in was 70-feet tall, therefore we could assume that Rapunzel’s hair was at least 70-feet long.
  2. Then we set out to determine how much her hair would weigh. We measured and weighed the hair of several team members, and based on averages and ratios we determined that Rapunzel’s hair would weigh 20 pounds.
  3. Since we couldn’t get 70-foot-long strands of human hair, we had to use a material that has a similar strength-to-weight ratio as human hair: aluminum.
  4. Finally, the team spent roughly 10 hours unspooling 20 pounds of aluminum into a 70-foot-long ponytail and fastened it to a column in our atrium so our stuntman could attempt the climb.

Will it work? We’ll find out on Saturday, April 8! The Rapunzel Challenge is happening at noon and 3 pm.

“Once Upon a Myth” is running at LSC through April 19. Don’t miss the exciting opportunity to step inside your favorite storybooks and test the actual myths behind them.

After you’re finished busting fairy tale myths, head over to MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition on the fourth floor and bust a multitude of different myths: Are you really drier when you run in the rain? Can you really pull a tablecloth off a fully-set table without disturbing any dishes? Does toast always land butter-side down? Our newest premium exhibition includes live demos, visitor participation, and spectacular sets and experiences from the TV show.

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