Is It Truly Impossible to Break an Egg in Your Hand?

published Oct 14, 2014
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(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

When I first heard that it was impossible to break an upright egg in your hand, my boyfriend and I stood over our kitchen sink and tried for about 10 minutes with no luck. We tried cracking am egg in a vertical position, and we also tried cracking an egg on its side just to compare. Nothing seemed to work. How can it be so easy to crack an egg on any kitchen countertop, but then the pressure from your hand not make the slightest difference?

So, I put this theory to the test one more time. Here’s what happened.

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

The Indomitable Egg

A quick YouTube search shows all the people who have tried (and failed) to crack an egg when it’s positioned top to bottom in the hand. (Some people cheated and put their nail into the egg to help, but that doesn’t count.)

Our Experiment

I asked Andrew, Maxwell’s assistant, to try and crack an egg in his hand.For the experiment I used large, brown, organic eggs from the farmers market.

Andrew tried for a few minutes to crack the egg from top to bottom in his hand. Other people in the office also made valiant attempts, but nobody could crack the egg.

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

Then Andrew took another egg and tried to crack it when it was the egg was positioned horizontally in his hand. After a minute of trying, the egg actually cracked! Andrew assured me he didn’t have any fingernails to cheat with.

Of course after he cracked that egg, we tried to crack the egg again over the sink to see if he could recreate what he had done. He could not do it, even when he tried cracking the egg with both hands. Was the one egg he cracked just a fluke?

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

Conclusion: It is impossible to crack an egg in an upright position, but possible (although hard) to crack an egg on its side.

Have you tried this before? What were your results? Word to the wise: put some newspaper on the floor or do this over the sink. You may just surprise yourself.