Imagine 30 horses (2 teams of 15 each side) attached to ropes pulling against each other in a ‘Tug-o-War’!

Well this is what happened in 1654 in a German town called Magdeburg BUT in the middle of the tug-o-war ropes was a large metal sphere. The air inside the hollow sphere was removed and thus only being held together by air pressure.

We will use a pair of suction cups that are similar to the metal spheres to see if we can pull them apart and overcome air pressure.





  • horse-pull-experiment-materialsSuction cups
  • ropes
  • two volunteers
  • horse caps (additional)







  • You will be pulling very hard in opposite directions. IF the suction cups give out, you will fly forwards (Newton’s 1st Law).  So stay away from furniture etc
  • Adult present to watch and ensure safety.





  • horse-pull-step2Attach the suction cups.





  • horse-pull-experiment-step3Try to pull them apart.
  • Use two people and place each person on each suction cup.






Attach some people and horse heads along with ropes to simulate the Mageburg experiment.






Check out the ‘Wacky Science’ video of this experiment and ‘What’s Going On’ series link. They are currently ‘In Production’, so check back soon…..


Wacky Science Ep

What's Going On?



Description with diagrams coming soon….



If you would like

– more details,

– pictures of the second half of the experiment

– information on how to investigate this further

– links to everyday examples

– management hints & teaching pointers (5P Teacher develpoment program)

 ….. then why not subscribe to one of the following


(1) Crazy science Club

Crazy Science Club slider5

(2) 5P Teacher Training course called ‘Looney Lab  Classroom Creations

Looney Lab Classroom Creations2


Or you can purchase the ‘Bright Sparkes Guide’ of this demonstration only ($2.50) which has:

  • HD pictures of experiment steps
  • Detailed explanation of science
  • Mini-challenge section (another experiment)
  • Making it a ‘Scientific Method’ experience
  • Graphing opportunities
  • REAL links and descriptions to everyday examples of concept.



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