Rubber Band Balls
Congratulations... It's a bouncing, baby ball!
I've made two of these things. The bigger one is seven and a half inches in diameter and weighs about nine pounds. I don't plan on enlarging the small ball. I'd like to be able to bounce at least one of them around without putting a hole in the floor or wall.
They're kind of fun to build. At the very least, they give you something to do when you're bored. Rubber bands are pretty easy to come by. You can even purchase them by the pound at an office supply store if you want your ball to bulk up in a hurry.
You start by smooshing a bunch of bands together, then using small bands to contain them and form a ball shape. After each new band is put on, it's good to lightly toss and spin the ball before applying the next band. This ensures that each successive rubber band will be placed randomly, and prevents your ball from becoming a cube or pyramid.
They grow up so fast
When rubber band balls reach a certain size, they become a little cumbersome. Regular-sized bands start to snap and sting your fingers as you try to stretch them. You could form a rubber band chain and wrap it around and around, but it's tough to hold the chain in place while you secure it with bigger bands. And although you can buy big rubber bands, they usually come in small packs and cost a lot more per band than the regular sizes.
At least you'll have a lifetime supply of rubber bands on hand. Then again, if you start taking it apart, you won't have a big rubber band ball anymore.
Other people's bundles of bands
So what can be done when your rubber band ball gets really big? You can do what John Bain did and ask a rubber company for help. Alliance Rubber provided giant bands normally used to wrap protective coverings on furniture to help John's ball grow to well over a ton. I believe this ball owns the current world record.
If someone is skeptical about the authenticity of your rubber band ball and you want to show that your didn't just wrap some bands around a bowling ball, there's a way to prove it: CAT scan! This is an image of a ball belonging to Mouser Williams. I can't help but notice that the layers of bands with different densities makes it look like a cross-section of planet Earth.
What would happen if an enormous rubber band ball was dropped out of an airplane? That's what Tony Evans wanted to find out with the help of his 2,600 pound monster. Would the ball bounce? Tear apart on impact? Form a crater in the ground? Surprisingly, it did all three.
Daddy didn't raise no fool
One final thought: Could a rubber band ball destroy the universe? A black hole is formed when a star's core collaspes in on itself due to tremendous gravitational forces. If billions of rubber bands, all constricting towards the center of a massive ball, were to suddenly implode...