Human Table Trick – Science Experiment

All these people are laying down, by why aren't they falling? They comprise a human table!

The Amazing Human Table Trick Science Experiment 

If all of these people are lying down, why aren’t they falling? The human table challenge will stump your family and your friends. This four-person human table trick will make you do a double take! It requires no special equipment to perform the human table challenge — just several chairs and a few friends who are up for a unique activity. Create a human table as a science experiment in your science class, at birthday parties or at other functions. Need a great STEM club activity? The human table challenge is perfect! 

The Steve Spangler Science Human Table Challenge

Table tricks are a great addition to any meal. Do you want to whip the tablecloth out from under the place settings? Great! Oh, you’re trying to move a toothpick just by using a singing wine glass? That’s awesome, too! But what if you want to turn all of your guests INTO a table? Well, lucky for you, we have the perfect trick: the Human Table Trick Science Experiment will confound your friends and family and get them thinking about gravity and balanced forces.

The Human Table Trick Experiment Instructions

  • Set up four chairs in a square. The chairs need to be close enough that a person can lie backwards and have their shoulders rest on another chair
  • Have four friends sit in each of the chairs. The friends all need to have their feet on the ground
  • Each friend needs to lie backwards, resting their shoulders on the legs of the person behind them
  • One by one, remove the chairs from under your friends
  • Much to their amazement, your friends will remain in their reclined position, despite lacking the support of the chairs
  • Before your friends collapse, replace the chairs and let them sit up

Experiment Materials

  • Four friends
  • Four chairs

Experiment

  1. Set up four chairs in a square. The chairs need to be close enough that a person can lay backwards and have their shoulders rest on another chair.
  2. Have four friends sit in the chairs. The friends need to have their feet on the ground.
  3. Each friend needs to lay backwards, resting their shoulders on the legs of the person behind them.
  4. One by one, remove the chairs from under your friends.
  5. Much to their amazement, your friends remain in their reclined position, despite lacking the support of the chairs.
  6. Before your friends collapse, replace the chairs and let them sit-up. Ta-da!

How Does It Work

How Does the Human Table Trick Work: The Chair Challenge Explained

Ta-da!

This 4-person human table stunt is pretty incredible. Your friends just created a table that is practically sturdy enough to eat off of. But how does the human table trick work? How is this chair challenged explained? When you remove the chairs from under your friends, the expectation is that your friends will crumble to the floor in a giggling mass. Instead, they remain stable (even if they are still giggling). 

The secret to this human table-esque trick is a system of balanced forces. Even though gravity is pulling your friends down, each friend is supported by the legs of the person behind them. Because each person is supported in this human table, the only question is when your friends’ legs will give out.

Take It Further

How many friends can you get to form a human table? It’s easy! Just gather a few more chairs, then you can have a table made up of as many friends as you want! Move from the four-person human table to six, seven — even eight or nine! Love the human table challenge? We have a lot more fantastic online science experiments to explore at Steve Spangler Science. Don’t miss our other gravity-themed science experiments, or opt for those that provide you with real-world, hands-on experiments for chemistry, biology, earth science and more! The human table challenge is just the beginning — experience the world of Steve Spangler Science and have a blast with the fun and engaging science experiments that will get you thinking about the world around you.