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Persuading the doubters

For some folks, the idea that a deck of cards or padlock really can pass through the neck of a bottle barely 3.5cm wide, is just too much to accept.


This is why over the years I have seen many alternative explanations of how I make my impossible bottles. Some of them are clearly tongue-in-cheek (trained ants, for example), but others are genuine attempts to explain what, for many people, seems unexplainable.


By far, the most common of these explanations focus on the glass bottles themselves. They are as follows:


1) "He blows the glass around the cards"


I've lost count of the number of times I've heard this one. And for somebody who knows nothing about glass blowing (like me), it sounds reasonable. However, once you realise that the temperature of molten glass is around 1,300°C (2,400 °F), it becomes clear just how untenable this theory is. A deck of cards would be burnt to a crisp in the presence of these temperatures, whilst the wafer-thin plastic wrap would be vapourised in an instant.



I already make enough of a mess with my existing tools. I dread to think what my wife would say if I set up a glass-blowing studio in the kitchen.


2) "He cuts and reseals the bottles"


Take a look at any bottle that you have lying around the house - no matter how smooth it appears, if you examine it closely you will see that it bears the marks of its maker. And in most cases, that 'maker' is an machine in a factory somewhere.


The bottles I use are mass-manufactured. And because they are square, they have a seam running down two of the corners. If you look closely at the following picture you can see it in the centre.


It certainly looks like I might have cut the bottle and glued it back together. However, the seam is a natural by-product of the manufacturing process for this type of bottle. The molten glass is poured into a mould, which looks a bit like this...

...and when the bottle is released from the mould, it has a visible join where the two halves of the mould were pressed together. Thankfully it's hardly noticable, and in fact when I make my impossible bottles, I always make sure that this seam appears at the side of the playing cards rather than at the front and back.


And finally, for any of you who remain unconvinced, I've just had 50 empty bottles delivered to my door this past week. Here they are in my lounge:



So there you have it - two theories on how my impossible bottles are made, and why they're wrong!


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Leicestershire, UK

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