I saw this video and was amazed by seeing this incredible balance. I wanted to know how is this thing balanced and what are other things that can be balanced using physics.

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    $\begingroup$ -1 for effort. Have you tried searching the internet for an explanation? Googling your exact title gives (among many others) this at #3 : stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/balancing-forks $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ Please check if the dupicate actually solves your question, if it doesn't, write here why. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 0:09

1 Answer 1


The two forks and the toothpick wedged in them are rigid. For a rigid body to balance at a single point, the centre of mass of the body must lie directly below that point. Then, any change in orientation of the body will raise the centre of mass, adding to its gravitational potential energy. The system prefers to be in the lowest energy state, and so the centre of mass remains directly below the pivot.

Here, the centre of mass of the rigid combination of two forks and a toothpick lies somewhere along the second toothpick (that forms the pivot) probably just above the thumb.

Here is a similar situation.

Although we intuitively fee that the tip of the beak must be the front of the bird, the wings are swept forward, bringing the centre of mass with them. They might even be weighted, and therefore add to the mass distribution disproportionately, to contribute to the sense of something being a little odd.


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