The Bed of Nails of nails can be very intimidating. Who wouldn’t be a little scared by the idea of laying your entire body on 5000 nails? But there is nothing to be afraid of, it’s totally safe.
The exhibit is quite easy to understand and use. You simply lie down flat on the bed, press the button and the nails lift you up; as long as you hold down the button, the nails will continue to lift you up. When you’re ready to get off simply release the button and wait until all the nails are all the way down, then you’re free to go.
Face the Challenge
One might think that lying on a bed of nails would be painful; but the opposite is true. While on the nails, your body weight is distributed across many tiny surfaces. The pressure point of each nail is virtually painless because all your weight is distributed across every nail your body is touching.
Did you know that high heeled shoes put more pressure on the floor than a regular sneaker? That is the easiest way to explain the physics behind the Bed of Nails. A high heeled shoe sends a huge amount of pressure into your feet because there is more weight on smaller points. A sneaker allows your body weight to be distributed throughout your entire foot rather than in specific spots.
This is how the Bed of Nails works. If there were a much smaller number of nails, there would be potential for a vast amount of pain for the participants, because all of their weight would be applied to just a few small surfaces. An even surface of 5000 nails allows for an even distribution of pressure.
Mind at Ease
I had my doubts about when I first used the Bed of Nails. I held a lot of tension in my body and shoulders; I had no idea how it was going to feel. Once the nails started to rise, the tension throughout my body began to subside. When I released the nails, the feeling of having my body slowly drift back down felt kind of nice. It’s a strange feeling to have the sensation of thousands of nails leave your back. It almost tickles but there is nothing quite as satisfying as the sound of all the nails going back to their “resting place.”
- Force and pressure – the scientific theory behind the bed of nails:
- Dive deeper into the mathematics and physics behind the bed of nails exhibit. Exactly why doesn’t it hurt?
- Try this at home? Make your own bed of nails….
- Learn more about physics:
About the Author and Photographer
Peyton Fleetwood is a 22-year-old senior at Indiana University majoring in advertising and working as an intern on the WonderLab Marketing/PR team. In her free time, Peyton enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as attending as many sporting events as she can.
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