What Happens When You Drop a 2,500-Pound Rubberband Ball from a Plane?
KINGMAN — Sometimes, the ball just doesn’t bounce the way it should. At least, it didn’t for Tony Evans, who came to Arizona to test the theory that if a huge ball composed entirely of rubber bands was dropped from a great height, it would bounce high into the sky.
Working at his home in Swansea, Wales, Evans spent four years winding about six million rubber bands into the monster orb. When finished, his creation weighed 2,548 pounds and had a 14-foot circumference, big enough to get it into the Guinness World Records. Then an American TV show, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, not only offered to sponsor the ball on a tour of the United States, but also to drop it from an airplane to check its bouncability. The TV crew hauled it to the desert near Kingman and loaded it onto a small plane. When the aircraft reached about a mile in altitude, the sphere was shoved out, followed by two camera-toting skydivers assigned to film the event.
Evans and his wife were among the spectators, flown to the site by the TV producers to watch the big bounce. It didn’t happen. When the ball hit the desert floor, it shattered apart, creating a crater more than three feet deep and sending rubber bands flying more than 200 yards away. Later, Evans said he wasn’t too disappointed. He had, after all, been on TV and got a free trip to America.