The Law of Seven: Is it impossible to fold paper in half more than 7 times?


Watch a piece of paper shatter when folded seven times using a hydraulic press

It’s common playground knowledge that it’s impossible to fold a piece of paper in half more than seven times. This usually comes into play when engaged in serious scientific experiments such as paper football matches and paper airplane tournaments.

The Law of Seven: Is it impossible to fold paper in half more than 7 timesThe usual caveats to this “law” are:

  1. The paper must be a standard letter or A4 paper
  2. It must be folded by hand
  3. It must be folded in-half

The Mythbusters busted this long-ago, albeit by using a huge piece of paper in an airplane hangar, but they did manage to fold a single sheet of paper eleven times. Now, they did use a HUGE piece of paper, a steam roller and a forklift.

Many have said though, the Mythbusters success has too many exceptions. How many folds can you get from a single, letter-sized piece of paper if you have a mechanical advantage. What kind of mechanical advantage? How about a hydraulic press? The experiment seems pretty straightforward, until fold seven when it audibly sounds like the press breaks. That sound was actually the paper “shattering” into some sort of pulp shards. Super Weird!

Where’s the blast shield?


Just for grins – what happens to a Nokia 3310 in the Hydraulic Press?

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Adam Beck

Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A Marketing graduate from the Miami University, Farmer School of Business in Oxford Ohio, Adam has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries.