Brow Beat

Can You Really Split an Apple With Your Bare Hands? Fact-Checking BuzzFeed’s “Magic Tricks.”

In late August, BuzzFeed released a popular video called “4 Magic Tricks With Fruit.” The tricks were (spoiler alert) breaking an apple in half with your bare hands, turning a halved orange rind into a candle, slicing a banana by puncturing its peel with a needle, and perforating the rind of a watermelon with a quarter so as to be able to break it in half with a single strike of your hand.

This video, like all of BuzzFeed’s videos, was stylishly produced and fun to watch, but it left me wondering: Would a person of average strength and dexterity really be able to pull off these “magic tricks”?

To find out, my colleagues Ayana Morali and Jeffrey Bloomer put together a video fact-check of BuzzFeed’s fruit hacks. They recruited unsuspecting Slate staffers to test the tricks on camera, and the results were … well, not as successful as BuzzFeed’s, but still fun to watch, in a slightly sadistic way.