A bizarre viral challenge involving chairs has emerged on TikTok this week, which only women seem to be able to successfully complete.
The challenge involves participants walking up to a wall and taking two steps back, each the length of the participant's own foot. The participant must then bend at a 90-degree angle and place their head against the wall. They must then attempt to stand up while holding the chair below them.Check out this video of the TikTok challenge below:
However, with more and more people attempting the seemingly-simple feat, something remarkable has emerged. In almost all of the videos posted to social media, women manage to ace it, while men struggle to perform the right actions correctly.
The challenge first went viral after 32-year-old Krystyna Sorrentino and her 29-year-old fiancé Devin posted their attempts to Twitter. Krystyna can be seen easily bending down to pick up the chair, before standing to attention on her first try.
Meanwhile, when Devin attempted the same thing, he could clearly be seen struggling to balance himself, before later becoming stuck when he tried to stand fully upright.Take a look at another man failing the challenge completely:
So what is the rational explanation behind this curious phenomenon? In a recent blog post scientist Jeremy Johnson theorized: "It's all about the center of mass."
He continued: "The center of mass for most girls is lower to the hips, while the center of mass in boys is much higher. Therefore, for most girls, the center of mass while bent over the chair is above their feet, while the center of mass for most boys is above the chair."
However, Cambridge University professor Brian Ford told British tabloid newspaper The Sun: "It is true that women have a lower center of gravity than men, by several centimeters, but that has no bearing on this crafty little trick."
He added: "Men have longer feet than women. Two paces back for a man would be some 60cm, for a woman it's more like 50cm. So to begin with, the man is forced further away from the wall. The man's larger feet mean he is farther away from the wall than the woman and is thus leaning forward. The woman's legs are closer to the wall, and are thus leaning back."