Tuesday, January 27, 2009

King Tooth set a new world record by pulling a 7 coach train using nothing but a steel rope and his bare teeth for the heaviest weight pulled by teeth. The Malaysian man’s achievement — whose real name is Rathakrishnan Velu – is projected to be accepted into the Guinness World Records within 2-3 weeks once the information has been verified, said his manager Anna Chidambar.

You could literally see how strained his neck muscles were as Velu pulled the 297.1 ton train over 9 feet, 2.2 inches (2.8 meters) along tracks at a railway station in Kuala Lumpur.

“I don’t know what toothpaste he uses but I am sure a lot companies will be looking to endorse their products from Rathakrishnan.” said Maximus Ongkili, a Cabinet minister, who was an eyewitness to the feat.

Just before his attempt, Rathakrishnan closed his eyes, took deep breaths, and held his left index finger against his nose and right index finger against his chest. Then he touched his forehead and the top of his head before sitting on the ground to begin reports the Daily Mail.

Dozens of spectators were cheering and clapping as they chanted ‘Malaysia Boleh!’ and ‘Malaysia Can’ as Valu sat down and pulled the train, grasping both tracks for support, pushing his feet against the wooden beams to thrust himself backwards.

In his second and third attempts Rathakrishnan moved the train 2 feet, 4.7 inches (.73 meters), and 8 feet, 1.6 inches (2.48 meters).

“We are slightly disappointed … he would have liked to end up with a longer distance but at the end of the day it is still a record.” said Chidambar.

Rathakrishnan also holds the previous world record for the heaviest weight pulled with teeth when he dragged a lighter 260.8 ton train over 13 feet, 9.3 inches (4.2 meters) on October 18, 2003.

Rathakrishnan — a strict vegetarian ethnic Indian — attributes his strength to an Indian form of meditation and daily jaw training. He also runs at least 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) and lifts bars up to 551 pounds (250 kilos).

How to pull large objects with your teeth

How does one pull a 50,000 pound bus with their teeth?

The main force required to move the bus is the rolling resistance of the tires, which is dependant upon the weight of the bus and the coefficient of rolling resistance of the tires.

How Stuff Works explains that the tires on any vehicle flatten as they move, which takes force to make them deform. The less they deform, the less force it takes. A steel train wheel has less than one-tenth the resistance of a car tire because it doesn’t deform as much as it rolls.

Ensuring the tire pressure on the bus is correct or slightly high can minimize the resistance. Assuming the coefficient is 0.006, the force needed to pull the bus is 0.006 multiplied by the weight of the bus, or 0.006 times 50,000 pounds, which equals 300 pounds. There could be extra force from brake drag or friction in the driveline, thereby bumping it to a generous estimate to move the bus requires 400 pounds of force.

It’s possible for a person to exert 400 pounds of force with their legs and hold it with their teeth, but there’s still the factor of traction. The coefficient of friction between your shoes and the ground determines how much force you can apply in the horizontal direction before your feet slip. About the best coefficient you could hope for is 1.0. If your shoes had a coefficient of 1.0, you could apply a force equal to your weight in the horizontal direction. Unless you weighed much more than 400 pounds, you wouldn’t be able to exert that much force against the ground.

A key factor is to increase your traction. One can anchor a ladder to the road and use the steps of the ladder to push against. To pull a train, a person could push against the railroad ties. This reduces the traction because you’re now pushing against a vertical surface instead of a horizontal one, so the force you apply against the ladder is in the same direction as the force you apply against the bus. Thus it’s more like lifting a 400 pound weight with your legs.

Your teeth have to be able to hold the rope with 400 pounds of force, but they’re not doing the lifting. Neither is your neck supporting much of the weight. Since you have to lean back to push against the ladder for traction, most of the force is transmitted down your spine. The closer you can get to the ground, the less force your neck muscles have to apply.

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