One of the biggest advantages of being human over, say, a possum, is the fact that we’re capable of independent thought, and by extension, ideas. It’s said that ideas are the main point of discussion for many great minds. In brainstorming, there’s no such thing as a bad idea but in real life, there are plenty of brain nuggets that really shouldn’t have made it past the conceptual stage.
On the whole, human beings have evolved beyond the point where whips are no longer necessary in contemporary society. If you’re a jockey trying to get your horse to run faster and you also hate animals, I guess I can see why a whip would be useful. Aside from that, I don’t think whips, let alone impossibly huge ones, are necessary. One man called Bryan Ropar, however, disagrees with me; he made a massive whipping apparatus measuring at 80 feet, before putting it through its first (and presumably, last) field test.
History is littered with terrible ideas that have inadvertently shaped human invention. Microsoft followed up their revolutionary, easy-to-use and extremely popular Windows XP with the aggressively dysfunctional Windows Vista, before correcting their mistakes with Windows 7. 19th-Century health practices have taught doctors not to respond to any and every ailment with the application of leeches. The introduction of Jar Jar Binks into the Star Wars franchise reminded all of us that George Lucas should never be given sole creative license on a film production.
Speaking of George Lucas, his other flagship franchise is the Indiana Jones series, alongside Steven Spielberg. Indiana Jones is, of course, known for his bold forays into ancient tombs, his crippling fear of snakes, as well as his trusty whip. YouTuber Bryan Ropar, creator of the Bryan Ropar’s World of Science and Engineering Channel, looked at Indiana Jones’ whip and thought to himself: “what if that whip was impractically and dangerously large?”
Bryan put together this giant 80-foot whip, but what use is a whip if you can’t whip things with it? Bryan took his invention outside, and decided to test out the enormous whip in his back garden. It did not go well.
Despite his epic whip-making skills, Bryan Ropar is but a man, and like all men, his arms max out at a little over two feet long. When operating an 80-foot whip, this presents a problem; Bryan can only generate enough lift to produce a small loop, which travels to the end of the weapon before backfiring literally, and spectacularly. Each whip of increasing force only succeeds in the end coming back at him with greater and greater venom, but Bryan soldiers on, much to his own personal detriment.
While this particular invention might not land Bryan Ropar on a definitive list of inventors alongside Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, Bryan will be hoping that this video, which has generated over 1.5 million views since being released on February 10th, whips up a whole new audience for his science experiments. With videos of Bryan burning things with a high-voltage power supply or trying out a giant air cannon, his channel could easily be the portfolio for a mad scientist. I applaud Bryan for his bravery and innovation, and hope that his endeavours in the name of science don’t result in him fighting Spider-Man.