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Science Behind the Rapunzel

Beauty Byte: The Science Behind Fairy Tales


As a kid, did you dream about letting your hair down like Rapunzel? Live Science has conducted an exposé on some our favorite fairy tales, and it turns out that certain authors (ahem, Hans Christian Andersen) were not very good at their beauty fact checking.

If it were actually possible to grow hair to 100 feet or more, I would like to think that a prince would have no problem scaling the lovely locks (ignoring the split ends!) to rescue Rapunzel from captivity. Sadly, this is not the case. While the strength of her 140,000 blonde hairs is enough to support a fully grown man, the human scalp is not, and lovely Rapunzel would have had her scalp ripped off the minute Prince Charming got his feet off the ground. But if she knew to anchor her hair by tying it to a strong, stable surface, like the railing of her window, he could make it to his fair maiden. I'll just assume that part of the story was left out for the sake of time.

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