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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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sweety54992003 sweety54992003 9 years
Wow the scalp would come off. Ouch now when i think of that story I will remember this.
dreamlover823 dreamlover823 9 years
Is it horrible if I dont care how the prince got up there, it made me happy as a child... everything was possible in my imagination!
pixelhaze pixelhaze 9 years
I've read at least one version where she wrapped her hair around a hook. I remember it from the illustrations.
Blackwidowchick Blackwidowchick 9 years
Kinda like in that movie "brother's grimm" where he rips the hair right out of her scalp.
c12h22o11 c12h22o11 9 years
Wrapping her hair around an anchor was part of the story: When the witch went to visit Rapunzel, she stood beneath the tower and called out: "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair." Upon hearing these words, Rapunzel would wrap her long, fair hair around a hook that sat beside the window, and drop it down to the enchantress, who would then climb up the hair to Rapunzel.
jspeed jspeed 9 years
was this really necessary?
iRose iRose 9 years
Well it is known that Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm didn't have access to such resources and knowledge that we do. Besides its called a fairy tale as in fiction as in something that is made up, so as far as I'm concerned the prince could have climbed up on one strand of hair.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
ok i'm in a lot of pain just thinking about that one. i think that it's a romantic effort/thought and that's where he was going with it. anyway, my hair is rather long and i coudln't imaging it getting any longer to compete with hers!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Well now you ruined it for me!!!
kitkatherine kitkatherine 9 years
probably "as rapunzel securely fastened her golden strangs to the nearest barred window post, the prince waited patiently for her escape" or something just doesn't sound as good.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
I read that article early this morning. I think it's really cool. People always are doubting things-- well stop! haha. Although fairy tales are far-fetched, it's nice to know that maybe people will take things with a leap of faith, like religion.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Ha. Split ends... :rotfl:
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