Watch These Experts In Japan Compete To Shave Wood 10 Times Thinner Than Hair

Where would we be without the internet to introduce us to all of the skills, hobbies and competitions we’d never have imagined people are engaging in across the globe? Well here’s a new one—new to us, at least. Wood planing is the art of shaving wood into very thin strips, and there’s a select group of experts in Japan who compete to shave off the thinnest piece of wood possible.

You might think to yourself, “Sure, I can shave a pretty thin piece of wood,” (OK, who are we kidding—you’ve probably never had that thought), but you might want to think again. Each year, participants compete at the annual Kezuroukai exhibition in Japan, where the practice originated, to see who can shave the thinnest piece of wood. These experts slice pieces of wood that are measured in just microns. To put things into perspective, a micron is one thousandth of a millimeter. The thinnest wood shaving on record was just 3 microns, which is 10 times thinner than a human hair and even smaller than a blood cell.

At the exhibition, each competitor is assigned a bench, where they spend two hours working on their technique and adjusting their tools. Once the contest starts, they have three tries to shave off the thinnest piece in front of a judge. Since the type of wood is important, participants can bring in their own wood that they believe will yield the best results.

We have to admit, this peculiar practice is pretty fascinating to watch. You might be good with your wood shop tools, but it takes a special type of talent to shave these extremely thin pieces of wood. Apparently those who shave the thinnest strips earn eternal glory though—so maybe you’re up for the challenge?

Watch How This Clever PE Teacher Gets Kids To Exercise

Getting kids to exercise is always a challenge, especially when they’re in physical education class and feel like they’re being forced to do something. I hated running miles and doing stretches as a kid, and it took a lot of motivating to get me to become involved in PE class. Most teachers deal with this attitude from students, who would rather be playing games with their friends or chatting over toys, which means the teachers need to get creative when it comes to getting kids moving without much complaint.

One PE teacher at West Elementary School in Batesville, Arkansas, has figured out a genius way to get kids exercising. The teacher projects neon bugs on a wall to get kids amped about running around. The bugs move, and kids try to throw balls at the bugs. You can take a look for yourself in the video below:

According to the West Elementary School Facebook page, where the video was posted, the idea for this virtual throwing activity was found on the website PE Central, a website for K-12 physical educators that provides information and resources to help provide the best physical education to their students. The images are projected from an app called Jitterbug Friskies, which is, funnily enough, actually meant for cats. The teacher uses his or her iPhone to run the app, and using an Apple TV, connects it to the projector.

“You control when the bugs blow up, but the kids don’t have to know that,” read a comment on the video from the West Elementary School Facebook page. “They love playing this game.”

The video seemed to garner a lot of attention on Facebook, with over 32 million views and almost 600,000 shares. It may not be the most conventional PE class you’ve ever seen, but the kids are moving and having a good time while they’re doing it, so it seems to be getting the job done!