Can you lift your finger?

271

I am amazed that the science stunts clip has had almost 350,000 views, and love that people are now making their own versions of the stunts.  Here is my favourite so far….

The finger lifting stunt seems to be causing quite a bit of debate and it would be good to collect some data on it.  So, could everyone place their hand like so….

Except that the knuckle of the second finger should be on the table.  Now, can you lift your third finger off the table?  Would be great if everyone could post to give me an idea of the percentage of people who can.  Also, if you can do it, any idea why?  Are you a musician or hypermobile?

271 comments on “Can you lift your finger?

  1. SG-3 says:

    I can’t lift my third finger on either my left or right hand.

    • Janice LaPlante says:

      I cannot lift the right finger, but I CAN do the left…I am right handed and not a musician, but have been typing and using computers all my adult life…age 62

  2. Miko says:

    I can lift the finger on both hands: easily on the left hand and with some very-slight resistance on the right hand. I play a string instrument (left hand fingering, right hand bowing).

  3. fluffy says:

    I can, and I am a musician. It’s much easier to lift my right one than my left but I have bad RSI/CTS on my left hand and it’s just pain which stops me from doing it effectively there.

  4. Mal says:

    If only my first knuckle is touching, with effort I can do with both hands, if down to the second knuckle – not a chance. I’m a computer programmer.

  5. Kevin says:

    Weird, can’t even think about how to move it. Both hands.

  6. Malinari says:

    Left no, Right yes, with lots of shaking and effort……. I put it down to superhuman willpower :-)
    I’m completely talentless when it comes to musical instruments – though I can play the air guitar particilarly well………….

  7. RinzeWind says:

    Right hand, I can left my finger. Also left hand, but I find it much more difficult.

  8. Nacnudrium says:

    If, as in the photo, the second knuckle is not touching the table, but the first is, I can raise the third finger on the right hand very slightly and the one on the left very slightlier. If the second knuckle is touching the table, then not at all. I play the piano and guitar.

  9. I don’t have any trouble doing it with either hand.

  10. Margaret says:

    I can do it. I’m neither a musician nor hypermobile.

  11. Dave Bath says:

    Right hand (no)
    Left hand (5mm)
    Yep… piano and some guitar.
    Use my right hand for writing, but my left was always stronger.

  12. Rose says:

    Neither myself nor either of my parents could lift the finger on either hand. I play violin but apparently that made no difference!

  13. qwerty says:

    Yes on both, but it’s harder with my right hand. I play some piano at times.

  14. I can’t lift either finger, and I don’t play any instruments or have other finger-separating training.

  15. Knut-Sverre says:

    Can’t lift either finger. Gave up playing the guitar when I was 12.

  16. Myk says:

    With either hand as pictured (only first knuckle touching), I can lift my ring finger. I play tin whistle, guitar and hand drums.

  17. rcomian says:

    Not a chance if the second knuckle is on the table.
    First knuckle on the table has some movement.

  18. Daniel Pope says:

    All these anecdotal claims don’t add up to a jot of evidence. I want to see video evidence of somebody beating the trick as I understand it:

    a) you properly trap your 2nd finger under your hand, so your index finger is straight and the third knuckle of your 2nd finger bet at least as much – as shown in the above picture.

    b) you don’t roll your hand back or to the side to cause your finger to lift

    c) you don’t lift any other finger

    • Joy says:

      I agree, I found that the position of the knuckle makes a big difference in being able to move it. I too, can slightly move my finger if the fisted knuckle is as done in the photo versus the video.

      If people are watching the video, then look at the photo you will notice that the boy had his knuckle “completely” under the hand. The photo above, it is not as tucked under, only partially tucked.

      There are too many “I can do it” for me to trust that it is being properly performed as in the video (not the photo).

    • Andrew MW says:

      agree – there’s no way I can do it when the knuckle is actually touching the table. But even a few millimetres off the table, and I can do it.

  19. Finnur says:

    There’s no chance I can move my ring finger in that position. But isn’t the ring finger the fourth finger?

    • Svlad Cjelli says:

      We have both apparently landed in Disney World. :)

      As for my results, as in the photo, it works. Doing it properly, however, is only possible with external lifting. Both ways, and even worse ways, are easy and painless with external lifting.

  20. phoxis says:

    i can lift the third finger with all the conditions fulfilled an inch of the table. I am not a musician.

  21. James Prewett says:

    it is annoying loul

  22. uksceptic says:

    Can lift on both hands, quite a way. I am not much of a musician although reading the comments I am thinking I should spend more time practicing on my guitar.

    I’m not hypermobile, although I used to be a fairly decent magician and when I was part of a stage magic duo I was always the one that was sawn in half/ impaled etc.

  23. Drewe says:

    I can do both – left just, right no problem – I am a photographer. My wife who plays guitar and piano can do both with relative ease.

  24. Chris Cane says:

    Interesting challenge. Now put the knuckles of fingers 1, 3 and 4 on the table and what do you have?

  25. dennis says:

    I can’t move it. And I am a guitar player… :(
    Would be nice to make this a poll. Let’s see the percentages!

  26. mimi says:

    hmm I can do both hands pretty well, except I think my left hand is more flexible. I’m a pianist.

  27. Thomas Widmer says:

    First nuckle down: yes.
    Second nuckle down: no.
    Both hands.

  28. gtgw says:

    I can move the fingers of both hand easily. I’m a pianist and violinist.

  29. Kirby-Jane says:

    Amputee’s Can’t Do It

  30. Dandreamz says:

    I can do it with both hands with no prblem. the reason might be genetic, like people who cant make a “roll” with their tongue. It can be a dominant gen, and most og the people can do it, and some not. Its just a hyphotesis in any case.

  31. osabetudo says:

    I can, in both hands, easy as pie. I am no musician, but I do have practice lifting that finger for argument reasons.
    I also roll the tongue and can move every finger of my feet independantly.

  32. I’m a guitarist, and I can’t do it – neither left or right. Same with both feet.

    But I can move my ears and nostrils :D

  33. Kayrolph says:

    Can’t do it with either hand. I do not play a musical instrument and type with one finger only!

  34. {JeLisa} says:

    That was kind of awesome!

    And hard. :(

    (In other words, no, I couldn’t do it. Sigh.)

  35. glycosidic says:

    I can do it on both hands. And yup I’m a pianist :-)

  36. I can on my right, can’t on my left… hmmm…

  37. Lindamp says:

    Can’t do it with either, but have been playing piano since age 8!

  38. CubanMule says:

    first knuckle can do both – Left handed writer and left is easier (although I play bat and racket sports with the right)

    second knuckle no chance

  39. Mchl says:

    Ok… I might not be native to English, but according to me (and Wikipedia), knuckle is the joint that gets visible when you clench a fist. So putting your hand as on the picture so as the knuckle of second finger is on the table is anatomically impossible (as knuckle shows on top of the palm).

    Anyway, I can lift the third finger (5mm – no more), if one of the joints on second finger is on the table. If two, then it’s a no go.

    I’m not a musician, but I guess one could argue I am hypermobile.

    Also: ‘move your foot in circles and draw six with your hand’ trick doesn’t seem to be working on me.

  40. Moranna says:

    I can do both hands, the right more easily than the left. Not a musician though – wish I was!

  41. Wolf Martinus says:

    I can, both hands about 20mm. Am playing piano and am hypermobile (Best Trick: Standing straight, knees touching, feet pointing backwards.) :-)

  42. Anonymous says:

    nope. cant move it. how weird. Cant beleive Ive never tried it before :-)

  43. Sandman says:

    I thought both joints had to be on the table, in which case I couldn’t lift it, but it seems only the last join on the second finger needs to be on the table, in which case I can lift the third finger on both my hands about one inch.

  44. Rich says:

    Can’t lift it on right hand but can lift it about 1cm on left hand. I play guitar right handed so am used to stretching/manipulating my left hand for chord voicing.

  45. Tim Mills says:

    Couldn’t do it with either hand.

    I’m not a musician.

  46. Jillian says:

    It’s really quite easy with my left hand and difficult but doable with my right hand. I am a righy, not a musician, but somewhat double jointed. I don’t think I’ve every tried this before! It was interesting. Hope I could help!

  47. Bonnie says:

    I can lift it a tiny bit with some effort.. both hands, though left is a bit easier. And I’m right-handed. I’m not a musician or anything of the sort.

    • sittingpugs says:

      I had a similar experience after trying it. I’m not a very good musician but I know how to play piano, violin, and guitar. I’m predominantly right-handed but can write with my left hand.

  48. Mara says:

    This will keep the kids busy!
    Happy Holidays!

  49. fib says:

    I can lift on both hands if the knuckle is off the table. Can’t do it with knuckle on the table though – I’m thinking the way the muscles are connected that just would be physically possible… (I’ve only ever seen this ‘trick’ with knuckle on the table)

  50. Helen says:

    I can lift the finger slightly on both hands, I play piano and guitar.

  51. sungame says:

    First nuckle down: yes.
    Second nuckle down: no.

    Both hands. I have played the guitar for almost 20 years.

  52. cath says:

    i can! both 1st knuckle or 2nd knuckle touching the table. but i don’t play any musical instruments. not hypermobile either. i rock climb 3 times a week though.

  53. weebesom says:

    I can do it with both hands with practically no effort. I found it easier with my left hand than with my right although I am right-handed. I’m not a musician.

  54. Mark Johnson says:

    Left yes, with lots of concentration and shaking, right no.

  55. Woon says:

    I can lift on both right and left hands. All of my family can do that without difficulty. I play piano, but my parents don’t. So maybe it’s something genetic.

  56. Marijke says:

    Ok strange I am hypermobile but I can’t do that.

    I can disgust people with popping my shoulder joint in and out again. I can also bend only my first knuckle without the rest bending

    • katharine says:

      how far can you bend the tips of your fingers without the rest bending, and which fingers? I’m hypermobile in a lot of my joints, but not my hands particularly, and I can do that a little big with my first fingers.

  57. Impy says:

    I can lift my left hand easily about the same distance as if my hand was flat. My right hand I can lift it but it’s difficult, doesn’t lift up very much and shakes.

    I don’t play any instruments.

  58. zkairos says:

    I can easily do it with both hands. I have slim, long and flexible fingers, could that be the reason?

  59. SkepGeek says:

    I can lift that finger. My thumb also bends backwards quite a ways. I am a power lifter and front squats typically hyper extend my fingers till they hurt, but that is mostly the index and middle. The ring finger doesn’t hyper extend much during the lift.

  60. Pernille Nylehn says:

    I can lift both third fingers easily. So easily that I’m almost wondering if I’m doing it right.
    I don’t play an instrument, exept the computer keyboard.

    I think the reason some people can and some can’t do this is anatomical differences – that the for tendons of the third and 4th finger are conjoined, so it’s diffult to lift one finger without lifting its neighbour. This is even more typical of the toes. Try lifting your 5th toe from the floor while keeping the 4th toe down. Most people would find that difficult. Also flexing the 5th finger while keeping the 4th finger straight is very difficult.

  61. Wilf says:

    No movement whatsoever. I’m just a regular guy.

  62. bethany cox says:

    i CAN do it. I was a piano player in my youth AND i am ambidexterous

  63. Janet says:

    Nope, can’t do it.

  64. crowbiz says:

    Yes, I can lift the 3rd finger – just barely – on both hands.

  65. Phil says:

    Can do it easily, both hands. Amateur pianist and violinist.

  66. Ellis says:

    Can’t lift either ring finger with the middle knuckle and other digits down.

    Have played guitar for around fifteen years, and am usually good at any other dexterity-type challenges.

    So put this one down for nature rather than nurture.

  67. 0205megank says:

    I barley can

  68. Antoinette says:

    I can do it with both hands, its easier with my right hand.

  69. s8360019 says:

    I can do both and i dont play an instrument and whats a hypermobile

  70. eithnevm says:

    I can do it with my both hands too… and I’m a software engineer :)

  71. Kelly says:

    I can lift the third finger on both hands, though it’s not that comfortable. I started playing piano when I was 7 and when I was small I was ambidextrous.

  72. Sidebernie says:

    I’m a cellist. I can get the finger on the left hand up very slightly by itself (maybe 1 mm). On the right hand, I can only lift it if I also lift the pinky.

  73. Psyche says:

    I can lift it like a quater of mm on both hands hahaha, specially on the left one. No musician until a few years ago (guitar and piano) and double jointed.

  74. Eric says:

    I can lift it on my right hand. Musician, fingerstyle guitar.

  75. mace says:

    I can lift my third finger easily on both hands with the first knuckle down, but not at all with the second knuckle down.

  76. Neil Jones says:

    I’ve seen this trick before where the second finger is buckled under so that both knuckle joints touch the table – I think it’s impossible to move your third finger in those circumstances for the anatomical reasons already mentioned. I’m curious as to why your picture shows the second finger’s knuckle raised slightly, since this does allow a bit of movement of the third finger, albeit with difficulty.

    Did you intend there to be this ‘wiggle room’ in the results, or was the photographed pose just unintentionally inaccurate?

  77. Nopke says:

    Will you pay for the hospital bills (finger lifting) .. I’m sensing that it will not be a good thing when I do manage to get it up …

  78. I can lift my finger on both my right and left. Its much easier on my right though. I am not a muscian either.

  79. mandy! says:

    I can lift my finger on both hands, although it’s much harder on my right. I’m a right-hander. Not a musician either

  80. newtowritinggirl says:

    At first I couldn’t with my right, but could very slightly with lots of resistance on my left. After trying and trying and trying I was able to raise it a little on my right (with resistance) and quite a bit on my left. It hurts the knuckle of my middle finger to do it.

    I don’t play anything musical, and weirdly am right handed.

  81. Benjamin says:

    I had about half the angle of lift with my middle finger folded as with it lying straight out. I believe I had slightly less range of lift with my left hand as with my right.

  82. Lita Jente says:

    I can lift my third finger on both sides – but have trouble lifting the fourth, but with some more effort that works also.

    But I have rheumatism in my hands and fingers, so I have no idea why I’m able to lift them at all.

  83. Jess says:

    Easily with my left hand, and with a lot of work, I can also life my third on the right hand.

  84. John says:

    Left hand yes, right hand no.

    No musical experience, but I have played more than my fair share of Guitar Hero. Not sure if that counts for anything.

  85. Amy says:

    Yes, but on right hand only. I am right-handed.

  86. Will says:

    In my first period class, 8 can with either hand and 11 cant with either hand.

  87. roddick909 says:

    Xd..nice post….interesting title..thanks for sharing.

  88. Bob says:

    Yes, both hands. Does playing the skin flute count?

  89. Alex says:

    With the second knuckle all the way down, no for either hand. With it only half way down, like in the picture, I can lift the middle finger without too much trouble.

  90. Jim says:

    My friend can lift the supposedly unliftable third finger, but only about 5 mm or so. He’s neither musical, nor hypermobile.

    He of course is now strutting around the lab thinking he can do things with a pipette that no other scientist can.

  91. luz says:

    CAN lift third finger on both hands. Not musical or hypermobile, but am athletic with good hand/eye coordination. Woot! Woot!

  92. Meredith says:

    Nope. Can’t do it at all with my left hand, and with my right hand, my little finger or folded middle finger keeps moving instead. I’m left-handed.

  93. ButMadNNW says:

    I cannot.

  94. Ded says:

    I can lift my finger on both hands, and have no musical talent at all. Am slightly “double jointed” though. :D

  95. Rick says:

    I can lift both. Guitar playing probably helps!

    • Rick says:

      Hmm… actually, it depends how far down the middle finger is. If my finger is down flat at the second knuckle (as pictured), I can lift the ring finger.

      If the FIRST knuckle is flat on the table, not a chance. Regardless of guitar prowess.
      :)

  96. Chris says:

    I can do it with both hands, but the left hand is easier than the right (the right hurts). I got about 3.5mm high with the left, and only 2mm with the right. I’m right handed for most things, and I’ve played piano for about 22 years now.

  97. Sandra says:

    I can do it with both hands, not very much, but the right hand is easier for me. Probably the reason why is that I played flute and piccolo for about 10 years combined, and dabbled a bit with guitar and piano.

    I don’t know if it makes any difference, but I can hyper-extend my wrists.

  98. Katie Blank says:

    I can do it on both hands, maybe a little do do with the fact that I play piano (and a little guitar and flute).

    What drives me nuts is when I bend either pinky and my ring finger moves, and I think it does that for close to everyone.

  99. thcgirl77 says:

    i can life the fingers of both hands but not very high off the table. my hands are flexible, i can bring my thumb to touch the back of the wrist. i play computer games.

  100. Anonymous says:

    Left hand barely, right hand no problem. I have played trumpet using my right hand for almost 30 years.

  101. Left yes, right no. I play piano, and I’m right handed. Take from that what you will!

  102. jonathan says:

    Left: Easily. Right: Painfully. I am right handed a musician that plays piano and guitar.

  103. KatrinaW says:

    I can easily lift my middle fingers, equally for each hand. I can also smoothly tuck them back in. I am an excellent typist and manually active, if that helps.

    At first I thought this was a joke. Now it looks like a kind of nature or nuture test between us humans. Thanks for the comparisions. I look forward to hearing some kind of scientific explanation, if possible.

  104. Fizzle says:

    Right, yes. Left, no. I am not a musician.

  105. Interesting…Not a musician, but can do it on both hands easily.

  106. Brady says:

    Right no, left yes. And I’m right handed.

  107. Steve says:

    I find that If I tuck the knuckle totally in then I can’t move my third finger at all. However, with my knuckle on the desk but not really tucked in that much, I can lift my third finger on both hands by about 5mm. The right one goes a little higher than the left.

    I’m right handed and I’ve played the piano for about twelve years.

  108. WiseJamaican says:

    The right hand no but yes to the left. This is really great.

  109. jtradke says:

    Richard, we need an unambiguous definition of what you’re asking? Which finger is second? Which knuckle is second?

    I gather what you mean is that the intermediate phalange (cf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanges) of the middle digit (the rude one, the 3rd from either side if you count the thumb) should be flat against the table, which all other fingers extended.

    I suspect most people who *can* do it are not following directions (i.e. reading “second finger” as “index finger” or some such). In any case, I’d like to see video of someone able to do it.

  110. Matt says:

    If I try really hard I can lift it maybe a couple of millimeters… but it’s quite painful.

  111. rohitmaiya says:

    I can lift all my fingers with my left hand but not my right. But I am an out and out right handed. I am rather surprised that I cant do with my right hand.

    Not a musician. My left hand is on the computer keyboard a lot more that right. The right one uses the mouse more. Could that be the reason?

  112. Beccy says:

    Yes on both hands- right a little easier, but the left seemed to improve with practise. I’m not a musician, I’m an animation student :)

  113. Steve says:

    I can lift all fingers on both hands with the knuckle down, left more than right. I play guitar.

  114. Daniel says:

    Nope, can’t do it.

  115. kitchrn says:

    Yes, I can lift with either hand easily. I used to play the flute, but haven’t in years.

  116. that was some pretty cool tricks, i like the matches ones the best

  117. Naranda says:

    I can only move the finger on my left hand (up a bit and then side to side), but I’m pretty sure I have either a joint fused in my pinky or malformed bones, so that hand’s always been a bit of an odd one.

  118. Jenni says:

    Done and done, on both sides. Not a string player or hyperflexible — maybe just from a frick-ton of typing at work?

  119. James says:

    I can do it. However, I do play the trumpet, so have to be able to move my fingers more than others I suppose.

    Easy for me to do….

  120. jessica says:

    can lift the right one a fraction of a millimeter, nothing on the left.

  121. Shannon says:

    I could not do it with either finger, neither could my 7 year old son. My 11 year old daughter could sort of wiggle the finger but not lift it. She also reported that it hurt to do.

  122. Shannon says:

    I meant I couldn’t do it with either hand. And the finger we’re trying to lift is the “ring finger” right? The one right next to the pinky?

  123. Kel says:

    I can just (up to 1cm) get it off the table with my right hand, couldn’t with my left. I do play guitar but my left hand is the one that I use on the fretboard and I’m left hand dominant.

  124. Tony says:

    Only a mm or so and then with much visble shaking and effort and shifting of position.

  125. Tony says:

    Sorry cat sent the above commenty before I finished. Only a mm or on the right 0.5-1cm on the left and more easily. Some guitar and more hand flexibility than most (eg I can touch my index and pinkie tips with my ring and middle finger folded down, without forcing them)

  126. eludemann says:

    I can lift the finger on my right hand, not the left. I am right-handed, 24 years old, and a pianist and excellent/frequent typer.

  127. Jeegers says:

    Yes, I can do it with both hands. Musician…

  128. I can do it with both hands. I even tried doing it with the other fingers on each of my hands and I can do it with all of them.

  129. Jennifer says:

    I can lift my fingers on both hands. It may have something to do with the fact that I play piano. I’m also a ballet dancer, and I had to learn how to precisely place my fingers and keep them relaxed while dancing (could help with control over the movements…).

  130. saratoday says:

    Right hand yes, left hand no. Weird.

  131. David says:

    I can do it with both hands. With the right, I can get about 7mm off the desk, and I can get more than whole cm with the left hand. I’m about 3/4 right-handed if that matters.

  132. negar says:

    with both hands but my left is more easier.i’m not a musician but love to play violin.

  133. Daryl says:

    I can do it with both hands and I play guitar

  134. Dawn C says:

    Yes, I can. Not a musician, but I have been signing for almost 30 years now. :)

  135. John says:

    I did it!
    using the right hand it was quite harder than the left.
    And yes, I play guitar

  136. Flavio says:

    No I can’t.

    Now it would be interesting to find out if the third finger mobility is a cause or an effect of playing some instrument.

  137. Raül says:

    I can’t move my third finger on either my left or right hand. I work as a mechanical technician…may be so much hammer impacts in my hands? ;)

  138. Francesca says:

    I can, and strangely it’s easier with my left hand, even though I’m a righty. I used to play the piano regularly but haven’t done much in the way of instrumental practice in the past three years.

  139. callmequixotic says:

    I can with both hands, and I play guitar.

  140. Noadi says:

    I can lift both left and right but only about half to three-quarters of an inch. I’m an artist who sculpts, paints, draws, and makes jewelry, that probably has something to do with it I have very limber fingers.

  141. TeeJay says:

    I can do it on both hands. I personally haven’t encountered anyone else who could… so it is cool to see how many other people on here could.
    I guess I would count as hypermobile. If I put the palms of both hands together I can bend my fingers back to at least 90 degrees apart from one another.
    (Also an artist – no musical talent whatsoever)

  142. Amit says:

    I can do it with my right hand but not so with my left. I do not play any instrument. But my hands do work on the keyboard.

  143. PrimevilKneivel says:

    No, the ring finger of both hands is immobile in that position.

    But my mom says I’m still special.

  144. Mark says:

    Yes for the right hand, no for the left.

    I’ll qualify that by saying the movement isn’t huge with the right hand and I can only achieve it with the left hand if I lift my little finger up too.

    I suspect there will be some variation in flexibility generally but it would be interesting to hear more from anyone who can make larger movements.

  145. bettyk says:

    with only first knuckle touching, can raise third finger on both hands – it’s hard, but I can do it. Played piano for many years, am left handed, touch typist.

  146. Laura says:

    I can do it with both hands, but the left lifts up higher (about 2-3 cm) than the right (.5-1 cm).

    I had 8 years of piano about 20 years ago.

    I had heard about this challenge several years back and practiced some out of sheer stubbornness. ;)

  147. Tishrei says:

    I can lift my finger on my right hand with no problem but not so easily on my left hand. Not a musician in any way, shape or form.

  148. Diane says:

    If the first knuckle is down like in the picture, I can lift it on the right hand and not on the left and if the second knuckle is down I can’t do either. What’s weird though is that I used to play piano, however, I’m a left-handed person…NOT a right-handed person (nor am I very ambidextrous).

    I asked my brother and he could on his left hand but not on his right. He used to play the violin and his left was the hand he used on the strings (not the bow).

    It was fun and challenging. =D

  149. Ashley says:

    I can lift the the third finger on my right hand, but not my left. I work as a seamstress currently, so I use my hands for fine detail work, but that doesn’t require super flexibility or anything like that. The rest of the time I am doing student-y computer work.

  150. demi allison says:

    i can do it with both hands…15 yrs. old,i’m a pianist,guitarist and a drummer..=)

  151. Jennifer says:

    I am a musician & have very dexterous fingers, and I have to say I don’t find this difficult at all on either hand.

  152. aya says:

    i just can keep my finger cross :)

  153. Sajjad K says:

    I can on my right hand, not my left.
    My right hand is dominant, and I do play the flute/piccolo, and a bit of piano.

  154. marta says:

    With one knuckle down, can do both hands. Two knuckles down, only the left (a little). Somewhat hypermobile. But I think the more important issue is isolation (I too can bend my pinkies while keeping the ring (and other) fingers straight)). Used to play piano and type all day long for work.

    *note – if you put your body below your hand, as in arms over head on table (so no weight on hand) it is less uncomfortable to lift the finger

    • marta says:

      OK, make that very hypermobile? Displaced my left wrist experimenting with this! (it popped back in place today)

  155. murkmutt says:

    I’ve seen the first three trick I think here in our county, well, very good! nice try. I just doubt in the tin cans coz my friend already show of about such trick! big surprises…

  156. murkmutt says:

    sort of old folks tricks. nway, nice try.

  157. Young says:

    I can not, but my friend can do. He is no a musician or someting, but he really can do it. I don’ t know why~~~
    I want to post the picture, but I don’t know how, can anyone tell me?

  158. DubiousKing says:

    In response to the finger trick, I can do it on both hands, though barely and I can definitely feel the strain on my tendons (it kinda hurts to do it). I played piano for three years as a child and have played it on and off since, I currently play a brass instrument and I have been using computers since I can remember (words per minute has been tracked at almost 100 at times).

  159. judas says:

    Yes, I can do it easily without resistance on either hands even though I am not a musician. But sometimes I think I am an hypermobile for I can clasp my two arms easily on my back, I can also straight my left and right arm behind.

  160. Vijay says:

    I agree with many of the above: When my middle-finger-knuckle is even slightly raised, I can lift my finger. It takes some effort, though, regardless. I can only do it from practice, after a book of dares I had as a child (title: “Bet you can’t!”) suggested it in the form of a bet:

    Have someone place their hand as shown with their ring-finger on a quarter (25 cents), tell them they can have it if they can lift their finger off of it without moving the others.

    I worked on it until I could, of course. But I don’t know how strict I was about keeping the middle finger knuckle on the table. As I said, if I attempt it with “good form” now, I cannot do it. But, if I “cheat,” no problem.

  161. I can lift both. My left was much easier than my right. And I am right handed. I trapped my middle finger under the heel of my hand so it wouldn’t move.

  162. Seraph says:

    Yes, both hands, easy.

  163. Annette (nettmac) says:

    Left hand can lift finger easily, right hand no chance. I’m not a musician, but an ambidextrous.

  164. Descartes says:

    I find that if I only tuck my middle finger in enough to have my second knuckle flat on the table, then I can still lift my ring fingers off (both hands). But if I shift my hand forward enough, tucking my finger in slightly more but not to the point of discomfort, then I cannot lift my ring fingers up.

    I am double jointed, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

    Much Thanks!

  165. Sylvain says:

    Not even a shadow of move. Both hands.

  166. Mash says:

    yes I can, it helps if you bring your elbow right down.

  167. Fraser says:

    Yes I can, and I’m a musician.

  168. Ellis says:

    I agree with some of the above comments about the ‘strictness’ of the setup.
    Surely this phenomena is a physiological one, and I would be very surprised if anything more the tiniest percentage of people are able to lift a ring finger whilst the 2nd and 3rd knuckles of the middle are pressed to the table.
    Would love to see a video if somebody can.

  169. jeanette says:

    I can without great difficulty but its even easier on the right handed…im righthanded so no surprise i guess and I am not a musician or hypermobile

  170. COOL OK, It seems to be related to how far under you get your middle finger. When the middle knuckle is touching the tabletop, I can juuuuust barely lift the third finger, but I can lift it, on the right hand. On the left, nothing. BUT when the knuckle is not completely touching I can lift on BOTH side, no problem. I am neither a musician nor hypermobile in that way ;}. I am an artist in both the oil and digital media primarily, and write extensively.

  171. Bruce Critelli says:

    I can lift my ring finger on both hands but with great difficulty. I’m left handed and it is a touch easier with my left.

  172. Taoist Biker says:

    If just the first knuckle from the fingertip is touching, I can lift both fingers about one inch without difficulty (slightly easier on the left). If the second knuckle is touching, I can’t lift either.

    I’m a right handed guitarist.

  173. Whitney says:

    I cannot! What a stump.

  174. Ken says:

    z
    iIIiI could lift the third finger on both hands, but slightly.
    Cheers.

  175. Ygern says:

    Yes, no trouble with either hand. I play the piano.

  176. bigjohn756 says:

    I can’t do it with either hand. I can feel some uncomfortable tension in a tendon on the bottom of my wrist when I try to raise my finger. I’m not a musician.

  177. Ygern says:

    I have to modify my reply, having not watched the video I was lifting the wrong finger (oh the shame & embarrassment!).

    Now I have watched the video and have tried it again, this time with the correct finger, and I can still do it, but it’s not easy. My piano playing leads me to think this could become easier with practice though.

  178. exigo says:

    I can do it with either hand. Much easier on the left, which is very likely related to the fact that I play guitar.

  179. Dan says:

    I can do it with both hands, but with moderate difficulty, and not far above the table.

  180. dannyness says:

    Can’t do it with either hand.

    It actually hurts to try it with my right hand (dominant) and is a little uncomfortable with my left.

  181. Jennie says:

    I’ve played piano for 34 years and I can’t lift that finger on either hand.

  182. Gus Snarp says:

    I thought I could do it, but if I really focus on keeping the second knuckle of that middle finger glued down, then I cannot do it. I think I was originally moving the middle finger imperceptibly.

  183. Purplecarrot says:

    Well this is disappointing. I’ve been playing piano since i was 5 (so 11 years) and I can’t move that finger on either left or right.

  184. [...] Can you lift your finger? I am amazed that the science stunts clip has had almost 350,000 views, and love that people are now making their own [...] [...]

  185. Riayn says:

    I can do it, but I am musician (piano & saxophone) and am also hypermobile.

  186. John says:

    My right hand, with great difficulty can raise about 1/8-1/4″ if I am on the first knuckle.

    My left hand can slightly easier go 1/4″ if I’m on the first knuckle. If I go to the 2nd knuckle, neither hand can do it.

    Frankly, when I can do it I think I’m cheating as that first knuckle is barely on the table and the 2nd knuckle is pretty high up in the air (higher than any other finger).

    I’m a computer programmer.

    Interestingly, if you try putting the first finger on the table, you get similar issues.

    I do think it got slightly easier – maybe practice would improve.

    == John ==

  187. Kiersten says:

    I am able to lift my ring finger on my Right hand (I am right handed) but not on my Left without a great deal of effort (and a little pain). I am a musician but actually use my Left hand for the valves. I may have been hypermobile when younger, less so now.

  188. Matt says:

    I can do it on both hands and am neither a musician nor hypermobile as far as I can tell. I am right-handed though and I find it is easy as pie to do it with my left but takes some effort to do it with my right.

    I found if my hand is like this:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v463/Zealoustrance/hand.jpg

    Then I can’t do it no matter how I try. Seems about the same as your picture just in mine the second part of my middle finger is completely flat to my desk.

  189. Katie says:

    I had an old Violin teacher tell me that a number of very proficient stringed-instrument musicians are very adept at this.

    She said that most people have the ligament connecting the second and ring fingers – but some have it connecting the pink and ring fingers – which is definitely useful in the playing of a stringed instrument – particularly a smaller one.

    Of course, this is anecdotal but sounded at the time to me to be a genetic thing.

    Perhaps strength or flexibility there could be developed but she – a professional violinist in NSO – said people were born with it or weren’t.

    I am left handed and can slightly lift my right ring finger – but not much at all. Can’t even begin to lift my left – almost like me trying to move something by telekinesis! Bizarre.

  190. maarten says:

    can’t do it

  191. Shelley says:

    I can do it with both hands. I am hypermobile (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome type 1) but have had so much physio on my hands because they were so unstable that I can only lift my 3rd fingers about 5mm now.

  192. I’m unable to move one finger down. If I curl up my middle finger (as in the pic), I cannot move my ring. If I curl up my ring, I cannot move my pinky. If I curl up my index, I cannot move my middle.

    Same on both hands. I’m a musician, and hypermobile on both thumbs.

  193. Thiago Gimenes says:

    I can do it, in both left and right hands with no difficult at all. I’m a 29 years right-handed male and took guitar classes, but can’t be called a guitar player. I don’t know if it’s relevant, but I used to type texts in typewritters and computers since 1993.

  194. glmaranto says:

    I can lift the finger with little effort on the right hand, not at all on the left. When I did yoga several years ago, we used to lift individual toes off the ground while in a standing pose. This reminded me of that. I don’t play an instrument, but probably type 10,000 words a day…

  195. Vern says:

    I barely make it off the table with both hands. It’s like doing that last pull-up before you cave to exhaustion. I used to dabble on guitar and piano.

  196. Jessica says:

    Nope – not on either hand. I’m surprised so many people can.

  197. Alex says:

    Neither – I play a bit of saxophone not hypermobile. Also, as an idea for the tricks, you could so the CO2 reaction before, then pour it into a second jar, then cover with cling film until its time so you could pour it out of an ‘empty’ jar.

  198. Sekander says:

    I can lift it on my right a short distance, but not at all on my left

  199. kag says:

    I am right handed but I can do it with my left hand, and not with my right (I play guitar)

  200. Andrew from Vancouver says:

    Right hand, a quarter inch, second time, half an inch. Left hand, shakes and strains but lifts a quarter of an inch. Right hand on 3rd attempt a few minutes later, three quarters of an inch, with an easy motion.

    Right hand and left hand at rest, the third finger has the least flexibility for a vertical rise and can not be lifted above the plane of my hand, but all other fingers can do so easily.

    No musical ability or instruments. I type for a living.

  201. Sharon says:

    I can do it easily on both hands. I’m a brass musician, which really only uses my right hand.

    However, I am incapable of making a “Gun” by pointing my index finger and wiggling my thumb “trigger”… if I move my thumb, the index finger moves the same amount. Like they’re connected by a string. If I hold my index finger straight, I can’t move my thumb. Stupid hands.

  202. Mark says:

    i tried and i could barely lift my finger

  203. Steve says:

    Can’t do it, neither hand.

  204. katharine says:

    1st knuckle: yes both hands, better with the left
    2nd knuckle: yes left hand a little, right hand not at all

    I’m hypermobile, but not particularly in my hands (knees, elbows, ankles, hips, and my spine before it stiffened up).

    Kind of right handed, but left handed with some things, and ambidexterous with some others.

    Musician (various instruments)

  205. Jim says:

    I can do it with both hands.
    I am not particularly mobile with my hands.
    I do sing

  206. Brian says:

    Can do it with my left hand, am a musician (guitar). Consider my left hand and fingers to be quite strong. My knuckle is most definitely on the table. Cannot even begin to do it with my right hand. (right handed)

  207. Miche says:

    Can’t do it.

  208. sahlah says:

    Still need another data point?

    First knuckle touching – can lift finger on both hands.
    Second knuckle touching – tiny movement in left hand – no movement in right hand.

    I’m right handed.

  209. SJM says:

    I can barely do it on both hands. Am a gamer.

  210. Timo says:

    Nice video there. Where did you get that great music from in the beginning? Like it very much!

  211. Mariani Lima says:

    I can lift “only” the finger of my right hand (but I’m left-handed).

    I’m learning to play bagpipe (I’m trying, because is getting too expensive to learn here. =/), but I had notice that I can do It before learning any instrument.
    Odd? :S

    PS.: Sorry for the bad English, It’s getting rusty…

  212. vraniel says:

    can lift em bout a mm if i put the 2nd knuckle onto the desk…. musician too^^

  213. joanna says:

    left hand no right hand yes i am right handed and i play the keyboard a little bit and i mess around with a guitar

  214. clare says:

    I can’t do it in either but I am hypermobile (Beighton score of 7/9)

  215. Lainey says:

    Can do both hands. Used to be able to play piano really well- but now i’m out of practice and rubbish. But I can type.

  216. Marston4567 says:

    John Manning in the Finger book (referenced towards the back of 59 seconds) I think uses this as an example as to why the ring finger is ‘special’. His supposition is that the ring finger is a marker (a living genetic fossil) of man’s development and this can be measured by comparing the ring with index fingers (2D:4D). The lower the ratio the more testosterone a person (specifically men) was exposed to during early development as a foetus. The average varies around the world (interesting in itself) but in North England where Manning was based the ratio was 0.98. But certain categories of men have lower ratios, footballers for example and the better the team is the lower average ratio. I think the UK team had an average ratio of 0.95, but the team of legends (i.e. the best of the best) had a ratio of 0.94) and the brazilian team a ratio of 0.93 (no wonder they always win at football). Also applies to other sportsmen. And also interestingly for this experiment, musicians. A sample group of male symphony musicians had low ratios, and the leading soloists had lower ratios still. So this is a possible explanation for why some people (e.g. good musicians) can but most can’t raise their fingers.

  217. Neel Dey says:

    Can with both hands. Right handed guitarist and its many times easier to do with my left hand.

  218. oi oi says:

    i can do it with both hands. i’m female, 13, and righthanded. i dont play a instrument but i used to play cello and piano. i have quite long fingers.

  219. shen says:

    Cant’s do it without lifting my second figure too~~

  220. daffys says:

    Easily, with both hands, probably because I’m a musician too, playing violin and piano. Another thing I couldn’t do at all before I started playing violin was moving my fingers from side to side. For example, do Spock’s Vulcan salute and try to move your second finger to touch the third finger, or vice versa.

  221. Average Joe says:

    It’s difficult, but I can lift fingers of both hands slightly off the table even with second knuckle firmly on the table. I’m 46 now and I seem to remember trying this trick in my 20s and not being able to lift the finger.

    I’m not a musician nor do I do anything special with my hands aside from typing all day. But I was typing all day in my 20s, too.

  222. Samantha says:

    I can lift the middel finger too on both hands. =D

    I’m 16 years old and play the piano for 13 years now…maybe its related to that I suppose.

  223. Foggerty says:

    Cannot do it with either hand.

    I can do it (slightly) if the middle finger is resting on the first knuckle, but I think that’s cheating :-)

  224. Munni says:

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  226. Tracy King says:

    I can’t do it, but I have no desire to be special…

    Really amused to see the church group’s recreation of the video. It’s like science meeting anti-science and science blows out the candles :D

  227. Anonymous says:

    hmm i could do it both hands no effort…must me the extensive masterbating sessions haha

  228. Mick says:

    I cannot do it on either hand. The reason you are unable to lift the thrid finger is because you only have one tendon for both of your middle fingers.

    Mick

  229. josh says:

    im a musician but can’t do it… i play piano and cello

  230. lee says:

    hi i tried this with the left hand only.thats how i was told to do it and i couldnt do it .so then i began to twist it and twisted the tendon over my knuckle.can this be undone? i play many instruments and had already had my left hand attacked by a not so nice person.damageing my ring finger and pinky.how sad to attack a musicians fingers because hes not musically intimidated.

  231. I can’t do it, and don’t know anyone who can, it must have something to with the scenes in the fingers are connected.

  232. Lorelei says:

    Didn’t try it with left hand, but:
    * with first knuckle of middle finger on table, can easily lift ring finger
    * with second knuckle on table, can barely lift ring finger alone
    * with either first or second knuckle on table, can easily lift ring finger if also allowed to lift pinky, which I think is cheating according to the rules. :)

    None of these contortions is particularly comfortable to do, and it is a relief to let the finger fall back onto the table.

    Haven’t played piano regularly for years, but used to have a 9 or 10 key span IIRC; very long, thin fingers may help more than musical instrument experience.

  233. Lorna says:

    Hi
    I’m a musician (guitar and bass) and I can lift it on my right hand but not my left

  234. kev says:

    i can do it on both hands..
    i play the piano.i think that explains that.

  235. lea says:

    i can..but then again i play an instrument…but my sister who doesnt cant do it..weird

  236. Schwa says:

    Yes to both hands, but it’s quite painful. I play lots of video games, and occasionally make sound come out of a guitar.

  237. [...] Can you lift your finger? « Richard Wiseman [...]

  238. Anonymous says:

    I can lift my finger on both hands and i don’t play any instruments. I gave up trying to play instruments.

  239. Vanda says:

    I can do it on both hands. The ring finger is not as high as the others but still quite high. Don’t know why. Husband can’t do it. I am not a musician.

  240. Carolyn says:

    I can lift (a small amount) the ring finger of both hands, it is easier on the right hand (I am right handed) and I have Hypermobility syndrome and all of my joints are hypermobile, I don’t know anybody else who can do it.

  241. Hannah says:

    I can, I’m 12. I found out when I was 9 that I could do it back then I played the piano, I don’t play it anymore but I can still do it.

  242. Gill says:

    I can lift my left ring finger but this is because I’m hyper mobile or maybe double jointed. It snaps up into place and snaps down again, no movement just two positions. Can’t do anything with my right.

  243. Anonymous says:

    when i was a kid in 7th grade my science teacher asked everyone to try this as a demonstration of what we can’t do due to basic hand anatomy- I was the only one in a class of 20 who could do it. According to my teachers explanation back then its an indication of double jointedness and hyper mobility BUT it doesn’t COUNT the same IF knuckle is NOT fully flat on table while trying to lift third finger. more people are able to do it when knuckle is slightly elevated the way yours is in this photo!
    so try it again knuckle touches table completely flush against it and try and lift your third finger now… if you can still do it for sure you are double jointed : )

  244. I can lift finger says:

    I could lift my ring finger by itself for my whole life. Also, I was best at playing piano in music class.

  245. Anonymous says:

    can’t do either, fingers shake when trying but no luck. Play the guitar

  246. Anonymous says:

    it is the easiest thing in the world easier than blinking! if you can’t do it you are a dumb ass.

  247. Aubrey says:

    I can lift my ring finger on both of my hands, but more on my right hand. Also, I can tap it as fast and to any pattern as I want. Yes, I’m a musician.

  248. Anonymous says:

    hw to practice it?

  249. Ayverie says:

    I can do it with both hands, but most easily with my left. Yes, my second joint is touching the surface. I think I have a tendon that moves off the knuckle when maybe it doesn’t on a normal person.

  250. Wageharabie says:

    I can do this!! So in high school a friend told me about this she didn’t know how to do it… But i did why I have no clue maybe I’m a alien lol

  251. Keiron says:

    I am not convinced that all these people who say they can do it are doing it right, a better test is to place the tips of the fingers together, then bend the middle fingers so the first and second knucle are touching. Now try to seperate to ring fingers.

  252. Peter says:

    Well, I use this trick alot just for fun but don´t actually understand the condition. I have notice that when I place my ring finger knuckle on the table that my pinky finger can not move.

    Is there a term for the ligaments and how they join the fingers?

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