The top that (almost) never stops

Who isn't fascinated by the idea of perpetual motion?  Though I know it's impossible, I'm always on the lookout for things that seem to come close.

Like most tops, Limbo is spun from your fingertips – but the hidden USB recharge-able gyroscope is what keeps it going.  LIMBO just took the Guinness World Record title for Longest-Running Mechanical Spinning Top with a non-stop spinning time of 27 hours, 9 minutes and 24 seconds! Here is a lovely product shot with its protected secret exposed.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite games to play was a frantic board game called Battling Tops where you and your friends each spun a top into a playing field and the last one standing was the winner.

This was a ridiculously entertaining game but it gave me a completely different feeling than my LIMBO toy. Instead of a frenzied micro-war playing out in front of me, the goal of LIMBO is to simply stand upright and appear as still as possible.

For those who don't actually know that it's powered though, LIMBO defies logic. It seems to have the gift of perpetual motion — much like the liquid-filled, drinking glass birdies from my childhood.

If you have children and haven't seen these in action, spend the 5 bucks on one right now. It's basically a science experiment in a fancy blue top-hat!

The bird tips back and forth depending on whether his beak is moist or not. As water evaporates, the temperature in the bird's head lowers and creates a pressure change inside the body, which causes liquid to rise into its head, which makes him dip again. The beak becomes remoistened and the cycle impossibly repeats for hours.


If I didn't have one myself, the drinking glass birdie would seem as impossible as the mofos below who toot around town in their impossi-cars powered by well-placed magnets.


But it is not!  The drinking glass birdie is science in a fancy blue top hat! Which of course brings me back to LIMBO — the greatest top in the world!

If you like things that travel at speeds up to 10,000 RPM while looking like they're standing still for a long freaking time — then LIMBO is your jam.

Either way, please enjoy this Battling Spaceships board game commercial from 1977. It's the same basic idea as Battling Tops only this one comes with an especially annoying curly haired kid.