As a kid, I was obsessed with finding something perfectly perfect. I remember looking at a bunch of math problems that talked about parallel lines, and thought to myself: could you actually get something to be perfectly parallel in real life? Factory milled wood and metal bend, which means that on a minute scale, not even slats on a fence could stack up in indisputably tidy rows. Even the lines on the paper of that math problem were probably botched by imperfections in the printing process. Nothing is perfectly parallel, or perfectly anything.
Anyway, that's what I used to think. But I believe we may yet have found a perfect something, something cooked up by a bunch of kids who seem hell-bent on finding perfection. Unsurprisingly, it is absolutely mesmerizing.
So: feast your eyes upon this video of kids breaking a Guinness World Record for most skips over a single rope in one minute:
The record was set by 14 students of the Fuji Municipal Harada Elementary School in Fuji, Japan. Their total was 225 skips, which beat out their archival Hiromi Elementary School, who managed a paltry 217 skips in 2013.
The World Record part is nice, but it's not what makes the video so profound and powerfully hypnotic. Note the flow, the uniformity, the grace, the gentle slope from the kids' heights of short-to-tall, then back to short again. The flicker of the rope acts like the seam between frames of a kinetoscope, allowing the kids' movement to be simultaneously fluid and yet frozen at the same time. It is gorgeous. Here:
(Is there a seam in the loop somewhere in there? Yes there is. I dare you to tell me where it is.)
Even crazier, think about this: if you look at them doing their thing from an eagle-eye view, the shape they make is an infinity sign. Whoa, man. Whoa.