Learn How Table Tennis Balls Are Made

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Table tennis or ping-pong balls are some of the most unusual spheres out there, feather-light yet capable of deceptively high speeds. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about how those little babies are made, the Pingsider show from the International Table Tennis Federation has you covered.

Balls used to be made of plant-derived celluloid, but the modern economy has shifted them over to plastic. In the clip, we visit the Double Happiness plant in China, one of the world’s leading producers of ping-pong balls. They start out as sheets of plastic, which are heated and shaped into half-spheres. Their edges are trimmed and then the two halves are fused together to make one perfect ball.

It’s quite the process, and the fact that so much of the work is still done by human hands is a little flabbergasting, especially when you consider how many they’re making. There’s one thing the video doesn’t let on – how they get to be perfect spheres with no warping or buckling. The world may never know, unless some enterprising journalist goes undercover to find out.