What’s The Deal With This Ball Sorting Machine


If you’re on the Internet as much as we are, you’re going to come across things that are tough to figure out. Case in point: this video of a massive machine that appears to be sorting balls by color with inhuman rapidity. Give it a watch and see what you think:

Pretty cool, right? The image first appeared on the “Anonymous” Facebook page, along with some text asking “Can anyone explain this?” At first examination, it’s certainly weird as hell – the device appears to be sorting the balls by color into a number of repositories without using any mechanical or electronic components at all. Naturally, theories started to fly fast and furious – was it actually sorting them by minute differences in size and weight? Was the video flipped upside down, a big trick?

The truth is simpler and a little more disappointing, according to our pals at Snopes. The magical sorting machine doesn’t even exist in the first place – it’s a computer simulation of something called a Galton board that was posted to Reddit earlier in the year. The board, also called a “bean board,” was invented by Sir Francis Galton in the 1800s to prove the central limit theorem, and the simulation, made in Blender, was run and then the balls colored afterwards to make it easier to read. Sorry, prospective ball-sorters of the world.