General Question

asmonet's avatar

Does throwing a stick at an electrifiic fence really work?

Asked by asmonet (21320points) October 30th, 2008

So, it’s something I’ve wondered since I was a kid, and now have been reminded of thanks to the most awesome day off from work ever. Jurassic Park Trilogy Day

It’s one of those things I’ve tested, by throwing a stick. But nothing happenned and I didn’t really wanna grab hold of the chain link, ya know? I don’t see how it could work. Can anyone explain the reasoning? Or if it is a stupid silly lie, how did it become so prevalent? Where did the idea come from?

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23 Answers

skabeep's avatar

I dunno about a fence but once a limb fell on the powerline in my yard and it burst into flames. One side rested on one wire while the other rocked up and down onto another. Everytime they connected it burst into flames. It was pretty cool. Maybe this would work the same?

Judi's avatar

I don’t know what is supposed to happen when you throw a stick at an electric fence, but my son’s cousin convinced him to pee on an electric fence when he was little. OUCH! Poor kid is still traumatized.

augustlan's avatar

Great tags, BTW!

fireside's avatar

here’s a video that makes me hurt

re tags: who is he and what did he saur you doing?

Judi's avatar

@ fireside, OUCH!

wrestlemaniac3's avatar

It’s a stupid lie, it dosen’t work!! I tried it.

asmonet's avatar

@wrestle: Yeah, but did you then touch the fence to make sure? That’s my point. :-p

@augustlan: What do you call a blind dinosaur’s dog?

critter1982's avatar

If you were to throw a stick at a single line of electric fence nothing would happen. If you throw it at a double line electric fence and it bridges the gap between the 2 you theoretically could see electric ark from one line to the other. It would have to be extremely high voltage as the conductivity of wood is very very low. You could also throw a stick at a single line of electric fence and it would work as long as again it is very high voltage and the stick was touching the ground. Does that make sense?

wrestlemaniac3's avatar


Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Asmonet, you didn’t mention what is supposed to happen when you throw a stick at an electric fence. Is it supposed to catch fire, spark, or make the fence not shock you anymore??? I grew up in an agricultural area, and my dad showed me a cool trick. If you jump up and touch the wire when in the air, it won’t shock you. Pretty simple concept, but as an 8-year-old I was really impressed.

wrestlemaniac3's avatar

the fence is suppose to spark…...duh.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Oh, well, I didn’t know! I never heard that before. A stick couldn’t possibly do that unless it hits broadside and makes contact in more than one place at the same time (like a branch with leaves and stuff).

AstroChuck's avatar

Electrifiic? Is that some kind of wonderful electric fence?

PrancingUrchin's avatar

Simply, no. The electricity through the stick would not have a way to get to ground or another area of lower voltage.

jessturtle23's avatar

It will shock you if you are holding the stick if it is still alive. I did that the other day. Even a piece of grass will jolt you if you hold it. It won’t spark though if you just toss a stick at it.

jessturtle23's avatar

I am looking at an electric fence and am willing to experiment if you want me to. I get shocked by it all the time.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Great, Jess! If you jump up and touch the electric fence with one finger on each hand, would it shock you? I’m no electrician, but I thought as long as there are three contacts, that would complete the circuit. Or does one of the three contacts have to be the ground? Obviously, if one of the contacts has to be the ground, then you could throw sticks at it forever and it still wouldn’t spark.

jessturtle23's avatar

One of the three contacts has to be the ground.

critter1982's avatar

Electricity follows the least resistance to ground. So when you jump off of the ground the quickest and easiest path to ground is not through you, it is at the end of the circuit.

hoosier_banana's avatar

Tall grass will ground out an electric fence, I think a metal rod from the wire to the ground may work.

Here’s another question, if you jumped onto an electric fence (without being grounded) would you get shocked?

My electric fence story- I was visiting my hillbilly relatives when I was quite young, they had cows and my brother and I were warned to not touch the fence. So we’re out at the fence, and my brother says “this fence isn’t electric, see” [as he touched the fence]. I thought “huh” and touched the fence, bad idea. My hand clamped around the wire as the current sizzled me. To say the least, it was not cool. Turns out the power supply box had a blinking light that my brother had noticed, and he touched it for the 2 seconds it was off, very clever. I hit him with a shovel a short time later.

jessturtle23's avatar

I chased my brothers dog the other day under my neighbors fence because it thinks it is fun to chase the horses, which is not a good idea, and my whole back hit the hotwire and I swear I was talking funny for a good three minutes.

augustlan's avatar

@asmonet: @augustlan: What do you call a blind dinosaur’s dog?

I give up…what?

28lorelei's avatar

The material would need to be conductive and there would need to be a potential difference between the ends of the object for it to work. And don’t touch the conductive material while it is touching the fence, as you will get shocked if the fence is electric.

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