# Bear on a bench

I’m sitting on a bench in a park. I exert a force of H newtons and the bench exerts a reactive force of H newtons back and we’re in equilibrium. Next to me a 10ft tall short-faced bear sits on an identical bench with B newtons. After about 20 seconds the bench gives in and collapses.

I postulate that the bench could not exert enough reactive force to match the weight of the of the bear and so consequently collapsed. To show this, I climb a tree knowing that I will impact the bench with the same force as when I was sitting on it, thus the bench should not collapse. The bench collapses.

Flustered and confused by this, I investigate further. I find another non-broken bench, and climb up an even higher tree where I know I will reach terminal velocity before reaching the bench. Upon contacting the bench, there is no net force acting down on the bench yet it still breaks.

Even more confused and in alot of pain, I then think it may be the kinetic energy or momentum that caused the benches to collapse. However, the mass of the bear had no velocity, so how can it have had kinetic energy or momentum? And indeed, how could there have even been a force that the bear exerted on the bench when the mass had no velocity and therefore no acceleration?

Seeing that the park officers are distracted by the 10ft tall bear, I take the opportunity to sneak away avoiding vandalism charges but still left very confused and injured…

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