For days, artist Chi Nguyễn had a predicament that she couldn’t solve.
“Twitter, I need your help,” Nguyễn tweeted Monday. “I stacked a ceramic bowl into another one while doing dishes and now they are stuck. How do you remove the smaller bowl without breaking both of them?”
Nguyễn’s bowl saga has captivated the internet, with many responding to her request for advice. Her initial tweet, which included an image of the bowls, has been retweeted more than 20,000 times and quote-tweeted over 10,000 times. It has garnered almost 140,000 likes and countless replies online.
By Wednesday afternoon, Nguyễn had posted an update. “OMG WE DID IT!” she wrote.
What exactly did it take? She wrote in the tweet:
“Last 20 hours:
— upside down, on a towel, undisturbed
— gave to toddler (clear mandate that bowls must stay together)
— suction cup
— small bowl asks to not give up on it now
— banged on carpet
The news comes after Nguyễn had posted updates to Twitter about the myriad of ways she had tried to get the two bowls unstuck from one another.
The list included: “warm soapy water,” “hot water on outer bowl,” “cold water + ice on inner bowl,” “oil on edges,” “microwave,” “aggressive shaking,” “WD-40.” She also mentioned trying “Cards, toothpicks, and straws” but found they were “not getting through to break the seal.”
Those who offered their tips had a wide variety of suggestions.
Author Lauren Hough said it seems the smaller bowl had expanded into the larger one. She had a pricey solution for Nguyễn.
“Probably not helpful in this economy,” Hough wrote. “Is there a decent size mountain nearby? Take a road trip. The altitude might expand the air enough.”
Mark Rober, a former engineer for NASA and Apple, suggested using glue to get the bowls apart.
“Hot glue some handles on each? Then you have a way to apply opposite jiggly pulling forces?” Rober tweeted.
Meanwhile, YouTuber and science communicator Hank Green offered a more controversial suggestion: “Pick which bowl you like more.”
And some people simply responded with jokes or shared their personal investment in the story.
One tweet read: “Folks: Why are you so tired? ‘Last night I was up trying to help a lady remove two stuck ceramic bowls on Twitter.’”