The Three Shell Mystery Finally Solved!

While we certainly acknowledge the valuable contributions of the open hardware community that help to mitigate the coronavirus crisis, we are also looking forward to the days when people start going back to building other things than 3D-printed face shields, pandemic trackers, and automatic soap dispensers. However, this handwash timer by [Agis Wichert] is a very creative version that also tries to solve the long outstanding mystery of how to use the three seashells. Unfortunately, in contrast to those in the original movie, these three seashells do not replace toilet paper which many people are seemingly so desperate in need of at the moment.

The build is quite simple and requires only a few off-the-shelf components including a Neopixel strip, IR proximity sensor, and an Arduino Nano. The plastic seashells were taken from the classic German “Schleckmuschel” candy, thereby giving the project an extra retro twist. As shown in the video embedded below, the timer works by consecutively dimming the LEDs located under each seashell until the recommended duration of 20 seconds has elapsed which is indicated by shortly flashing all LEDs.

Handwash timer projects do not always have to be visual as this one playing your favorite Spotify tunes proves. What we really would like to see though is someone building a toilet paper dispenser that is triggered by swearwords.

 

9 thoughts on “The Three Shell Mystery Finally Solved!

  1. What we really would like to see though is someone building a toilet paper dispenser that is triggered by swearwords.

    Ok I just got furloughed for 2 weeks (never become an automotive engineer)

  2. Makes sense as the actual solution to the 3 shell mystery…. handwash your butt, then use proper handwashing technique afterwards. More sense than a lot of 3 shell explainers I’ve seen anyway.

  3. I’ve honestly never understood why the three shell system is such a puzzling mystery to people; the first shell is to scrape wet matter off of your behind, the second is filled with warm soapy water and slowly scraped to remove the dry matter, then the third is filled with warm, clear water and slowly scraped to rinse your skin. SImple and leaves your behind completely clean, unlike with using only toilet paper.

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