Chinese finger trap

A Chinese finger puzzle

A Chinese finger puzzle was a tube comprised of interwoven strips of bamboo. A finger is inserted into either end of the tube and when an attempt is made to remove them the tube only tightens, trapping the user's fingers. The trap is released only when both ends are pressed inward. The purpose of this device is purely humor oriented.

Data was puzzled by a Chinese finger puzzle during his briefing on the Tkon Empire, annoying Captain Jean-Luc Picard. La Forge later showed Data the solution to the puzzle. After an incident in the Delphi Ardu system, Picard allowed several boxes of the contraption to be beamed aboard the Ferengi vessel. (TNG: "The Last Outpost")

The automated repair station seen in "Dead Stop" was partially inspired by a Chinese finger trap. [1](X)

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