Paperclips Can't Float. It's true, paperclips cannot float, but they can appear to float when suspended on the surface tension of water. Surface tension is like a "skin" on the surface of the water where water molecules bond together. With a steady hand, you can get a paperclip to suspend itself on the surface of the water. In this video, we also used a Japanese yen coin which is made of lightweight aluminum. How much weight can the surface tension of water hold? Don't just sit there, go try for yourself and find out!