The laws of physics bind us to reality, but once in awhile when things don’t agree with the natural laws, we become enraged and fascinated all at the same time. In olden times, people chalked it up to the gods, nowadays we tend to believe it’s dark magic, aliens or the influence of another dimension. But it is precisely the idea that these laws CAN’T be broken that leave us so fascinated when David Blaine or Criss Angel perform some stunt that we can’t wrap our minds around.
Read on to find out more about several magic tricks that seem to defy the rules of the world.
Here are 4 of the greatest and most popular magic tricks in the world – debunked!
1. Walking on water. We know that water is a liquid and because of its constituent properties it makes it impossible to stand or walk on. That’s why when magicians like Dynamo and Criss Angel do it, we become awestruck and applaud them as if they were real demigods.
The first magician to perform this feat was Dynamo, also known as Steven Frayne. He ‘walked’ across the Thames river until he reached the midway point and was picked up by a police boat. How did he do it? And can you do it too?
The Discovery Channel show, Mythbusters, attempted the ninja feat of running across water. They came to the conclusion that no ordinary person with the help of any science could achieve that. So what kind of trickery was imposed to allow Dynamo to stay afloat?
Plexiglass. Plexiglass is a transparent plastic that can support the weight of a full grown man. Submerged under some murky water (the Thames river) it is impossible to identify with the naked eye (and even harder to spot on TV.) As the plastic was stretched across the river, this provided Dynamo with a platform to walk on and appear as if he was walking on water.
2. One of the more popular magic tricks that have been around is the ‘pull a rabbit out of the hat’ trick. Inciting laughter in children and awe in adults, this one captures the attention of the audience since living things shouldn’t come out of a hat. And most times, the magicians reveal an empty hat before pulling out a furry animal in desperate need of a carrot.
One of the many ways to perform this trick (and probably the easiest) is the use of a trick table. This table has hidden compartments where, if moved in the proper manner, hidden compartments will spring open allowing a magician to pull out whatever they need.
Another easy and quick way to pull a rabbit out of your hat is to own a trick top hat. With a removable compartment, the magician can put their hand through the hat into a bag or drawer and reveal the bunny rabbit.
And the final step is to bathe in the applause of the audience and complement your assistant with a healthy dose of carrots.
3. Guns are meant to injure or kill and the thought of shooting someone and then having them catch the bullet not with their hands, but with their teeth is just downright insane! But this trick has been done before, and the magicians have lived to tell the tale!
This trick has been performed numerous times by a wide variety of magicians. But probably, the most impressive one was done on Penn and Teller’s show, Fool Us. The two magicians faced each other, had two audience members sign each bullet, and then fired at each other. Both magicians caught the bullet with their teeth and proceeded to show the audience the signature markings on the bullet casing. How did they perform this inhuman feat?
There are a couple steps to this trick, so be sure to pay attention! Firstly, the bullets that are fired are fake (otherwise the magicians would be dead), once the bullet leaves the chamber they burst. The guns (as proven on the show) are real firearms. The markings on the bullets are legitimate. But, the magicians have their assistants make the same markings on another bullet that they will then insert into their mouths
Then, in typical magician fashion, they use the ‘misdirection’ technique where they have the audience focus on one thing while they do something else. As they put their bulletproof vests on and turn their backs to the audience, their assistants place the bullet casing into their mouths. Now all they have to do is fire the gun, have it burst in mid-air, and push the bullet casing from their cheek to in between their teeth, and voila!
4. The last and final trick to be revealed is the metamorphosis trick. It’s when a magician turns into their assistant and vice versa. The trick was first perfected by the Pendragon couple.
The wife would tie her husband up in a bag, lock him in a chest, and then stand atop the chest. Then, she would wave a giant curtain over herself, and in an instant, she would switch places with her husband.
Here’s how it’s done. The chest has no barriers in the back. This allows man and woman to slide in and out and replace each other’s positions. The bag that the husband is tied in has a zipper at the bottom allowing for an easy escape.
So when the wife ties him up in the bag and then seals him in the chest, he simply has to crawl out from underneath the bag and climb up from the chest. When the wife waves the curtain above her head, they quickly switch spots. Voilà!