Ever since I was a kid, I kept wondering how all those magicians, illusionists and street performers did their magic tricks. I knew there was no actual magic involved, but the eyes saw what they saw, tricking my brain into believing. Even now, as I was reading up on all these magic tricks, a good half of them still feel like there’s more to it than just the proverbial “smoke and mirrors”. It’s like, if you have all the answers to your math exam, but you still can’t figure out how that footlong equation turned into a “1”.
Either way, magicians are true masters of illusion, experts at tricking the regular viewers into questioning the basic laws of physics. Lucky for us, at some point, these modernday wizards started exposing and explaining their secrets, so here are 8 mindbending magic tricks explained!
David Blaine’s Card through the Window Trick
This trick requires an assistant on the other side of the glass with an identical deck of cards. The volunteer shows the card to the crowd, but not the magician, making it quite simple for the inside man to pick the appropriate card and slap it against the glass at the right moment, while David is diverting the audience’s attention. Just think about how much work went into this simple card trick!
The ZigZag Lady
You’ve seen this trick maybe a hundred times on TV, in the movies and even in cartoons, and you won’t believe how easily it’s done. There’s actually a hidden compartment in the base of the box, where the assistant sits. Everything else is just a matter of misdirection and utilizing more hidden compartments with the mannequin parts inside of them..
Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” trick
Remember that amazing 45degree lean? Yeah, no human can do that, it’s just physically impossible! So what’s the trick? Both in the music video and live shows, MJ wore special shoes that hooked onto a stage nail. The GIF demonstrates this technique in all its glory. Sorry to disappoint you, MJ fans, but he was only a regular human!
Criss Angel Walks on Water
“Jesus did it, so why not try it myself?” thought Criss Angel to himself. I mean, he already showed he could levitate, so walking on water should be an easy task to do. First he dropped a shoe to the bottom of the pool, to demonstrate that there was nothing but water below him, and then he actually walked on water! …
But not really. He was actually stepping on plexiglass pillars, as plexiglass has a refraction index very similar to that of water, making it virtually invisible in the pool. Still a pretty cool trick, though!
The Person Slicing Trick
Just like the ZigZag Lady trick, this one has been widely used in all sorts of popular media, and is considered to be a staple of a good illusionist’s act. All you need to know about it is actually in the picture above, so I feel like there’s no need to explain what’s going on here.
One of the coolest practical tricks you can see anywhere in the world – sitting levitation. Just as you look at these pictures, you may be wondering “why would he need that post if he were truly levitating?” And you’d be might to doubt his magical abilities, as that post is the source of his “powers”. But hey, at least it looks legit!
David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear
33 years ago, one man did the unbelievable, the unthinkable David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear on LIVE TV! It was a bold move and some people still think there was real magic involved. The explanation, however, is quite simple. As you can see from the pic, the audience was sitting on a huge rotating platform, so after they looked at the statue, they were slowly rotated around to a point where it was no longer visible. If it were a daytime trick, it would definitely fail.
Pulling a rabbit out of a hat!
And last but by no means least, we have the classic “rabbit out of the hat” trick! Turns out it’s quite simple, but as with every magic trick it requires steady hands, months of practice, and at least 1 living rabbit (for a better effect). Basically, you’ll need to hide the rabbit in a cloth sac, at the edge of the table, until it’s time to somehow smuggle it from the sac into the hat without everyone calling you a hack. Yeah, that’s where those months of practice come in.