Sometimes the explanation of the most dazzling and mysterious magic trick is right there on the surface.
The WeGoRo team tried to learn some magicians’ secrets, and now we have a simple explanation of the most famous tricks.
In 1983, David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear completely. The trick can be explained very simply. The Statue was draped with a huge piece of fabric or covered by a big screen put in front of the audience. The whole illumination of the monument was turned off except for the spotlights. This simple preparation created the illusion of hollow space, and the set of lights blinded the audience. After the monument was unveiled, people were not able to see it because their vision was temporarily blurred by the spotlights.
How to make a huge truck disappear when it’s surrounded by the audience on all sides? Easy! All you need to do is drape a special construction over the truck, create a fake audience with your friends, and ask somebody to drive the truck out of the construction. When you take the drapes off, the truck is not there anymore. Now you understand why this trick may be seen only on TV.
A man floating in the middle of the street is neither a magician nor a yogi. The illusion is accomplished via the placement of a steel structure under the performer’s baggy clothes. Of course, no secret powers are used here.
A magician needs specially cut screens to move a hand through mirror or glass. The back screen covers 2 mirror panels. When the performance begins, the whole construction shifts the real mirror to the back side, moving 2 fake mirror panels forward. Now there is a space to move a hand. At the end of the performance, the assistants shift the real mirror to the front side again.
Turning $1 into $100 is so easy when you know the secret. A magician folds a $1 bill in a special way and hides it behind his fingers. Then he carefully substitutes it with a $100 bill so that no one sees. This is when the magic of transformation happens.
The trick is usually performed in muddy or unclear rivers or man-made waters like swimming pools. The main goal is to make a glass or clear plastic platform essentially invisible to the audience. Now you can walk on water without being the son of God.
Combining physical strength and tricky fake locks makes this magic happen. The assistants need to loosen the latches and hinges, and the magician needs to get rid of the locks, gain a firm grip, and come up for air.
The magician asks someone from the audience to put their signature on a random card. Then he tears it into 4 pieces and magically restores the signed card in front of the amazed audience. The secret is quite simple: the illusionist has a folded card in his pocket, and he substitutes the signed card with it. The hidden card is torn, and the signed one is perfectly safe.
For some performers, learning to swallow a sword can take years as it is an extremely dangerous practice. However, fakirs from all over the world amaze people with the ability to easily swallow a sword. The trick requires lots of physical and psychological preparation. The illusionist positions his head up so that his throat and stomach make a straight line and will not be hurt by the sword.
The cut-in-half illusion only works when you watch the performer from the front. From the side, you can see that from the knee to the waist it’s actually a plastic mannequin. Baggy clothes and body posture create the perfect illusion of a man holding his own legs.