Magical illusion How magician people float
Five magic tricks and what's behind them
Magic trick: the floating street performer
One of the big trends of the last year are the "floating street performers". In pedestrian zones or in front of sights you can apparently see them quite relaxed "floating in the air". Only a thin stick forms the connection to the floor, which is usually held casually in one hand.
A strong effect that still makes many people pause in amazement. The trick is pretty simple: the artist sits on a metal structure that is perfectly hidden by the costume. Usually a steel plate serves as the base, which is covered by a carpet or a ceiling - it looks even more mystical.
From this plate a metal tube leads vertically upwards, to which a small seat is mounted via a connecting piece, which cannot be seen from the outside.
The connection between the metal tube and the seat runs over the sleeve of the "floating artist", who usually wears a wide robe and has his hand as if by chance on the tube disguised as a stick. So the illustration of the floating man is perfect.
Magic trick: the sawed-up maiden
Everyone has probably seen this magic trick before. Often the trick is performed in the circus and makes the audience shudder every time when (mostly) a woman in a box gets on roles and is then sawed alive in two by the magician himself. Then the boxes are rolled up again and the lady climbs out again - unharmed.
But how does the magic trick work? There are several ways to carry out this illusion.
- Option 1: a dummy
In this variant, the audience sees the front of the box (see Figure A). The viewer automatically assumes that the box is just as wide that the person can just lie in it (see Figure B). In fact, the box is much wider so that the woman can pull her legs up (Figure C) while the magician "saws" the box. A dummy is used for the feet at the other end of the box.
- Option 2: two women
Although the audience only seems to see one woman on stage, there are actually two! The audience sees the head of one woman and the feet of the other. Each of them is hidden in one half of the box.
Both women are either at the same height, or the box has a double floor (see illustration below) in which the second woman disappears with her upper body.
Magic trick: the transformed bill
The idea of transforming a banknote into a more valuable banknote with the help of a little magic is sure to make many people dream ... A magic trick makes this wish seemingly come true.
For the trick, the magician needs some preparation, two banknotes of his choice and a "magic light" (common tool for magicians: deceptively real-looking rubber thumb attachment). For this example, we'll take a $ 1 note and a $ 10 note.
Before the performance begins, the 10-dollar note is folded up and inserted into the artificial thumb. The magician puts this essay on his real thumb. Then it goes on stage: the magician holds the 1-dollar bill in front of the audience so that the audience can see the banknote head-on.
The magician keeps his thumb with the "magic light" hidden behind the banknote. Now he folds this banknote just as small as he did before with the 10 dollar note backstage.
At this moment, the "transformation" of the banknote happens: while the magician is folding the 1 dollar note as small as possible in his hands, he pulls the previously hidden 10 dollar note out of his thumb attachment and exchanges both notes.
Then the magician folds the 10 dollar bill out again - here too he holds the dollar bill in front of the audience so that the audience can see the banknote frontally. The 1 dollar note has apparently changed into a 10 dollar note.
Magic trick: the floating woman
Although this magic trick is very old, magicians in circus managers and on variety stages use it to amaze audiences again and again.
A magician uses his magical powers to make his assistant levitate. To the complete astonishment of the audience, he then leads a large hoop around the woman to show that his assistant has no contact with the ground.
The woman doesn't need this contact at all, because what actually makes her "float" is hidden behind the stage. Behind the curtain, hidden by the stage curtain, there is a strong lifting device. This is connected to the platform on which the assistant of the magician lies by a thin rod running in a zigzag. This zigzag shape allows the magician to guide the hoop around the woman in such a way that it appears to the audience as if the hoop is completely encircling the woman, while in reality the bar is not touched by the hoop.
Magic trick: the sword-swallower
The art of sword swallowing is a technique that requires many years of training. The trick is to suppress the gag stimulus and thus push the sword down your throat. Strictly speaking, the term "sword swallower" is misleading because the (blunt) sword is not swallowed, but pushed.
The artist positions his head in such a way that the throat and stomach form a straight line and are not injured by the metal when the sword is inserted. The blade is inserted over the esophagus, just past vital organs such as the lungs, heart and spine, to just before the entrance to the stomach.
The esophagus is extremely elastic and also protected by a layer of mucus that acts like a kind of lubricant. But that alone is not enough: Swallowing the sword requires a lot of courage, overcoming and absolute calm and concentration. Serious injury can result if the esophagus spasms while the sword is being inserted.
There are currently almost 130 sword swallowers around the world that are on the list of the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI).
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