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Apr 20

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Explain Stuff – Fact Of The Day – “Vanishing ball magic trick” explains how we perceive things.

(If you can’t believe this or you think how silly it can be ,just see this video only after reading this article : http://www.livescience.com/php/video/player.php?video_id=Magic)

Hi friends ,
Ever wondered how magic works ? The credit goes to magician since he doesn’t actually does any magic but the only thing he does is to mislead our perception just like a visual illusion which is no reality.Magicians really have this ability to distort your perceptions, to get people to perceive things that never happened.

Let me put in simple way with a good magic example called “vanishing ball” in which a magician tosses a ball up in the air and the ball disappears in mid air ,while actually keeping the ball secretly palmed in the magician’s hand.

But why we feel it has disappeared ? The answer is : We expected to see the ball tossed up and the expectation is raised by magician’s simple trick.
There are two cases . One magician does in usual way (REAL WAY) as we all toss up a ball and hence we won’t feel that the ball is disappeared.The other way is magician adds just a small extra action to usual way (ILLUSION WAY=MAGIC) of tossing ball up , which makes us(misleads us) observe the same usual thing in wrong way perceiving that the ball is really lost. The above video link in this mail shows ILLUSION WAY and then REAL WAY.

In ILLUSION WAY , while throwing the ball up , the magician gazes up and his head follows the direction of an imaginary ball moving upwards. So as observers we tend to see his eyes and head moving up and so our brain expects that the ball will go up and forget to see the fact that he didn’t leave the ball itself into air actually.

In REAL WAY , while throwing the ball up , the magician gazes down and his head too facing ball in hand which he really never throws up. So now as observers we tend to see his eyes and head and hence the ball since his eyes and head are facing it and easily see the fact that he didn’t leave the ball itself into air .

What this tells us is the way we see the world is more strongly dominated by how we perceive it to be rather than what it actually is. Even though the ball never left the hand, the reason people saw it leave is because they expected the ball to leave the hand. It’s the beliefs about what should happen that override the actual visual input.

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1 comment

  1. Chris.Cox

    Thanks great post on Explain Stuff – Fact Of The Day – “Vanishing ball magic trick” explains how we perceive things.

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