Magic From Russia - How'd He Do That? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Wagg   

We received an inquiry on the forum from Dmitry:

Looks like circus magic to me. Can you have your staff take a look at it and drop me a short message as to how it's done?

In this video from Russia, we see a man waving his claw-like hand, chanting, and burning things with no obvious explanation.

Why not turn this into a group activity? Watch the video (which is over 30 minutes long - well suited to fast forwarding) and consider how this man might be accomplishing this feat. I do not speak Russian, so I don't know what he's saying, but as I imagine what he's saying is misdirection, this is actually to my advantage.

Consider the following:

  • Plastic melts (which appears to be polystyrene)
  • Plastic appears to melt from a distance
  • Plastic appears to melt behind a closed door
  • Paper burns
  • He apparently causes heat on a man's hand
  • He apparently sends heat through a balloon to a man's hand

Those are the facts here. The performer wishes you to believe that he is projecting heat from his hand using the power of his mind (or chanting). What explanations can you think of for this phenomenon? What interesting things are there to observe in this video that might offer a clue?

Post your comments below, and I'll share with you what I think in a couple of days. Wouldn't it be fun if someone like this applied for the challenge?