Its no surprise that most magic tricks are illusions. This in-depth video explores the history of levitation and tries to determine if there’s a scientific explanation to this supernatural phenomena.
One of the oldest levitation tricks, the Indian Rope Trick, dates back to the 1890’s. In it’s most basic form, a rope placed rises from a basket and a boy climbs to the top to then disappear, and then reappear on the ground.
There was even a gruesome “classic” version, which involved severing the assistants limbs collecting them on the ground, and then having the boy reappear on the ground, arms and legs intact.
Levitation has been closely related to spiritual masters across different cultures and religions. Over 200 Christian saints are said to have been able to levitate, most notably Joseph of Cupertino, nicknamed The Flying Friar, who is documented with over 100 counts of flight.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was an Indian spiritual leader and guru (notably of the Beatles), who developed transcendental meditation and and introduced yogic flying. Some people believe that if mastered, yogic flying will result in actual levitation or flight.
Here is a trick used for hundreds of years, simply consisting of a sturdy steel rod connected to a chair, that the yogi can simply sit on.
It’s no surprise that some of these techniques are easily debunked, like psychic Carlos Mirabelli’s doctored image of him floating, but many fascinating stories still remain a mystery.
The second half of the video shifts from the paranormal and mystical to examine a scientific approach to levitation. The possibilities of creating levitation through magnets appear to be endless, evidenced by British engineer Eric Laithwaite’s magnetic levitation train, which was later adopted by Germany and Japan, and Nasa’s own Maglev track which could launch spacecraft into orbit.
Check out the video below for an in depth look and let us know what you think in the comments section!