Right here, I’ll explain in detail how it’s possible to make small objects levitate in the air without using any string, magnets, or other hidden gimmicks. This magic trick makes it possible to actually make things float in the air.
So, in short, how can you levitate items for real?
It’s possible to make small objects really float in the air by using a static charge. When charging both hands, lightweight objects can levitate between them for a few seconds.
I’ll explain the method that can be used to make this trick possible, and show you a video of the actual performance of this illusion.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s how magicians are able to make small objects actually float in the air
For me, levitation tricks in magic are something special, even though I know that it’s not possible to make things float in the air and magicians just use some hidden gimmicks or other tricks – right?
At least, that’s what I thought for a long time until I learned that it’s possible to actually make small objects float in the air.
For most levitation tricks, magicians use string or other techniques to balance the object in the air (e.g. the “Floating Table” trick). It’s just an illusion, but none of the tricks I’ve learned so far used real levitation. But when I found this video by Rich Ferguson, I realized that it can be done.
Watch his video to see how he makes a dollar bill float (yes, it actually floats between his hands):
When I first saw this video, I was stunned.
Here’s how he made the floating trick possible.
How you can make things float with your hands: the science behind the magic
The secret behind this trick:
It’s the same thing that happens when you rub balloons on your hair. As soon as you slowly move the balloon away, the hair will follow it or even “stick” on the balloon because it’s charged. Most people know this trick or even tried it themselves, and the same principle applies to this magic trick.
The only difference is that we won’t be using balloons, but plastic straws with a paper sleeve.
How to make a dollar bill actually float between your hands (step by step)
You can watch the video above if you want to perform the trick yourself, but here’s how it works in short. You will need two straws and a dollar bill.
Rip both of the paper sleeves of the straws at the upper end, so you have a small piece to grab.
You have to hold both of the straws with your teeth by putting the small ripped pieces of the paper sleeves inside your mouth. Make sure that your lips don’t touch them so that they don’t get wet!
Build up static charge by sliding the loose paper sleeves up and down the straws for a few seconds, and drop them immediately after.
Next, grab the two straws with one hand each, allowing the static charge to transfer to your hands. Drop the straws after roughly three seconds and don’t touch anything with your hands from now on.
Pick up the dollar bill without touching anything else, and use only two fingertips to grab the bill from above and below.
Keep the dollar bill between your hands and slowly remove your fingers holding it. The banknote will now start to float between your hands for a few seconds until the static charge is gone and it drops.
I know – this might sound impossible. I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself. If you are serious about the trick and want to make it work, watch the video above and try it a few times. If it doesn’t work, don’t give up, keep trying! It might take some time for you to figure out how to do it properly.
Just make sure to watch the entire video by Rich Ferguson, he explains the trick way better than I ever could.
This is the only method I've learned that makes it possible to actually levitate objects for real, without using and string or other tools.
So for most other tricks, don’t expect methods as cool as this one. Usually, it’s just some string (it’s called “magician’s thread”) that is barely visible.
Is it possible to levitate things with your mind?
You can’t make objects or even people float in the air using only your mind, these tricks are always based on physics, typically combined with misdirection.
After you saw this trick, you might start thinking about what is possible in magic. But unfortunately, most magic tricks just use sleight of hand, science, or special mental techniques.
But honestly, you can’t really get closer to real magic than with this trick right here.
It might not be possible to use your mind to levitate objects, but in my opinion, using only your hands is just as impressive.
How other levitation tricks work (four illusions explained)
I’ve always been interested in levitation magic tricks and you’ll find quite some posts on this website about it.
Here are a few more you can check out:
The “Floating Table” trick
This illusion is pretty popular and some magicians even used it on stage during live TV. The concept is pretty simple: the magician makes a table float in the air, right in front of his audience. Some performers even do the trick up close.
How you can make a dollar bill float
This is a trick that you can perform yourself, without any special tools, all you need is some money. I’ve created a tutorial with photos, teaching you the magic trick step by step.
The “Floating Ball” magic trick
This trick can be performed with several different methods, but in the end, it will always be the same illusion: a ball is floating in the air. It really shows how many possibilities there are when doing a levitation trick.
Image source (header image):