Tricky Science


Trick #1. That’s Strong Kool Aid! Science behind the Trick. The Water Gel (it’s really the stuff in baby diapers) immediately solidifies any liquid (some faster than others) and makes the spoon stand up in the glass. This works really well with water and by adding salt and stirring, you can make the “slush” go back to a liquid.

Trick #2. The Paper Cut Test Tube Adventures #4420

Set up. Fill a pipette with Windex or glass cleaner. Take a piece of Goldenrod paper from the kit and find a pair of scissors. Put the pipette along the underside of your index finger with the open end towards your fingernail. Hold the paper in the left hand and begin cutting with the scissors. When you get close to your finger, squeeze the pipette with your thumb (under the paper) and watch the paper turn blood red as the glass cleaner hits it.

Science behind the Trick. The goldenrod paper is actually a pH indicator which reacts with the ammonia in the glass cleaner to turn the ammonia bright, blood red. It will fade back to normal color after an hour or so.

Trick #3. Now you See It but you can’t touch it. Now You See It #7170
Incredible Illusions #3880


Set up. Using the Illusion Maker from the kit, place the ring in the bottom of the bowl. Position the bowl so that when someone looks at it, they see the image of the ring on top of the bowl. Ask someone to grab the ring—tell them they can have it if they can grab it. They won’t be able to touch it because it’s a hologram. Now, have the person leave the room or turn their back and remove the ring from the bottom bowl. Insert the clear plastic piece into the hole on the top of the bowl. Put the ring inside the plastic insert. Now ask the person to try to touch the ring again—they will be able to touch it.

Science behind the trick. This is all about physics and light. The light bounces off the object in the bowl and bounces around the inside of the bowl which is a mirrored surface until it recreates the image of the object above the opening in the top of the bowl. This is how holograms work.

Trick #4. Fake Ice Ooze #3855

Set Up. Simply place the small Fake Ice crystals in a large bowl of water and let them sit for several hours. When they have expanded to the size of small ice cubes, insert a can of soda and let people reach in to grab the soda and feel the “ice.”

Science behind the Trick. The “ice” is a superabsorbent polymer that absorbs over 150 times its weight in water. Leave the crystals out and they will shrink back down in size as the water evaporates. People use these crystals to help in keeping moisture in soils.

Trick #5. Crushing Marbles Jiggly Jewels #5845


Set Up. Simply place about 20 of the small pellets in a bowl of water for several hours. The water is absorbed and the pellets grow to the size of marbles. Tell your friends that you have been taking “Strong Pills” and you can crush a marble. Pick up one of the Garbled Marbles and crush it between your finger and thumb.

Science behind the Trick. This is another superabsorbent polymer that grows when water is added.

Trick #6. Disappearing Ink Test Tube Adventures #4420

Set Up. Take the bottle of Disappearing Ink and insert a pipette and draw it full of the “ink.” Squirt some on to your victim’s shirt and watch the dark blue ink spread. Exclaim that you are So Sorry and offer to pay to have it cleaned. Waiting a few minutes will allow the ink to evaporate and to disappear.

Science behind the Trick. This is a pH reaction and the “ink” disappears as it evaporates and reacts with the air.

Trick #7. The Lie Detector Squidy #7100

Set Up. Make up the Squidy according to directions. You will need a 1 liter bottle completely full of water. Drop Squidy inside and then cap the bottle. Tell your assistant that Squidy is really a basic lie detector that will sink to the bottom of the bottle each time he hears a lie. Ask a question that your assistant will answer honestly and let Squidy float on the top of the bottle. Ask another question that your assistant will answer dishonestly and when the answer is given, squeeze the bottle and watch Squidy sink. No one else will know you are squeezing the bottle.

Science behind the Trick. Squidy is actually a Cartesean diver (discovered by Rene Descartes) and works on air pressure. When you squeeze the bottle, it forces a little bit of air into the bulb inside Squidy and he sinks. When you let go, the air is let out and he rises.


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