So I clicked on the link because I’m kind of curious to find out how they do it, and I got this:
The website is temporarily unable to service your request as it exceeded resource limit.
Please try again later.
And now I’m starting to think maybe I don’t want to know how they do it. The flood of traffic saved me from myself!
You don’t think the OP’s carefully chosen photo showing a suspiciously bulky shirt sleeve is clue enough?
Awww, no need to be such a skeptic. Can’t we all just agree it’s MAGIC and move on?
I get how they do it, and have always thought it was sort of obvious, but what I want to know is how they manage to set up or dismount their display in a busy location without giving away the trick.
The top guy is full of helium right?
Rampant speculation: I think the key is that it is a busy location. If they can set up in less than a few minutes, anybody who would have seen them set up is out of sight within a few minutes, and at that point they just have to sit in one place all day. When it’s time to leave, same deal. Probably best to not bogart the same spot day after day, and the face coverings help too.
Google cache if you wanna spoil the fun - http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:QfNxbBpFBtcJ:www.relativelyinteresting.com/how-do-levitating-street-performers-work/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
Yeah, I have wondered about that. Seems kind of related to the walk of shame.
same here. i was also curious about them being so quiet – and then i realized that it’s because it’s a PHOTO, and not VIDEO. another mystery solved!
Well, the good thing about these dudes is they can’t assault you trying to force donations for taking photos. They are kind of stuck. (I suppose they could get assistants to do that, but they are already splitting the take 2 ways.)
Wait. They get donations? People give these guys money? For just sitting there?
Who do they think they are, Congress?
Yeah, but at least these guys don’t do anything, as opposed to your congressmen who are actively voting against your interests in favor of corporations and wealthy PACs and private donors.
I’ve known about the trick for awhile. I’ve been more curious about the conflation between these guys being religious yogis and street performers with a gimmic. Is/was there a genuine religious-based perception of these fellows or have folks always viewed them as just performers? Did the west apply the ‘mystic’ label just because of the robes?
EDIT: 4 days later I notice a bad iPhone autocorrect and I am compulsively fixing it. (Was “crowed”, is now “viewed.”)
People describing themselves as “Yogis” or “Gurus” have been documented performing this trick at least as far back as 1884. It appears to have originated in India before becoming a standard street performer trick in the West. One well-publicized account from 1936 is described here:
Of course since Yoga isn’t really a hierarchical organization (like, say, Catholicism) there’s no way to definitively say who is or isn’t a “real” Yogi.
Wouldn’t a more accurate headline be “the engineering secrets of levitating street performers”?
They do give away the trick, but only to those passing by while they set up and tear down the scam. None of those people are going to ooh and ahh, but if you stick around, the rest of them might.
Reminds me of my favourite scam: send newsletters to 4096 predicting “the game” half in favour of A, but half for B. Take the 2048 winners and repeat, then with the winning group of 1024, and 512, etc. In the end, you’ve got 128 people who received your newsletter predicting five wins in a row. How much will they pay for the next newsletter guaranteeing a win?
People are fools, but only if you have enough of them. Individuals are fools only when you’ve had enough of them. Happens to us all.
I’ve seen them use a kind of tent, sort of thing you’d use to get changed beneath.
Also, there is usually an assistant nearby making sure no-one lifts the rug or gets to close, the “yogi” is pretty vulnerable being stuck in his position after all
Sure there is. The real ones can levitate. Duh!