Extreme Science: Magic Soup Cans - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Extreme Science: Magic Soup Cans

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Magic Soup Cans

What you will need:

  1. Two (2) empty soup cans, one slightly larger than the other
  2. Small object that you can make “appear” (must fit inside your small container)
  3. Film canister or other small container
  4. Can opener
  5. Paper clip
  6. Sandpaper
  7. File
  8. Tape
  9. Adult supervision

Procedure:

1) Have your parents help you to remove the top and bottom from the two soup cans. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you have an adult use a file and/or sandpaper to smooth the edges inside the cans on BOTH ENDS where the top and bottom were removed. Removing the top and bottom will leave sharp edges that MUST be smoothed out to prevent injury. After edges have been smoothed out, make sure to clean both cans with soap and water.

2) Bend your paperclip as shown below and attach it to your small container with tape as shown.

3) Place your object that you want to make “appear” into the small container and hang the container inside the smaller soup can so that it is not visible to your audience. Make sure that the paper clip is hanging over the back of the can that is closest to you.

Make sure that your audience cannot see down into the cans. Before they arrive, place your object that you want to make appear into the small container and hang it inside the smaller soup can using the paper clip. Make sure that the paper clip is hanging on the back of the soup can (the side that is closest to you) so that your audience cannot see the paperclip.

Performing your magic trick:

1. Pick up the larger can and show your audience that it is completely empty. Give it to an audience member and have them put their hand through it to make sure that it is completely empty. Set it back on your table.

2. Pick up your smaller can and say “as you will see, this can is smaller than the first can” while you place the smaller can inside the larger can. As you do this, make sure that the paperclip hooks over the edge of the larger can. Now pick up the larger can (with the container hooked inside of it) and lift it off of the smaller can. Set the larger can on the table next to the smaller can.

3. Pick up the smaller can and hand it to an audience member and have them verify that it is also empty. They can run their hand through it as well. When they give it back to you, place it on the table next to the larger can.

4. Pick up the larger can (with your hidden object in the container inside of it) and place it over the smaller can. While doing this, I like to make sure that one of my fingers is holding the paper clip down so that the container doesn’t “pop up” if it catches on the other can.

5. wave your hand over the cans and say a magic word or two, then reach in and pull out your hidden object from the small container. Again, it is a good idea to rest one of your fingers over the paperclip to make sure that your container does not lift up and become visible to your audience when revealing your hidden object.

What is going on?

As with ALL magic tricks, we use science to perform magic. This is why they are called tricks or illusions. This is just an optical illusion as the paperclip blends in with the can and is barely visible. You will also be using what is called “sleight of hand.” Magicians are professional illusionists and the more you practice, the better you will be at pulling off any magic trick you do. Make sure to take time to practice, practice, practice before trying this or any other trick on your audience.

- Radical Rick, Extreme Science

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