The Disappearing Spot

This trick is similar to the first illusion Houdini ever learned. The audience initially sees an ink spot on both sides of the non-lighting side of a paper match. Then the magician blows on the match, and Ta! Da! the spot disappears from both sides. This trick involves quick fingers often called "sleight of hand" or "prestidigitation." How is it done? The magician makes two motions. One motion is large: the wrist of the hand holding the match turns back and forth apparently showing the observer the spot on both sides of the match. The second is very small: at the same time the wrist is rotating, the magician rubs together the thumb and index fingers together so that the match flips over. When done correctly, the audience sees the same marked side of the match although it appears to be seeing both sides. After blowing on the match, the same motions are made showing the same unmarked side. Needless to say, the magician doesn't let anyone inspect the match too closely.





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