The rubber band illusion


Tickets for the next Edinburgh Secret Society event go on sale at 10 a.m. today.  Details here.

The other day I made this little video showing the rubber band illusion……

Can you figure it out?  Please do not post your solution but feel free to say if you have solved it!


53 comments on “The rubber band illusion

  1. Margaret says:

    Yep, I think I solved it straight away.

  2. Michael says:

    Where, quite, is the illusion? Are we to believe everyone and everything we see?

    • Michael says:

      So I decided to believe that Sarah is not an accomplice in a cheap production and that we did see a “genuine” magic trick. That of course leaves the magician to lie, as always 😉

      Taking into account topology, the properties of a rubber band, and Richard’s theatrics, I figured it out. The book site confirmed my suspicion.

  3. Hilary says:

    Ditto here. Now I’ll go check to make sure. 😉

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by quelet and Miquel Duran, Andrea Daly. Andrea Daly said: The rubber band illusion #RichardWiseman […]

  5. Superdave says:

    I can think of two methods, but one involves the band being stretchy enough to climb through! For a moment I thought you were going to perform ‘crazy mans handcuffs’ – a lovely and simple illusion.

  6. Robert says:

    I figured it out, but for some reason I doubted I was right

  7. Margaret says:

    Just watched the explanation, and yep, I was right. 🙂

  8. FlorayG says:

    Make no assumptions…actually I did make one and I was right. This is easy if you ‘think outside the box’

  9. Paul Durrant says:

    I immediately thought of one easy way for this to be done. I’ll check the site….

    Yes, I was right. Whew!

  10. Emlyn says:

    It took me a couple of minutes thinking about it, you just have to not make any assumptions about what you see. It took me longer than that to find the video solution to check I was right…

  11. Kevin Simpson says:

    I have finally solved the trick. After studying the sleight of hand the trick is in reality done by magic.

  12. Lindamp says:

    Huh? I can’t see where the answer is on the website, so I can’t check if I’m right.

  13. GeneralJumbo says:

    Is the mystery where did the gnarled prof get such a cute accomplice from?

  14. Jim Cliff says:

    I definitely have one way of doing it, but who knows if it’s the way you did it?

  15. Stephen says:

    Yes, I solved the problem with my first thought, and the video explanation on the Amazon website confirmed it. I have seen both Derren Brown and Peter Clifford do similar illusions. The fun is both in the experience and the guessing!

  16. Juan says:

    Yes, I got it. I think this is as easy like funny. 🙂

  17. Pedro says:

    Putting aside the feasible way, there’s a way to do it with one elastic band, a very very elastic one. Imagine the adequate emoticon here. Well, in fact there are two.

  18. Flea says:

    I have one solution. But I wonder if it’s also yours. In the words “If at any point I release your thumb…” is where I found the clue to the mystery. Am I right?

    (@GeneralDumbo: That is not a mystery but an amazing singularity beyond human understanding)

  19. Bob says:

    @GeneralJumbo makes an excellent point

  20. Alex says:

    I did figure it out and confirmed it on the Amazon site, but I had to think about it for a bit.

    Hint: the rubber band is not extra stretchy.

  21. Gordon says:

    Sorry, couldn’t take my eyes off Sarah. Something about a rubber band?

  22. Tom says:

    Where is this video explanation on the Amazon website that some of you are talking about

  23. Lazy T says:

    I guessed correctly, then I found a rubber band on MY thumb, I can honestly say that the prof has never let go of my thumb either so how did he do that?

  24. Martha says:

    Ah, I see the Secret Society thing is SOLD OUT! Perhaps because Sarah’s going? 🙂

  25. Jon D says:

    First attempt at working it out required sarah to be an identical twin and richard to have 3 arms… second attempt at working it out and I came up with the right answer. 🙂

  26. Engywuck says:

    Got an explanation right away.
    May have seen this before.

  27. […] The rubber band illusion Tickets for the next Edinburgh Secret Society event go on sale at 10 a.m. today.  Details here. […]

  28. Pribi says:

    Figured it out. Nice illusion.

  29. vodkaanimal says:

    Can we expect a “rude” version of this video?

  30. JJ says:

    Sarah is rather attractive. That is all.

  31. Geoff Coupe says:

    Easy. No rubber bands were harmed in the making of this illusion.

  32. MickeyD says:

    think I found the answer!

  33. M says:

    I know how I’d do it.

  34. Stu says:

    I know how I would do the trick. Now I’m just wondering if Richard did it the same way.

  35. Tom says:

    Do we get the solution?

  36. Sally says:

    I have a solution.

  37. Rex says:

    Is this a joke… ?

  38. PaulJ says:

    I don’t think this would have worked if the prof had begun with the conjurer’s classic disclaimer: “There’s nothing…[REMAINDER REDACTED]”

  39. Krisuz says:

    How can this be called a trick if we get a blank screen for a couple of seconds? We are only taking his word for it that he didn’t let go of her thumb.

  40. rmb says:

    I have no idea how this trick was performed. But if I have to do similar trick, I would use two similar rubber bands.

  41. wisp says:

    Got it. It’s pretty cool. I’ll do it myself.

    • wisp says:

      By the way, i think it’s cooler when you don’t have to lie. When i perform my tricks i never lie, and the effect is still awesome. And i could do this one without lying too.

  42. jackjak says:

    this always do with a hanger-chief but i just see a new way to do it

  43. Peter Gfader says:

    Is the rubber band on her wrist a different one that you were holding before in your hand? 😉

  44. Tom Crull says:

    I’m angry, I bought the book and still don’t know.

  45. Tom Crull says:

    dawn rises on marble head. I got it.

  46. John says:

    The video is not available! 🙂

    Any chance to view it somewhere else?

    Thank you!

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