An illusion in its simplest sense is a simple manipulation of one or more of your senses past the limits of the ability of your senses to measure or comprehend. Illusions can be visual, auditory, tactile, or a combination of senses. Many illusions have been developed through the observation of natural phenomena like echoes, echolocation, light properties, depth perception, and tactile manipulation.
Magical illusions were practiced by the most ancient of humans who may not have understood the science but could understand the effect of an illusion on fascinating an audience.
One of the most documented illusions in ancient history was the movement of chariots, stone horses, fire, and other materials in the temple of Zeus in Athens. The illusions were the work of an ancient engineer and were designed to keep people contributing to the god’s offerings.
Many modern illusions require special equipment and preparation in order to keep the audience involved and mystified during the performance. Common illusions include vanishing objects and people, changing one animal into another, moving an object from one place to another with one’s mind, levitation of objects, and mind reading.
Some of the most impressive illusions can be the result of hypnosis. A single person from the audience or the entire audience can be hypnotized and experience other worldly and physically impossible feats of magic. Hypnosis is a highly developed skill and is not to be attempted by an untrained person. A trained illusionist can use hypnotism safely for entertainment without producing any lasting mental or physical distress.
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