Is the Hand Quicker than the Eye?

Published: 12th October 2009
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It's widely believed throughout the world that magicians perform many of their tricks by moving their hand so fast that the naked eye can't see what happened. A great trick happens and people say, 'The hand is quicker than the eye." But is this true? Is the hand really quicker than the eye?

The entire notion of a magician's hand being so fast that nobody can see it move is a fantastic thing. It adds to the show. That's why magicians let people believe it's possible. It's make the magician even greater and it also adds to the show. But, there is no such thing as the hand being quicker than the eye.

If you don't believe it, then try to train yourself. Try to move something a very short distance. For example, try to move a coin just a half inch without it being seen. Practice it for months or even years. What you will find is that your hand doesn't get any faster and if it does, it still won't be nearly as fast as too appear invisible to the eye.

Magicians are able to perform tricks and move things by using their movements in a way that the audience's eyes are distracted and looking somewhere else when the object gets moved. The human eye will inadvertently move toward certain stimuli without people even realizing it. Magicians know this and they perform such movements in order to distract the audience.

So, is the hand quicker than the eye? No it's not. But a magician or anyone can cause a person's eyes to be distracted so that objects can be moved without the audience realizing it. Certainly that isn't quite as exciting as the notion that the hand can be so fast, and that's the exact reason why magicians continue to let people believe that the hand is quicker than the eye.

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