New from Richard Wiseman: The Skull!


Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. I figured the skull had to be further back, but didn’t really guess how he got it to turn or vanish. But at least I didn’t get completely taken in like I did by the colour changing card trick.

  2. If you watch really carefully a bunch of times, you can see the skull disappear behind him rather than behind the red handkerchief. I think if he held the cloth in front of the skull and then slid sideways behind it, you wouldn’t even be able to see that. I bet this is the kind of thing good magicians pick up on the 1st time. (Warning to the Uri Gellers of the world.)

  3. Knowing how it is done, you can see:

    a) a tiny bit of white skull momentarily appearing between *his* right leg and the edge of the table;

    b) a shadow on the radiator and door as the skull is moved.

    You can only see the (a) in windowed mode on my machine. In full screen the bottom of the video gets cropped.

    Nice one though. I like how he leads with the handkerchief so that it obscure the skull before his body would given the fact it’s really behind him.

  4. did anyone else notice that in the first half he says: “…if you cover it up, even for a second, it completely disappears…” but in the second half he only says “…if you cover it up it completely disappears…”?

  5. @Frankiemouse: Yikes, the 2nd part was faked! He really did make it disappear in the 1st part!

    (I think they only used one camera, which they moved between takes, and he messed up the narration the second time through.)

  6. Magic is the only example I can think of where I find that I am pleased at being made to feel embarrassed for how easily I am fooled. As a science nerd, I’m ashamed to say how long it took me to realize how important magic is to skepticism. They’re like peas and carrots!

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