Levitating Street Performer

Kudos to Marcin Ciślak from Krakow for discovering this amusing street performer, and taking a photo of him and then sharing it with our community! After some debate, we’ve concluded how these guys manage to fool us with impression they’re able to levitate. It all started with Johan Lorbeer and Flying Yogi. Remember those guys? Most of you probably missed them, as we blogged about the trick long time ago. So, let’s repeat our findings. How does the trick, this guy in below performs, actually works? It’s obvious he couldn’t  support his own weight just by leaning on the vertical pole, right?

154 Replies to “Levitating Street Performer”

  1. There is a metal that is welded to the rod and passes through the sleeve of
    suit, the claims as if it were a chair

    1. it looks like a fake to me if u notice the chain in first pic looks like it is behind the stick in the secound pic u can see a metal cap on ground which is not in first pic also in second pic chain is magiclly gone

    2. He is sitting on a steel fabricated seat that is supported by the base under the rug. The seat support must run up the arm and down his side.

    3. i think that it has something to do with that stick and mat..
      and in the second pic the chain actully isn’t gone if u look in the left corner its still there

    4. Albert,the second picture is in a different view,and you can see it in the corner,and the metal cap is not in the first picture because it’s not the same view.

    5. I think the rug covers a steel plate. A rod welded to it runs up inside the stick, then horizontally up the man’s arm, down and is welded to a small plate just large enough for him to sit on. He’s balanced over the rug.

  2. The pole is welded to a bottom plate and he’s sitting on a cantilevered seat (cantilever up his sleeve).

    (Why else is the “carpet” so thick?)

  3. The arm is fake (possibly the whole person). If he is real then the arm is metal and attached to the pole.It then goes down to form a seat for him to sit on.

  4. I’ve seen this trick done before!
    The cane is connected the plate that looks like a rug. From where he hold on, a bar runs up his sleeve down his side to a small seat hidden under his clothing.

  5. It’s that pole. The whole gig (carpet, pole, platform under the guy’s butt) is attached in one piece. Also note how his center of balance is maintained by the positioning of the pole on the rug.

  6. There is only one place where he can be hiding the support… if you look, the sleeve is covering the connection to the upright post.

    The support going up the sleeve and (presumably)supporting his body. he square on the ground is to counterbalance the performer, making sure that he doesn’t fall over.

  7. the stick is firm to the ground so he can sit on a platform which is connected with his stick through the sleeve. there are many wanna-be-gods in india doing that trick…

  8. The chain IS IN both pic’s, My guess, The stick is Metal fixed to the plate on the ground, with an arm down his sleve to a seat hidden by his robes.

  9. Under the carpet is a heavy duty metal plate attached to the pole, which continues up under his arm, down his back, and forms a seat on which he sits (all as one piece). That is why they always wear loose fitting clothing, and you will always see some sort of carpet to hide the counter balance plate underneath.

  10. Can’t have anything to do with the chain – it’s in both pictures.

    My guess is that he has some sort of elaborate harness supported by the pole, and going up that rather voluminous sleeve, and around his body. It probly also incorporates a seat :)

  11. the pole is supported under the rug, then it goes in his sleave, connects to a platform to sit on. All he has to do is balance on that platform under his robe

  12. @Albert – The second pic is taken from about where the kid in blue is standing in the first pic. This means the metal cap would be just out of sight in the first pic, to the right of the pavement block that the right side of the carpet is almost touching. Of course this doesn’t mean it isn’t a fake! Only that the pictures don’t show it in the way you mean.

  13. Of course it has to do with the pole…

    Notice how it goes _into_ his sleeve? Then, I assume, along his arm and under his bottom (probably forming a small platform)?

    The only problem is the material, but I suppose a steel frame could support his weight without flexing.

  14. I think he is wearing a halter/jacket of some type with the support attached to the stick through his arm of his robe

  15. He is sitting there quite comfortable, on the platform that is grounded on the plate below the carpet and is fastened to the pole through his quite wavy garment – there is another perpendicular pole running through his sleeve.

  16. Not this again…there is a metal bar from the pole (obscured by robe) that is attached to small platform (also obscured by robes)that he is sitting on…old fakir trick!!

  17. LOL! I had to look it up, but apparently its a old age Indian trick with steel rods and a seat, all anchored into the ground and concealed through the clothing. Clever trick :)

  18. The pole actually goes into the ground or in this case for mobility is actually part of the plate that the rug covers, from there at the top were his hand and the sleeve covers up is a pole that extends out and then down to a seat. Its all metal, but looks like a wood staff. And the trick is in his clothing placement, the clothing covers up the seat and metal poles that all hook together. Simply sit on it put your clothes in the right spot to cover up everything and shazaam! instant levitation!

  19. Sitting on a seat which is attached via strong welding to the upright pole via the sleeve on his clothes. Turn up the sleeve and see the truth.

  20. the pole goes under his sleave and has a seat o to support his weight.. its all hidden by his clothes

  21. I am pretty sure that he is sitting on a sideways U shaped device with a steel rod running through the cane and connected to a metal plate that is covered by the rug. The top of the sideways U has a seat suspended from it which is covered by the clothing.

  22. The cane is a column holding the bottom platform and an upper platform attached to the cane through his arm

  23. There is a steel frame hidden under the carpet wich includes the “walking stick” and continues back down his sleeve to a seat that he sits on. The loose fitting clothes and carpet hide the frame for the chair.

  24. He’s sitting on a frame platform connected to the pole through his sleeve. So it doesn’t tip over,the pole is connected to a base that looks like a mat.

  25. There is a pipe that goes up his sleeve, down his side to a seat he is sitting on. Very well done but not that complex.

  26. The pole and the mat form a base which are joined with some sort of pole coming off at 90 degrees with some sort of swing seat off of that. All from top of cane under his robes?

  27. The pole has a metal arm that goes underneath his sleeve, and then bends and follows down his body to connect to a panel that he sits on, kind of like this: 7_ It’s a neat trick. You see them in all sorts of places, these guys.

  28. I think the guy has a support -from the stick, up his sleeve and down his robe…to kind of hook under him as a seat.

  29. i would guess that there is a system of framework from the carpet on the ground (some kind of metal plate) through the pole (a metal rod) connected to some kind of support framework hidden under his clothing…

    so he is sitting on a platform connected through the staff to a plate on the ground. his center of gravity is above the “carpet”

  30. Anyone else notice on the first pic, the chain is going into the kid’s leg?
    Also, the second pic, the fabric on his butt is flat against him, not hanging as it should if it was hovering.

  31. it’s an elaborate frame that he’s sitting on. the carpet is the base, and the pole is part of the frame, it continues up his sleeve, and forms a kind of chair frame that he sits in, all concealed under the stuff he’s wearing.

  32. Perhaps pole and the mat underneath are welded together and are actually very heavy – enough to support the person’s weight. And the arm we see holding the pole is a fake arm which is connected a supporting chair thingy which is hidden under the clothes. The person may be some kind of contortionist or just very small, they sit curled up on the chair making it appear as though they are levitating?

  33. is it a possibility he is using reverse magnetism? As hard as that would be to accomplish I think it could be possible. A magnet under the mat, one in his pants? Kinda far out lol

    1. Reverse magnetism???? LOL This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. I should know, too, because I have been a magician for 62 years and I learned this one when I was about 8 years old. The man simply has a metal brace that locks onto the pole. It runs up his sleeve and then forms a seat which he is sitting on. It would be fun to ask this guy to put his feet down and walk away. Again, this is one of the oldest street tricks of all. You can learn more about it by simply doing an Internet search. It never ceases to amaze me how people actually believe there is something supernatural involved with tricks like this or try to explain it with mirrors or magnets. Reverse magnetism???? That’s a new one!

    2. Theoretically, yes. But, in practice, a far distant “no”. Magnetism works best only at close distances and therefore, the strength of such a magnet to accomplish this illusion would have to be literally enormous so much so that the presence of such a large strength magnet would be evident on nearby magnetic objects like loose change, iron and even the chain surrounding the illusionist (assuming it is made of metal). I would also assume that such a magnetic would have a deleterious effect on the man’s health. Remaining stable would also be a problem.

    3. A magnet that strong is not very convenient in a crowded city street. Even then, it would still be impossible to maintain balance.

    4. @Bob- That explains why his robe thingy isn’t hanging down. You really have to look at the picture people!!!!!

  34. just like before i think it is a harness type setup attached to the staff then connected to a metal base(the mat).

    1. It’s a harness under his clothes made from carbon steel attached to his staff that is connected to the metal rug. Both items have been dressed up to look like something they are not. Pretty cool trick though lol

  35. My guess is that; under the mat is a metal support plate welded to the vertical rod (decorated to look like a cane), which is then attached to the seat upon which he is resting via a support rod that follows his arm under his clothing.
    He looks quite comfortable, which suggests that it is a custom made seat with supports to set his legs into.

    1. Hi Guys,
      Nelson got it in one. This is one of the oldest fakir tricks,well before the Indian Rope trick. The performer is meant to be in a trance, floating over the Holy words depicted on the mat. This is the reason for the mat, which cover a steel plate.
      Set up over night or I have seen this set up during the day under a “Holy” Shroud? which of course covers the set up.Very well done and is very convincing. Lots of enjoyment had by all.

    2. if you’re saying that he’s supported by a piece of metal going through his sleeve and attached to a seat, i’m a mechanical engineer, and to create such a relatively small piece of rod that is able to withstand such force and torque is very expensive. i’m sure a street performer like him can never afford it.

    3. I agree with most of you a metal rod welded on the ground plate through the sleeve. It’s all a matter of physics.

    4. This reply is actually to anis mouawad, who, when refuting that it was a metal plate to sit on, said “i’m a mechanical engineer”… Hope that isn’t your day job, or I might suggest looking into a new line of work.

  36. The pole is firmly set in the ground. it is also welded to a steel bar that goes up his sleeve. Inside his suit is either a platform he sits on or a harness.

  37. Very simple.

    There is a 90 degree pole running into his clothing up his arm. Then another bent pole heading down his coat and over under his buttocks, where there is a seat he is sitting on. It is still very hard to do.

  38. The Red Bulls really do give you wings! LOL

    Yup, I’m going with the harness idea – a plate disguised as a mat with a rigid rod extending perpendicular from it to which is attached a seat or what have you covered by his attire.

    Very clever and eye catching I’m sure. It would be cool to have one of these on one’s front porch.

  39. It’s obviously Charlie Sheen… He is after all, a wizard with tiger blood and Adonis DNA!! This would be so simple for him.

    1. Never!! This must be Chuck Norris holding his breath, or simply distancing himself from earthly things.

  40. My guess is that the sleeve covers a strong steel bar going behind him and below him that is holding him.

  41. I have seen this trick before. The pole is a steel rod.. where his hand is there is a seat connected to it and the pole is welded to a platform

  42. Well the only thing that is connecting him to the ground is the pole so lets start there. His clothes are extremely baggy so they can hide something like a thin seat. I think the cane has a bar going into his sleeve connected to a thin sheet of metal for a seat. That leaves how it is possible to balance like that. Well theres a carpet right under him thats about the same size so my bet is that under or in the carpet is another plate.

  43. well the sleeve of his arm that is holding the pole drapes down a lot. I guess that the support is hidden in there. Very clever once you think about it.

  44. I would guess that the pole has a seat on it, and the pole is attached at the bottom on the mat that is hiding a metal plate that is able to support him. this way he just crosses his legs and sits there. Just a guess he may very much be able to levitate.

  45. *********SPOILER***********

    He is sitting upon a platform, the support for which runs down his sleeve and become the cane that he holds, which is then connected to the carpet below. All these parts are made of metal, are welded together and are very sturdy.

    It really is an impressive thing to see in real life :)

    1. Well, actually, Red Bull helps temporarily restore wakefulness when experiencing fatigue or drowsiness.

  46. I’ve seen this person while settting up. It appeas that he has no harness what soever. Instead, it looks like he jusyt started to float, ?????

  47. Nelson, I think you have it pretty well figured out. I just don’t understand why someone would put themselves through such an ordeal though. You have to set up very early, then no movement, no water, certainly no Red Bulls, what goes in must come out, you know.
    Guess if someone was to nudge him in the direction of that ‘cane’, he would go over pretty quick. Center of gravity would pass that steel plate very soonly.

  48. hmmm.. my guess is also same as nelsons.. there is a metal or something that would support him.. it goes from the top of the rod underneath his arm and the goes down to his butt.. the carpet at the bottom would serve as the base for this unusual seat.. the carpet is somehow really tough..

  49. This one is much better than the previous one mentioned above. And yes, it is definitely a support system tied to the cane somehow.

  50. I find it interesting how so many people try to explain away the obvious with wild explanations. A simple calculation using the diameter and height of the pole and the distance of the performer from the pole and the weight of the performer yields a torque too high for the pole to support. The pole would bend or break.

    This really is levitation. At least that is the simplest explanation. Other explanations defy the laws of structural mechanics. (snork snork)(PS this is an example of satire)

    1. Thank You !!!! This is what i was trying to say … it’s close to impossible, unless u use titanium with very high density. and to acquire such a thing u have to be a lil more than just a street performer.

  51. It is an ancient fakir trick . The staff is connected to a wide base and , a bar goes form the staff through the sleeve of his outfit , Then he just sis on the chair that is set to accept Googling the ancient fakir levitation should show you the answer . I read of the scam when I was still in sbhool .

  52. I agree with Nelson, Mike, & Bill. He is setting on something that’s connected to a rod that’s going down his arm hid by his sleeve, then connected to his “Cane” which is attached to a plate setting under the rug. Very Elaborate Setup to make it look real.
    GREAT ILLUSION!!!!!!! LOVE IT!!!!!!!

  53. I think there’s a supporting construction in his sleeve, and through the pole under the mat is a metal plate or something… I see no kind of seat, maybe it’s attached to his back. But then it still is quite an accomplishment to keep sitting like that..

  54. the pole has an attachment that connects to his whole body so he is attached to the pole

  55. The cane,(which appears to be quite heavy) is attached to a metal plate under the carpet.This is all attached to some type of harness under the robe, which seems to be very loose and ill fitting………..:)

  56. i watched a video on youtube about how johann lorbeer did it, and its a bunch of metal bars supporting him under his clothes

  57. yesterday, if you looked out a window in my house you could see a fire hydrant. it appeared to be floating above it’s base yet (obviously) it wasn’t floating. i would’ve taken a photo but it’s to late now because it snowed.

  58. the staff he is holding onto is not a staff. The “staff” is actually a long metal rod which goes up his arm and down his side and forms a seat for him to sit on. That is why they always wear lose clothing to cover up the structure underneath.

  59. Tha Enjunears that rekon tha fizix dont hold up whit tha steel idea. musta went 2 tha same skool eye did. It’s invisable string, they are always sisuated ander some oblect. haw ha he he

  60. I think it’s like you say up here… it’s a type or harness on a metal base… that’s why you can see a rug under him…. that’s the metal base, and also he has a metal bar under his clothes that he can connect with the stick.

  61. My theorie:

    The carpet covers a plate, which is attached to the cane. From the cane, there is a strong construction going through his sleeve down to his lower back, which leads to a seat he’s sitting on.

  62. And the carpet beneath is not just a carpet, It should be heavy metal to balance the pole from flipping.

  63. He is sitting on a metal plate supported by angled metal bars hidden by his clothes, ultimately feeding down his sleeve to the bar he is resting his hand on.

  64. it’s a gear ^^ so simple and clever :-)


  65. what we have here ladies and gentlemen is some top class tips from the blueberry plant…ive done this a thousand times, on my way to work, while driving the busses at work, juggling chainsaws..now theres an illusion cos im sure not everyone sees what i see

  66. i was in krakow the day this picture was taken and saw this guy! its great to know the trick behind it because me and my friends were quite confused at the time…

  67. I just returned from Krakow and saw this street performer. I live in NYC and for the most part ignore street performers. Tis guy, as far as I am concerned was very unique and had a lot of people scratching their heads. The only logical explanation I could come up with is what cocky Bob explains above. I am still surprised though by the strength of the metal that must be supporting him. It can’t be very thick.

  68. You’re all dumb! Its obvious that the pole has a metal beam under the arm, hence the robes, then the pole goes around his legs and then he just needs a bit of strength. the ‘pole’ would be laminated metal and nailed, glued welded to the ‘carpet’ made of steel or wood. making the center of gravity over the mat, so you dont overbalance

    1. The staff is actually a steel pole attached to the steel mat covered to look like a carpet… a small seat comes off the pole through the robes to hide the seat. It’s a matter of counter balance.

    2. Why do you want to spread such hatred? Especially when you originally spelled “you’re” as “your”. I’m so sick of people like you. You don’t even know how to punctuate a sentence. I’m sorry you need to insult people to feel better about yourself. Such a sad, sad, lonely soul you must be. Oh, and pretty dumb.

  69. It’s quite simple actually. The pole is part of a bigger more complex body of metal probably consisting of: the base beneath the rug, the pole, amd something that continues the pole under the guy’s robe all the way to his ass (he’s sitting on it. So it’s pure physics and illusionistics.

  70. The illusion of physics. The staff is actually very hard metal, strong enough to support his body weight with out bending the pole. The Base under the rug is almost if not heavier than his body weight and There is a flat seat that attached to the pole in a shape that goes under his arm and under his ass sideways. his robe is covering those parts of the sitting part of the device. http://www.weirdasianews.com/2008/08/31/secret-behind-indian-guru-levitation-revealed/

  71. What!?!?!?! This looks so cool,but I know it can’t be possible! But…WOW! I still love what this guy is doing! Great stuff! Keep it UP! (hahahaha!) Excuse the PUN!!!

  72. Its possible, same as the construction of the Pyramids using levitating device to lift the limestone megablocks by the aliens who helped the humans built it. Peace.

  73. really theres a seat attached to the pole that goes under his arm right to his butt?? i thought he just put all his weight on the pole and he practiced since he was my age ( between seven and ten )

  74. The kid with the hoodie is the key. It is not a small child but the reincarnation of our Lord Jesus who has come back to save the Earth by making it look like other people can perform levitation tricks. He did David Blane too but wasn’t happy with him so made him perform boring “tricks” ever since as his punishment.

  75. Those who say it’s photoshop have obviously never been to Europe or a major city. There street performers everywhere doing things like this. It’s not photoshop. It’s still a trick, but it’s not photoshop. Not everything in life has been photoshopped!

  76. A metal bar going through the clothes and into the mat could allow him to float… Well the mat and baggy clothes are constantly used. Could hide a metal lift. Just a theory!

  77. Can anyone make me one of these illusions? if not does anyone know where I can buy one?

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