Make a pyrex dish disappear using physics!

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A coincidence of science allows you to make a pyrex dish disappear completely with just a bottle full of vegetable oil. See a pyrex test tube completely disappear before your eyes!

As the old saying goes, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Sometimes that technology is nothing more than pyrex and a little knowledge about optics. In order to pull of the disappearing act, all that's needed is a little pyrex dish, a larger bowl to dip it into, and enough oil to fill both dishes. Hide the smaller bowl in the larger one, and pour the oil on top of both of them, filling them both with oil and covering the smaller dish.

That's it. That's the trick. Don't believe me? Take a look at someone dipping a test tube filled with oil into a bowl filled with oil.


When light moves from one medium to another, it generally bends slightly. This is because the properties of the media allow light to move through them at different speeds. When light hits the change in media at an angle, one side of it moves faster than the other. This is like planting one foot and moving the other - you'll twist around. The light does the same. People can see window glass and clear water mostly because light distorts between the glass or water, and the air. People can also see the distortions between the pyrex and the air. By coincidence, though, there is no difference in the speed of light through vegetable oil and through pyrex. No distortions, and no tinting to the pyrex, mean that no one can see the difference between them. Surrounded by oil - the pyrex disappears.

Find more demonstrations of the trick here.