DIY science tricks and illusions even MacGyver would be proud of (video)

29 Aug 2015

Fans of the iconic '80s TV show will remember that MacGyver did the impossible with just a penknife - with a few household materials you can unleash your inner MacGyver

Every one of us is a magician, we just forgot how. Life will do that to you, but reawaken your inner scientist or wizard with these amazingly simple DIY science tricks and illusions.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing,” George Bernard Shaw famously remarked, and it is so true.

The YouTube find of the week has to be the amazing Brusspup page, which is chockful of illusions that aren’t illusions, just nature taking its course using simple materials like pencils, paper, liquids, pieces of wire, some glue and glass tumblers.

Remember, if you are a kid reading this only attempt these tricks with adult supervision.

If you are an adult – and old enough to remember MacGyver – just be careful, okay?

10 amazing science tricks using liquid

Depending on where you are – and hopefully the sun is shining – here are 10 amazing tricks involving liquid that would relieve boredom on a rainy day. For example, create an amazing slow-motion ball using honey, a no-leak magic bag using pencils, create a bottle that becomes invisible under water or create liquid that can dance using corn starch, some water and a speaker.

Giant dry ice bubble experiment

My favourite. Take some dish detergent, glycerine, distilled water, a large bowl, a big glob of dry ice and a piece of cloth and prepare to be amazed. Follow the instructions, stand back and enjoy the show.

Rolling illusion toy

Simple to make but the illusion can be stunning. Just take a few Styrofoam rings, some sandpaper and glue – and you can create a rolling toy that is irresistible to watch. Add some UV paint and the effect is amazing.

Glowing liquid

Did you know you can make tonic glow in the dark? Tonic contains quinine and if you add a black light it will glow in the dark, so create amazing spectacles with glow in the dark ice-cubes or make all kinds of decorative shapes. Could be ideal for that long-planned house party!

Crazy wire illusion

This is one of the simplest yet most effective illusions. Just take two coiled wires – they are in most click pens – wind them together and be amazed.

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note – because sometimes the lighter side of STEM should be taken seriously, too.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years