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What is the Fushigi Magic Gravity Ball?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

You may have seen television commercials advertising the Fushigi Magic Gravity ball and wondered what it is and how it works. In the commercials, the ball appears to defy gravity; rolling up a person's arm, levitating, and staying suspended in midair. The Fushigi ball is, of course, not really magic, but everything you see in those commercials is real. It is a striking optical illusion created by a very skilled performer.

The Fushigi Magic Gravity ball is an acrylic contact juggling ball. The artform of contact ball juggling is relatively new but has exploded in popularity in recent years. Contact ball jugglers use ordinary balls like the Fushigi to create complex juggling routines. Unlike regular juggling, the balls remain in contact with the body at all times and are not thrown into the air. Also, unlike standard leather, rubber, or silicone juggling balls, the balls used in contact ball juggling are perfectly round, clear or reflective, and made out of a hard, non-porous material. Acrylic contact juggling balls like the Fushigi are the most common since the material is lightweight, durable, and inexpensive unlike glass or crystal.

Although the Fushigi is advertised as a "Magic Gravity Ball," there is actually not really anything special about it. It is not much different from normal acrylic contact juggling balls; the only real difference is that the Fushigi is designed as a "ball within a ball." There is a small reflective ball inside of a hollow clear acrylic sphere. This design does not cause the "lens" effect common with many clear acrylic contact juggling balls and can make some of the illusions easier to achieve.

Don't let the commercials fool you, the Fushigi ball will not do any tricks on its own! Manipulation of a Fushigi ball to create the complex illusions seen in the commercials will take some practice. Fushigi states on their website that all of the performers on their commercials are trained contact ball jugglers. However, don't let that discourage you from purchasing a Fushigi or other acrylic contact juggling ball if you are interested in learning the artform. Fushigi offers a tutorial DVD with their balls and states that many basic maneuvers can be learned within a week or even within minutes. In addition, many contact ball juggling tutorial videos can be found on sites such as YouTube.


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Comments

Jul 13, 2010 7:07pm
Travis_Aitch
Great article! I always wondered what those Fushigi balls were...glad you wrote this! Thumbs up!
Jul 13, 2010 7:37pm
JCriz
Thanks Travis! I saw the commercial and wondered what it was, so I googled it. I figured while I was researching it anyway I may as well write an article or two about it.
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