6 Amazing Mind Tricks to Play on Your Friends

Updated on February 23, 2017
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Marc Hubs is a writer/researcher on the mind, science, psychology/psychiatry, metaphysics & consciousness. Author of Reflections Of NPD.

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The ways that human psychology, physiology and subjective behavior works is fascinating and offers some intriguing principles which can be a lot of fun to play with.

If you don't believe me, consider how magicians and illusionists entertain their audience by fooling their audience's perception thereby making it seem like the impossible is happening. We know we've been fooled but rather than think critically about it and try to work out the logic behind how it was achieved, we are entertained and amused by it and we allow ourselves to be fooled by it for the sake of entertainment.

Mentalists, hypnotists and psychological illusionists take things a step further and trick the mind by using a combination of psychology, physiology, suggestion and logic. By utilizing these principles, there are a small variety of "mind tricks" which can be carried out very easily on your family and friends which can be a lot of fun to play with for all those involved.

Here are some of the easier mind tricks to carry out. Some you can carry out alone, others require at least one other person. These tricks can be good fun to test with your family and friends.

1. Sticky Fingers

This one can be done alone, or with another person. First, you need to clasp your hands together. Not together as though you are praying but interlock your fingers and bend them, as though you would if you were holding someone's hand. You then put your two index fingers (forefingers) out straight, leaving a small gap between them (so they are not touching) whilst keeping your hands clasped together and the rest of your fingers interlocked.

Usually, what you'll find after just a few seconds is that your index fingers will slowly start closing in on each other until eventually they touch. This is an automatic response and can only be avoided by purposely making the effort which is actually more difficult than you would expect. When asking another person to do this , you can pretend to tie an invisible piece of string around their index fingers thereby giving them the illusion that you are doing it. The principle behind how this trick works is ideomotor movement (or ideomotion).

2. The Pendulum

Another simple mind trick based on ideomotion is the pendulum. You can make a pendulum by tying a coin or a key to a piece of string. One common myth is that the gender of an unborn child can be predicted by swinging a pendulum above a pregnant mother's womb. Obviously, such a technique would be useless in recent times (even if it did work) due to the fact that we can now do this with ultrasound anyway.

Another popular trick with the pendulum is to assign "yes" to clockwise and "no" to anti-clockwise and then ask the pendulum questions. Of course, all the movements are a result of ideomotion and are carried out subconsciously but this very same principle could in fact be used to turn the pendulum into a lie detector!

Simply ask your friend or family member to hold the pendulum and ask them a question but to only answer in their mind. If they hold that answer in their mind, the pendulum will usually begin to rotate either clockwise or anti-clockwise based on their answer. They are actually moving the pendulum themselves, they just don't consciously realize it. Real lie detectors (polygraph machines) work in a similar way.

Optical Illusion
Optical Illusion

3. Visions Of Jesus

This one's a pretty cool optical illusion that you can try alone and then try with all your friends. It's also one well worth experiencing.

To see this optical illusion, you need the image to the right. Notice that there is a line of dots near the middle of the image. What you need to do is focus on and stare at those three dots for between thirty to sixty seconds non-stop.

Once you're done staring at the dots, close your eyes and put your head back making sure to keep your eyes firmly shut (but don't strain them tight).

Within a few seconds, Jesus will miraculously appear right in front of you! The longer you keep your eyes shut, the more pronounced and detailed the image should become until it eventually begins to fade away.

4. Sinking Into The Floor

Get your friend to lie face down on the floor with their arms stretched out in front of them. They should remain completely relaxed. You then lift their forearms up to about your waist level and hold them there for between thirty to sixty seconds.

After that, you slowly begin to lower their arms towards the floor which then makes them feel like they are literally free-falling straight through the floor. The other person will usually call out just before they think they're going to hit the floor!

5. Mind-Reading (1)

The "carrot" trick is quite a popular and effective one but don't question why or how it works. It just does! Write down the word "carrot" on a piece of paper. Give it to your friend but tell them not to look at it... yet. Let them hold on to it so they know there's no cheating going on.

Next, ask them "what's 1+1?" and wait for them to answer. Ask "what's 2+2?" and wait for them to answer. Keep going until you get to 8+8? After they answer, ask them to name a vegetable. 90% of the time they will think of a carrot and voila, your answer is already there on the piece of paper you gave them!

6. Mind-Reading (2)

This is quite a popular one. Get someone to think of a number between one and ten. Once they've selected, tell them to multiply that number by nine. If they are then thinking of a number with two digits, tell them to add those two digits together. Then tell them to subtract five.

Next, tell them to assign a letter of the alphabet to that number where A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. Tell them to think of a country beginning with that letter, then to think of an animal using the second letter of the country they are thinking of. Then tell them to think of the color of that animal.

You then tell them that they're thinking of a grey elephant from Denmark (which is usually the case, although smarter people can come up with answers which are a little more imaginative on the rare occasion).

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Sparkster Publishing


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      • profile image

        Ava 6 weeks ago


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        Elisha Thompson 6 weeks ago

        So cool

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        Purple 7 weeks ago

        Jesus trick was ok but the carrot one was the best

      • Stephen Austen profile image

        Stephen Austen 7 weeks ago from Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada

        This is a great little article, Sparkster; the Jesus image is excellent, and I was amazed by N0 6 Mind Reading. I did this one on my own, first writing down number 7. I did the calculations exactly as described, writing everything down first. I got number 63, then 9, then 4 following your directions. I then wrote down the letter D. Then Elephant. then Grey. I had exactly what you predicted, a Grey Elephant from Denmark! I must try this out on someone!

      • profile image

        hanzonyejegbu@yahoo.com 7 weeks ago

        cabbage what did you do to me?

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        yellow 7 weeks ago

        the jesus trick was cool and before i read this my friend showed me the falling one at school

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        Ethan 8 weeks ago

        the Jesus trick is awesome

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        Emily 8 weeks ago

        This is so cool my friend was clueless

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        Arion 2 months ago

        Jesus trick is cool

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        noice dude 3 months ago

        As stated above

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        Julia 3 months ago

        I loved the Jesus trick

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        bob 4 months ago

        this was amazing

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        Animal jam fan!!! 4 months ago


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        Chloe 4 months ago

        Ausome tricks

        I'm gonna try the carrot one

      • profile image

        4 months ago



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        landon 4 months ago

        the carrot one did not work for me. Cabbage was the vegetable. My friends are smart.

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        COOL GIRL 5 months ago

        Nice trick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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        Dan 5 months ago

        Great post!

      • profile image

        Tamara Yancosky 8 months ago


        You mean, where am I? Or, were you asking someone else? Sorry I am late answering this. My email for this account was down, so I didn't know.


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        cutie pie 8 months ago

        that was amasing

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        momina noor 8 months ago

        nice tricks

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        Lyssa 8 months ago

        The last one has never worked on me because in school they made us memorize all the countries of Africa and I have Dijibouti permanently stuck in my mind. Green iguanas are not the same as grey elephants!

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        Lololol 8 months ago

        The elephant one didn't work for me

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        Tamara Moore 9 months ago

        These are cool! I wish I was better at playing tricks, but it's just one reason why I cannot play Poker...

      • sparkster profile image

        Sparkster Publishing 9 months ago from United Kingdom

        It doesn't work on everyone but about 75% of people usually think of a carrot, at least in the UK they do. Where in the world are you? I'm wondering if location makes a difference.

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        jolly 9 months ago

        carrot trick is not working ..

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 11 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Sparkster.....Clever tricks that sound like fun! I'm looking forward to trying them out with some friends! Always a good idea to bring along some entertainment!

        BRAVO to you for deleting a nasty comment and informing the person what a jerk they are! I will not tolerate that nonsense on my site either! TROLLS need to know they are not wanted on HP!!!

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        Tamara Moore 11 months ago

        Thank you, Sparkster, for helping to defend us against these abusers; I became very much fed-up with the one who kept showing up on my HubPages commenting about how "it is the victim's faults for making such bad choices". I tried to explain to him, over and over, that with Covert Abuse, we cannot see who they really are until it is too late. But, the abusive commenter merely side-stepped my explanations, and continued on with his relentless comments.

        I finally told him that no more of his comments would be approved until he got more educated on Covert Narcissists and Sociopaths. He believed he was quite "dashing".


      • sparkster profile image

        Sparkster Publishing 11 months ago from United Kingdom

        Dear Mr D.Rage,

        Abuse will not be tolerated on my articles. Your comment has been denied. Please go play your childish games somewhere else and pick on someone your own size, or at least go and seek psychiatric help for your mental health problems.

        Your IP address has been logged.

        Thank you.

        * the comment was targeted at you Tamara and you Chitrangada *

      • profile image

        Tamara Moore 12 months ago

        Wow! Ha Ha...

      • sparkster profile image

        Sparkster Publishing 24 months ago from United Kingdom

        The elephant trick is a pretty common one.

        There are quite a few mind tricks like this that can be a lot of fun, some of them are a bit more extreme though. I'm thinking of writing an article about the more extreme ones.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Very nice mind tricks and it is so thoughtful of you to write a hub about it. We do play some of them with friends and family but it would be easier to remember them if written like this.

        Enjoyed going through your hub. Thank you for sharing!

      • livetech profile image

        Livetech 2 years ago from United Kingdom

        Nice tricks. I've had someone do the grey elephant one to me before... now it's time for me to have a go!