When a performer like Criss Angel, David Copperfield or David Blaine wows us with “magic”, most of us know that there’s a logical explanation.   When the magician pulls an endless scarf out of his closed fist or a bird flies out of an apparently empty hat, it’s easy to accept that it’s a simple trick, a sleight of hand.  But when that magician appears to make the Statue of Liberty disappear, turns a Bentley into a Lamborghini, or rises into the air before our eyes, it’s a bit more difficult.  We know it couldn’t really have happened… don’t we?

Still, the debate rages.  After each new trick — and they are tricks — some people speculate about how it was done, while others poke holes in their theories and try to hold on to the illusion.  Eventually, the truth comes out, and it’s almost always disappointing.  When the “Masked Magician” came on the scene more than a decade ago, the hype said that he’d destroy magic forever.  Then, the proliferation of Internet forums made it even easier to learn magicians’ secrets.  But “magic” is still with us. Perhaps the greatest remaining mystery surrounding the magician’s trade is why it continues to fascinate when so much has been revealed.

Here are some of the great tricks that have dazzled us, caught us off guard, perhaps even made us wonder for a moment—and then turned out to have a simple, usually mechanical explanation.

#10. “The Floating Woman” Trick.

A magician asks his assistant to lay on a platform. Before the audience’s eyes, she raises into the air. He passes a hoop across her body to show that there are no supports.

Of course, there are supports, usually invisible wires. He works with the audience’s perception to make it appear as if the hoop passes over the woman’s entire body, but it’s an optical illusion.

#9. The “Levitating Man” Trick.

These guys are on city streets everywhere. It looks like they’re holding themselves up on a tiny pole. How are they doing that?

Well, the secret isn’t push-ups. They’ve actually got a little chair built into the “walking stick,” and shaggy clothes hide the secret.