Fantastic Floating Orb

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This gravity-defying trick, developed by science expert Bob Pflugfelder (, is truly electrifying! Static electricity tranforms strands of tinsel into an orb that floats as if by magic. For best results, Bob says, try it on a dry day.

What you'll need

  • six strands of mylar tinsel (we used Brite Star brand)
  • PVC pipe (ours was 1 inch wide and 2 feet long; available at home improvement stores)
  • curly hair, wool sweater, or other fuzzy surface

How to play

  1. What to do: Hold the strands of tinsel together and knot them at one end, as shown.

  2. Measure 6 inches and tie a second knot. Use scissors to trim the excess tinsel on each end.

  3. Vigorously rub the PVC pipe against your hair or a wool sweater to build a static charge. Hold up the charged pipe and drop the tinsel over the end.

  4. The payoff: When the tinsel touches the wand, the static charge will make it expand into an orb and hover midair. By moving the wand, you can control the floating orb.

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