Magic, the art of skillful deception, has been mesmerizing humans for centuries. For long many magicians have been tricking the world. However, so far only humans have reacted with shock and awe to these tricks. What about animals?
Humans rely mostly on their eyes for sensory input. Hence it is quite easy to simply fool the eyes. But animals are far better at receiving input via multiple sensors and it may be assumed that animals may not be so easy to be tricked with magic, but the truth couldn’t be more opposite. As the Inquisitr had earlier reported, dogs were subjected to some simple tricks of magic like making their snack disappear right before their eyes. Interestingly, majority of the “participants” merely showed disappointment about not getting the proverbial carrot that was dangled in front of them.
Though there is no guarantee that all animals can be deceived, almost every species is susceptible to illusions. However, do animals feel wonderment, awe, or sense that they are experiencing the impossible? The answer is rather tricky.
Magic is much more than deception. If somebody tricks you for no good reason, you may feel angry, sad or confused, whereas watching a high-quality professional magic show elicits wonder, mirth and appreciation instead. Confronted with the impossible, spectators of a magic show can’t help but laugh, as if the magician had just delivered the punch line to a good joke that they didn’t see coming.
Interestingly, magic that works on adults, generally doesn’t work on kids. This is because they are just getting to grasp the fundamentals of physics and having these laws shatter right before their eyes can be a traumatizing experience. However, they are deceived and that isn’t taken too kindly by a kid. Similarly, animals can be deceived, but they may not experience “magic.”
The videos of magician Jose Ahonen making dog treats disappear right in front of their sad puppy eyes provide anecdotal evidence to support the theory. Anthropomorphic interpretation of the dogs’ reactions seems to indicate that they fall somewhere along the confused-to-angry continuum.
A similar attempt was experimented on great apes and they showed a much wider range of emotions and responses, ranging from puzzlement to perhaps something close to delight. Though the video may not actually prove that animals can be delighted by deception, it shows that a trick done well, that is suited for the target audience, can enthrall and entertain, no matter what the species.
[Image Credit | YouTube]