Paradoxes of Size: A Treatise on Geometric Vanishes

Geometric Vanishes 3DGeometry is one of the most rational human pursuits, but it can also be used to create amazing theatrical magic.

This forthcoming booklet discusses magic tricks based on geometric vanishes or Missing Square Puzzle. There are two types of vanishes: the Tangram Paradox and the Curry Paradox.

There are two types of geometric vanishes that can be used by magicians: the Tangram Paradox and the Curry Paradox, each based on a different mathematical principle.

Tangram Paradox

Geometrical Vanishes - Tangram ParadoxTangram is an old Chinese puzzle which purpose is to compose lifelike images using seven geometrical tiles. An apparent paradox occurs when two equal shapes are created using all seven tiles, but one is smaller than the other.

A magical implementation of the Tangram paradox in magic is Paradox by Mitsonubu Matsuyama.

Curry Paradox

CurryTriangleThe Curry Paradox is similar to the Tangram paradox but in this puzzle, the pieces don’t have the same angles. You can create a shape that seemingly has a smaller area, using the same pieces.

Winston Freer developed a magic trick based on the Curry Paradox where a square vanishes three times.

Geometric Vanishes Magic Tricks

Watch these videos with performances based on the Tangram and Curry paradoxes.

Geometric Vanishes Websites

Mariano Tomatis (2011). Curse of the crystal skulls and other vanishing area puzzles.

Gianni A. Sarcone & Marie-Jo Waeber, Puzzles to make: The amazing TangraMagic puzzle. Archimedes’ Laboratory.

Mathematics Bibliography

Magic Trick Bibliography

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