The physics of the acts that claim to create objects in the mouth

Creating objects in the mouth is a common technique used by some to demonstrate that they have supernatural powers.

Such acts are debunked umpteen number of times, showing that these are nothing but carefully orchestrated magic. Such people keep the object in a hand-kerchief and on the pretext of wiping the mouth, take the object into them mouth. It is later taken out and demonstrated as if the person has created it in the mouth.

Even if we aren’t aware of the exact techniques, we can also examine such claims using our knowledge of physics. We all know the famous Einstein’s equation E = mc² where c is the speed of light (3 x 10⁸ m/sec). It says that energy and mass are equivalent. In other words, for a given mass, we can calculate the energy required to create that mass.

Let’s assume that the mass of the object created in the mouth of the performer is 1 gm. Usually, it is much more than 1 gm, but let’s consider 1 gm for sake of demonstration.

If an object of 1 gm mass is created in the mouth of the person, then the energy required as per E = mc² formula is:
= (1 x 10^-3) (9x 10¹⁶) J
= 9 x 10¹³ J
= 90 TJ

Creating 1 gm mass requires 90 TJ of energy.

To give a sense of scale, the energy released in Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear explosion is around 63 TJ and 85 TJ.

In other words, the person creating an object of 1 gm in the mouth has created more energy in the mouth than the energy that was created in Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear explosion. It’s obviously ridiculous.

Even high school children are familiar with the famous the E = mc² equation but it’s just a matter of application. The lesson is that knowing and applying simple physics can help cross check such claims.