Inside the Magic 8 Ball

Filed under: Magic 8 Ball - 16 Oct 2012  | Spread the word !

The popular fortune telling toy known as the Magic 8 Ball has always fascinated people with its accurate or not so accurate answers. Whenever a yes/no question pops into your mind, you can use it to look for answers. Its predictions may not always be what you want them to, but with the Magic 8 Ball, it’s just like flipping a coin: it will not settle the question for you, but in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for.

Nevertheless, the Magic 8 Ball can still be very fun, especially if you use it when hanging out with friends and asking it all the questions that come to mind. But have you ever wondered what’s inside the Magic 8 Ball and how does it work? Well, it is about time you find out.

  • On the outside

The outer shell of the Magic 8 Ball is a hollow plastic sphere that resembles an oversized black and white 8-ball. Everyone is familiar with the “wisdom” that it generates by means of affirmative, negative or non-committal answers.

  • On the inside

When cracking a Magic 8 Ball, you will find inside it a cylindrical reservoir containing a white, plastic, icosahedral die floating in alcohol with dissolved dark blue dye. So that’s the blue fluid inside it!

This portable oracle has a simplistic construction, each of the 20 faces of the die having an affirmative, negative or non-committal statement printed on it in raised letters. Through the transparent window on the bottom of the Magic 8 Ball people can red those messages.

When using the Magic 8 Ball, you must held it with the window initially facing down. After “asking” it the desired yes/no question, you must shake it and then turn it so that the window faces up. Therefore, the liquid and die inside are set in motion.

When the die floats to the top and one of its faces is pressed against the window, the raised letters displace the blue liquid and reveal the answer as white letters on a blue background.

This is the simple mechanism on which the Magic 8 Ball works. If you ever wondered what’s inside this fun toy, you now have the answer!

Image source: Hanttula