Difference between Flying and Levitation

Key difference: Flying is something that is done by birds, planes and/or Superman. Think of how these things move in the air. They have purpose, direction; they have control over their movements. They can go where they want or where they are supposed to go, i.e. from point A to point B. Levitation, on the other hand, is when a person rises in the air, a short distance from the ground, usually no more than a few feet. The person may either rise himself, may raise someone else, or may even raise an object.

Flying and levitation are two different words that often denote something that is in movement, usually in air.

According to Dictionary.com, the word ‘flying’ is defined as:

  • Making flight or passing through the air; that flies: a flying insect; an unidentified flying object.
  • Floating, fluttering, waving, hanging, or moving freely in the air: flying banners; flying hair.
  • Extending through the air.
  • Moving swiftly.
  • Made while moving swiftly: a flying leap.

While, ‘levitation’ is defined as:

  • The act or phenomenon of levitating.
  • The raising or rising of a body in air by supernatural means.
  • To rise or cause to rise and float in the air, without visible agency, attributed, esp formerly, to supernatural causes

Flying is something that is done by birds, planes and/or Superman. Think of how these things move in the air. They have purpose, direction; they have control over their movements. They can go where they want or where they are supposed to go, i.e. from point A to point B. They usually have a power source: an airplane has an engine to propel it forward, birds use their wings, and Superman, well he has superpowers.

Levitation, on the other hand, is when a person rises in the air, a short distance from the ground, usually no more than a few feet. The person may either rise himself, may raise someone else, or may even raise an object. Scientifically, there are many methods of levitating, including ‘aerodynamic, magnetic, acoustic, electromagnetic, electrostatic, gas film, and optical levitation methods.’ Using these methods, scientists have been able to levitate things, such as an object over an electromagnet, or even a frog and a mouse. There are even trains that run via levitation over tracks, called Maglev trains. However, what most people think while hearing levitation is either a magic trick or paranormal activity.

As a magic trick, a magician or a performer appears to levitate himself, his assistant, a volunteer from the audience or an inanimate object. In relation to paranormal activity, levitation is usually done by a ghost, a spirit, a demon or someone possessed by a demon. However, there is no actual proof of these forms of levitation, and all levitations performed by magicians or performers have been proven to be tricks and illusions.

The main difference between flying and levitation is that in flying, one propels themselves forward while having control over one’s movements. However, in levitation the object just floats up in mid-air, stays there and then comes down. The duration of time that the object stays in mid-air may depend on the method used, the strength of the magnet used, etc. In the magician’s trick, he or the object will stay in mid-air until the trick is finished.

Image Courtesy: cellphonewall.blogspot.com, xaxor.com

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