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Creation of Life

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Creation of Life, a sort of take on the Japanese Butterfly illusion, is when a small piece of paper (originally a cigarette paper) is folded up into the shape of a moth or butterfly. It is then released, to fly away, leaving the spectators in awe of the "creation of life".[1]

The name has come to be used for any illusion in which an insect is created from something.

Created by druggist, Fred Roberts, it was taught to Leipzig who was known to reserve this effect, using a white moth, when he really wanted to impress someone. He told Dai Vernon that he considered it to be one of the most effective tricks he performed, even though he only performed in on a few special occasions.

Ricky Jay performed it as a finale on his British television special, creating a butterfly.


Thayer's Magical Bulletin (July 1919)



  1. Dai Vernon's Tribute to Nate Leipzig by Lewis Ganson (1975)