1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3_Dr-508-c

    Someone posted this video and asked me what I thought. I said:

    Source: https://twitter.com/MickWest/status/1055477817503186944

    Because it looked too much air displacement for a punch. But then I saw this version (filmed for a commercial):

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi5257MyiaE

    In this he is shown doing the same trick with progressively increasing numbers of candles, up to 8.
    Metabunk 2018-10-25 15-39-53.

    Which then made me think it was plausible.

    However I then tried to replicate it, and found it really hard have get any kind of effect on a candle that was more than a few inches away. So then I got suspicious again.

    Finally I replicated my original suggestion, to see how that works.

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chIp1gPD0f8

    With a longer version here.

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enePoDBch-E

    But I'm still not 100% sure.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  2. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    It seems to me the bulky boxing gloves would help with displacing more air. Although in the second video, Khan still blew out three candles with no gloves on.
  3. DavidB66

    DavidB66 Member

    Bear in mind it is his party trick. He has done it several times with variations. Maybe there is a knack to it that requires a lot of practice? Could it be that his punching action creates a vortex something like the vortex cannon? I note that he jerks his hand backwards almost as quickly as the punch itself, which might have some unexpected effect. Also, those are huge gloves. It might be worth trying an experiment using various implements to create the air current. I just tried putting out a candle using a large kitchen spatula, and found I could do it at a distance of about a foot. The best effect was achieved by jerking the spatula sharply downwards, rather than directly towards the flame. Of course, that is still a long way from putting out multiple candles at a distance of several feet.
  4. FatEarther

    FatEarther Member

  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, I tried multiple ways of blowing out a candle by rapidly moving various sized objects with no luck. Long distances required actually blowing, or using the cannon.

    I suspect he's got a trick that works for short distances at least. Obviously he's only a marginally faster puncher than most fighters, so it's not the speed of his punch.
  6. jonnyH

    jonnyH Active Member

    Boxers exhale as they throw a punch. Perhaps he is just blowing them out.

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  7. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  8. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    It should be possible with some practise to create vortices by blowing. That's how smoke rings are made, after all.

    I remember trying to influence a candle flame from some distance doing just that. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I made it flicker.
    No candle at hand right now, as I'm in a hotel room in Paris ...
  9. FatEarther

    FatEarther Member

    I'm shaking my head at all the mental gymnastics you're all going through to come up with a scenario where this ISN'T fake. IT'S FAKE!!! Mick showed how to fake it. You need a descent sized vortex to blow out 8 candles (one behind the other). Have you seen how smokers make smoke rings?? They're done by doing light clicks with your jaw (I've tried with my ventolin inhaler). There's no way you can do that with your mouth enough to blow out 8 candles and it looks nothing like a boxer blowing out while punching (try clicking your jaw and punching at the same time... you'll feel like an idiot ;)).

    And, when you blow air out of your mouth, the 'wind' disperses into all directions, which means it dissipates. When you blow air out of a vortex cannon, the air rolls forward (like a smoke ring). It doesn't disperse in all directions straight away. This is why it can blow out 8 candles behind each other.

    Here's How to Make a Vortex Cannon similar to Micks. They use smoke so you can see what's happening. And they explain how it works.

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuH-hWrjZmw
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  10. DavidB66

    DavidB66 Member

    I agree that it could have been done with a vortex cannon, but that is a long way from proving that it must have been. You would need to completely rule out all alternatives, and I don't think that has been done. We also need a high standard of proof before accusing people of dishonesty, which is implicit in the claim that the effect must be faked. Apart from the boxer himself, quite a large number of people must have been involved in the fake: camera crews, photographers, PR people, etc. One of the videos is an advert for the boxing gloves used in the film, so the manufacturers and their advertising agency would also be involved. Apart from potential damage to their reputation, they would need to consider the laws and standards governing advertising. The UK Advertising Standards Authority code has a general provision that 'advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so', but there are various defences that might apply, for example 'Obvious exaggerations ("puffery") and claims that the average consumer who sees the advertisement is unlikely to take literally are allowed provided they do not materially mislead.' But I don't get any indication from the videos that the candle 'trick' is not expected to be taken seriously. It is not like the case of stage magicians or illusionists, where most people understand that the effects are faked, and the fun is in trying to work out how. But I suppose a defence of 'puffery' would be peculiarly appropriate in the circumstances!
  11. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Saying it's his party trick implies he's done it before - is that so?

    I'm also not clear that it's an actual advertisement. Has it been shown on TV? Or just uploaded to YouTube?

    It's hard to imagine law or reputation or accusations of fakery would come into it: it's just a bit of fun, like the 'Bruce Lee plays ping pong with nunchuks' viral promotion video that Nokia put out some years back.

    I think if anyone thinks there's a possibility it's real, don't bother lining up a load of candles, just see what it takes to extinguish one that's eight feet away. If nothing remotely fist-shaped will do it then you probably have your answer.
  12. I am. the "behind-the-scene" video is painfully trimmed to fit in the "edgy"-narrative of todays ads; the pseudo-"natural" behaviour of the "crew", the "docu/accidental" out-of-focus at cuts, free-hand-cam with no purpose other to be soft-shaky and "documentary-like"and to show nice woman with no real function as eye-candy, ecetera. this "behind-the-scene" video itself is the ad. the final one in a campaign. its all fake and marketing-BS.

    as for the candles goes; the blow-out-vortex is clearly faster than his moving fist towards them, and the first candle blow-out happens in just 3 frames, and as seen in the second frame of the following pics, his hand is way to far away as the first flame starts to bend:


    direct grab with frame-for-frame in VLC. detail:


    I call it fake, done with a vortex-cannon as mick suggested rightly. edit/ not so sure anymore, see post below.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  13. point is; there is no misleading, because they made no false claims as it goes for what is advertised: the gloves and the company itself. they can claim what they want (even fake what they want), as long as its not about whats advertised. at least thats my understanding.
  14. I watched the video again and I must say; could be. he is actually blowing every time and it syncs with the blowouts. so I tried it with two candles. it tooked me some practice, but I managed one(!) time out of many to blow out both of them with a single, short "ouff" (like Khan). to blow out just the first one was possible in 1/4 of tries. distance was 1.5 meter. so, I am not so sure anymore about the cannon, but I am definitly sure it aint his fists ;)
  15. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    To explain a little more what I meant by that: an actual TV commercial would have to comply with certain standards; but I imagine they're free to upload whatever they want to YouTube.

    It's definitely marketing and promotion. But I wouldn't call it an "advertisement", in the traditional sense of something created for TV or print.

    And, in any case, it's really no different to actual TV commercials that feature famous footballers kicking clearly CGI footballs.
    Yes, but his mouth isn't in line with all the candles.

    That'd be one hell of a set of lungs he's got - never mind the confidence to pull it off: I can barely make a candle flicker from eight feet away.

    And if anyone's still going for 'fist theory' - just try it: it's clear how ineffectual that would be. For example, compare blowing on your hand to waving/punching your other hand at it.

    I'm sure Mick's got it spot on. The only truly impressive thing about the video is Amir Khan's acting. Hat's off!
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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  16. Matt33

    Matt33 New Member

    Video editing nowadays is perfect and leaves no traces. If I was the director and had this idea for an ad, I would film him punching and acting like he has punched out the candles, then replace the candles for ones that had been blown out by a simple vortex canon.
  17. think youre right; its just too perfect and accurate.
  18. DavidB66

    DavidB66 Member

    I think we can all agree that Amir Khan's performance seems implausible. Everyday experience shows that a puff of smoke, etc, is quickly dissipated in the surrounding air. Even if a parcel of air is enclosed in a light membrane, as in a party balloon or a soap bubble, air resistance would prevent it being projected very far, no matter how fast the initial impulse. I doubt that even a professional baseball pitcher could project a party balloon more than a few feet though the air.
    On the other hand, the example of the vortex cannon shows that there are exceptions. Some people have concluded that the Khan videos must be faked using a vortex cannon. The conclusion does not follow unless all alternatives have been excluded. To test one alternative, this morning I tried blowing out a candle from a distance using an ordinary hand-held hair dryer. The dryer, a Braun Professional 1800, has a power of 1800 Watts (some of which goes into the heating element) and a nozzle presumably designed to focus the air flow. Using the dryer on full power, but with the heating element turned off, I found it very easy to blow out a candle at a distance of a metre. At 2 metres it required a little practice to get the air blast on target, but it was then effective. At 3 metres it was more difficult, as the flame flickered but was very reluctant to go out. Several times I thought it had gone out, but when I turned off the dryer the flame recovered. I did eventually succeed by holding the blast on the flame steadily for about 8 seconds. Incidentally, the candle was a flat night-light or tealight, and a taller candle, with a more exposed flame, might behave differently.
    I was surprised that the dryer was quite effective at 2 metres, and even had some effect at 3 metres. I do not know if some kind of vortex action is involved. And if this was possible with a small hair dryer, imagine what might be possible with something more powerful, like an industrial space heater or a leaf blower. Assuming that the Khan videos were faked, I suggest that a leaf blower is the most likely implement to have been used, simply on grounds of availability.
    Of course this does not show that the Khan videos are genuine. I would say the case for fakery is plausible but not proven. I do not see anything in the videos to suggest that they are intended to be seen as anything other than genuine exercises of skill and speed, which is how they were generally presented in press reports. But I was wrong to describe it as his party trick. This is his party trick: juggling a bottle in the air with his fists:

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KM6khEPSnA

    But some people think that is faked too.
  19. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Yeah, that looks very fake to me - almost like it's on a string or something.

    A new one for Mick to emulate? ;)

    Good point, too, that there are possibilities other than a vortex cannon.
  20. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

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  21. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Your final hit went further than his! :D
  22. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    This vid's slightly more convincing - the bottle doesn't appear to float up off the screen, for example.

  23. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I found the bottle trick a lot easier to do for real than faking it. On some fishing line it bounced all over the place. It's really just a juggling trick. If he's been doing it for years he's going to be vastly better than my 15 minute attempt.
    Metabunk 2018-10-30 13-10-06.
  24. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    It could be possible, I suppose: humans can do amazing things.

    Reasons I don't believe it: the schtick of the set-up, with him 'training' in front of the camera, finishing to be conveniently handed an almost empty (branded) bottle, and the cameraman goes, could you do that bottle trick "one more time", like he's been doing it all afternoon, then the bottle disappears off the frame.

    I would also think there'd be more vids of him doing it, and certainly of other people doing it, since it wouldn't be that hard to learn, if possible.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  25. FatEarther

    FatEarther Member

    This is Bruce Lee playing table tennis with nunchucks all over again :confused:
  26. Nada Truther

    Nada Truther Active Member

    Wait! That's fake?
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  27. Mauro

    Mauro New Member

    My personal bet is that the candle-blowing trick is, well, a trick. I cannot demonstrate it though, the physics is quite complicated and totally outside my field of experience. Even finding which airspeed is needed to blow a candle out is difficult, the best and most reasonable-looking thing I came up with is: "The reason why the flame is blown away from the candle is because the air you blow towards it moves faster than the speed of the flame front. So the air you blow at it moves the flame away from its fuel source, where the flame burns out due to the lack of fuel." Knowing this speed, and with a reasonable estimate of the top speed a punch can reach, would be a starting point.

    Well, just for fun I made some experiments on my own. I practiced karate times ago, I was nothing special but I was at least an honest 2nd-degree black belt. Now of course after 18 years of laziness I have lost much of the training, but at least I know how a punch should be thrown.

    Dousing one candle with a clenched fist (I used 3cm diameter x 1.5cm height candles, on a table) is relatively easy: I succeded at 5th try. Dousing two candles in a row (one touching the other one, so 3cm more distance) is much more difficult, I succeeded once in maybe 30 tries. I never succeded in blowing out 3 candles in a row (just 3 cm more). 'Hitting' with the palm open (it's called tate uke if I'm not mistaken) more than doubles the area of the hand which moves the air away: it made easier to blow 2 candles out, but I could not blow three.

    Conclusions: I have little doubts that a sufficiently talented and specifically trained person can learn to blow say five or maybe even more candles with a fist punch, on an overall distance of 20 or so centimeters. A boxing glove has a much bigger area than a fist and would make things easier, but I really cannot believe without sound evidence that what Amir Khan 'does' is actually possible.

    If you want to have some laughs I found this 'informative' clip on the topic, it's just a silly clip (and even gross at the end, you're warned):

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-xOCwqjy24
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  28. benotto

    benotto New Member

    Background and a question.

    I work in an autobody shop and we use compressed air for painting and dusting off the cars.

    A common ordinary blow gun on our compressor set at 45psi can cut a swath through thick bondo dust across a car hood. Easily 5' or more linear measure.

    More than enough to tip over the first two candles if not anchored.

    Is there any telltale noises of air release or small hoses on the set of this gentleman doing his trick? Any odd structures that seem extra to his needs?
  29. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    In both cases the camera shot of the trick does not show the area behind him, so it's quite possible there was something there. But nothing that shows up in the videos
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  30. Matt33

    Matt33 New Member

    In the video mentioned in the first post of this thread, Khan punches out even 12 candles. Look at the hurricane he whips up with his punch, quite ridiculous. Even more suspicious is his right elbow partly disappearing at 0:09.
  31. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    I like that spot! Though my first instinct is to suspect a glitch in the video: not sure what reason there would be to split the frame there.
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  32. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    there are glitches in both videos.. probably just digital filming artifacts.

    (although since I had only looked at the first video and was wondering why the smoke took so long to start... I see in this video there is lots of smoke even before the candles are blown out. Maybe the white ones are 'smokeless' candles and the colored ones are cheap candles? )
  33. DavidB66

    DavidB66 Member

    I'm not even sure what we are supposed to be looking at. The still capture at #30 in this thread just looks to me like a foreshortened view of Khan's bent arm, with a bulge of flesh where the forearm is compressed against the elbow joint. it may look a bit odd, but foreshortened views often do. I have also looked at the relevant section of the video, but even at .25 x normal speed the movement is too fast to give a clear view.
  34. Matt33

    Matt33 New Member

    The missing elbow might be some kind of video artifact. But what about this: we see someone allegedly filming the scene with an iPad, but when Khan moves his fist back for the punch, there is no movement on the iPad.
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  35. DavidB66

    DavidB66 Member

    The movements visible on the small hand-held screen (iPad or whatever) are exactly in synch with the movements in the main picture, which in itself goes a long way to disprove any suspicion that Khan has somehow been inserted into the scene (if this is what is suggested). We cannot see as much of Khan's hands on the small screen, but that is hardly surprising, because (a) the person holding the screen has his thumbs over part of it, and (b) the picture on the screen is being taken from a different viewpoint than the one in the main picture. You surely wouldn't expect pictures taken from different viewpoints to be identical ?
  36. Matt33

    Matt33 New Member

    No, it's definitely not in sync. There is another scene after the punch, which is not synced properly. He takes his hands down, on the iPad he does not.
  37. DavidB66

    DavidB66 Member

    Well, excuse me for commenting on the extract you showed before, and not the one you are showing now.
    As to the new one, the movements are in synch. I'll agree that in the main picture the hands appear to go down further than on the small screen, but the quality of the small picture is too poor to be sure about that, and again they are taken from different viewpoints.
  38. Matt33

    Matt33 New Member

    Well, it's just a GIF. Watch the whole video sequence frame by frame and you'll notice that his movements and the action on the small display are kind of similar but not in sync.
  39. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    The movements look in sync, but the hands aren't in the same place (quality looks good enough to me).

    Is it possible that the picture in the iPad is a split second behind the picture in the main frame?

    Also, there would be no need to manipulate the video here: the manipulation - split screen - would be as Mick showed, so only the table and the candles would be 'overlayed' on to the original.

    They've been quite clever, too, with the guy's hand on the iPad covering where the table and presumably still-lit candles would be.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  40. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not sure the table was ever in the ipad.. there doesn't seem to be enough room to the right of Khan to display a table. Unfortunately I cant see the ipad pic at all on my computer (other than the gifs), is he perhaps taking photos of Khan himself?