How did Dynamo walk across the River Thames? Magician performs stunt for TV show

A British magician has apparently walked across the River Thames, in front of the Houses of Parliament, and claims that no trick photography was used in the stunt. 28-year-old Dynamo – real name Steve Frayne – performed the trick as part of his upcoming TV show Dynamo: Magician Impossible, which starts on the Watch channel in a couple of weeks.

The stunt was certainly eye-catching and has gained Dynamo a great deal of press. He’s not the first magician to walk on water, with the American Criss Angel having done the same thing a few years ago. It’s widely believed that plexiglass is used in such stunts. However, Dynamo’s walk across the Thames took place in a much less easily controlled environment. Did the production crew manage to get a piece of plexiglass across the entire river? It’s possible, since one of the tricks to magic is to make people discount as impossible something that is merely improbable.

Okay, here’s how to work out how he did it:

1. Did he really walk on water? No.

2. Therefore he walked on something solid. Yes.

3. Plexiglass is the obvious solution.

Anything else can be discounted. He really didn’t seem to be suspended by wires, and the crowd would have spotted that. And forget about air-cushioned shoes. No, he was walking on something that we couldn’t see, possibly a small plexiglass shelf. The exact mechanics aren’t clear. But the key to any trick like this is to do plan things properly. Dynamo didn’t do something impossible. He did something highly improbable.

So you’re thinking: he couldn’t put plexiglass under such a large part of the Thames. Of course he could. He’d have to plan it properly, in advance, and get permission. But he’s counting on you assuming that he wouldn’t invest the time and money in doing exactly that. This show probably had a pretty good budget… Anything is possible, so long as you persuade people to discount the obvious solution.

It’s unlikely that Dynamo will reveal how he performed the trick at any point. Perhaps he’s just Jesus after all?

Edit: In the comments below, an intriguing alternative idea is proposed involving a submerged Roman road that can be walked along when the tide is low. Could that be the answer?


About Michael R. Gideon

Writer, teacher, dog walker, guitarist, husband, father, reader, journalist etc. I mainly write at 100gf | Politics and Computers, but occasionally at other sites such as TV Vomit and Indie Bookspot. My Google Plus profile.


71 thoughts on “How did Dynamo walk across the River Thames? Magician performs stunt for TV show

  1. So how exsacly did to two guys in paddle boats get so close to him without the plexi glass being moved or broke or them hotting it with there paddles also the police boat that collects him rides around then over the exsact spot he was on so explain that?

    Posted by Adam | July 7, 2011, 10:34 pm
  2. there was no plexyglass as the boat went over the water and nothing was there

    Posted by 66789abcd | July 8, 2011, 12:23 am
  3. the plexi glass “bridge” had a single podium at the end of it, after he had stopped moving the rest of the “bridge” was dropped (probably by remote) and he was left standing on the podium which was probably about half a foot square in size, this allowed the boat to circle around him giving the appearance that nothing was there……simple really ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Posted by lewis | July 8, 2011, 6:28 pm
  4. when I originaly saw it you can see waves originating from part of his path that he had left a few seconds before this either means something moved or it was close enough to the surface for water to bounce off it creating extra waves. I also have been considering something to do with ice so that it would have melted. you simply weigh it down with something of just more equivilent upthrust force to the ice’s boyancy allowing it to stay near the surface untill a enough ice melts to inbalance this and the mass is more than the ice’s boyancy so it would sink all you would need is a couple of dyvers to take out a serise of blocks a few miniutes before for all we know they were comunicating with him from under the water. but any way I would rarther not know as half the fun of magic is working out how they did it, once you have it is not fun anymore. best illusion I have seen in years.

    Posted by rhodri | July 9, 2011, 12:12 am
  5. stilts ?

    Posted by steve jones | July 9, 2011, 5:25 pm
  6. possibly some kind of stilts as said will be the answer, something which fell off of his shoes just when the police boat lifted him from the water, cant be pixiglass, seriously no-one noticed them setting it out? also it wouldnt be allowed as it would be a danger to any boats canoes etc also the current of the thames would sweep them away unles bolted down which again goes back to being a hazard, would love to know how it was done too, but then again if you knew it wouldnt be so good eh

    Posted by Paul | July 10, 2011, 8:32 pm
  7. I doubt they could get plexiglass that deep though that is the problem
    maybe he has air cushion shoes as well as some thing floating under the water that can support a lot of weight

    Posted by Nero | July 11, 2011, 10:01 pm
  8. He just trumped alot to displace his body weight as he walked?

    Posted by Gazzo friing | July 13, 2011, 4:15 pm
  9. i believe that he may have used a floating perpex island which had been constructed from whale sperm

    Posted by reggy | July 13, 2011, 4:17 pm
  10. Firstly, none of this is making sense to me.
    1. How in the hell did people put loads of plexiglass in the river without anyone seeing?
    2. The council would never allow Plexiglass, and if they knew about it why did police tell him it was a “health and safety hazzard”
    3. At first he jus stuck his foot in the water randomly, he didn’t even look about where his foot was going
    4. Just Before the police pulled him out he moved sideways, how did he not fall?
    5. There were waves, he was almost on top of he water, how come no glass showed?
    6. People say he got permission and all that. Why did he have to climb the gate then? Why did the police seem unaware?
    Really, why can’t some people just say “It’s Magic!”, i mean have you seen his other tricks? Moving cards without touching them? Bending glass by pushing the air? Just like usuing the force? Darth vader’s got nothing on this guy!

    Posted by Believe In Magic | July 15, 2011, 10:45 pm
    • 1. Planning
      2. The council might. And how do you know those were real police officers?
      3. How do you know it was random?
      4. Again, planning
      5. Small waves, but not exactly a tempest
      6. He climbed the gate to make it look less like he had permission. And it wouldn’t be hard to hire some actors to play police. I’m not saying that’s definitely how he did it, but it’s a possibility. And it’s beter than ‘It’s magic!’ because that explaisn nothing.

      Posted by Mark | July 15, 2011, 10:57 pm
    • Because magic does not exist you moron.

      Posted by Sam | August 7, 2011, 12:03 am
    • because peterpan theres no such thing as magic we live in the real world

      Posted by conor | October 26, 2011, 8:27 pm
    • Because they are just tricks. If this guys could really do all these things that magicians all around the world have been doing for years, then I doubt he waste his time on this repetitious trickery.

      And the duping is all in the pretence that he’s not allowed to be there, that the police pull him out for being naughty. Careful planning, and practice. That’s all.


      Posted by Sofia Antonia Milone | November 8, 2011, 12:48 am
  11. If he could walk on water, which is scientifically impossible, he would not have a single show on ‘Watch’. He would have a cult following, many people would brand him part of the illuminati, and the american government would of claimed his body for scientific research, infuriating the Japanese, resulting in world war 3..

    Posted by Melhuish | July 19, 2011, 3:53 am
    • Japan couldn’t do anything about it. They only have a self-defense army, as per the agreement they signed after World War 2, and any military action that is not self-defense against any other country will infuriate the world leaders resulting in World War 3.

      Posted by Madi | December 22, 2011, 6:13 pm
  12. My theory is that his walking was aided by an exoskeleton at his lower legs that were calibrated to allow such a thing alongside his water repellent shoes.

    Posted by Ozymandias | July 20, 2011, 3:59 am
  13. ever consider the guys in the canoes took whatever platform he was on away with them?

    Posted by Callum | July 21, 2011, 2:22 am
    • yep. thats the likely scenario. what canoeist wouldn’t explore under water to see if there was a platform of some sort? They just breezed by, giving ‘credence’ to the non-existence of a base of some sort. Very handy indeed. And why not do a jig while he was out there instead of doing the crucifix pose (very david blaine)

      Posted by trevor | December 15, 2011, 8:45 pm
  14. still nobody got this well I HAVE THE ANSWER !! he chose his spot well the only place in the Thames where you can do this courtesy of time team on one of there programes it discussed a ridge that on low tide you can walk across from st thomases hospital to the house of parliment and a a few years ago an MP don it boats sometimes hit it thye talked to a fireman who knows it

    Posted by jock | July 30, 2011, 12:43 pm
    • Well done Jock, and here is some information to clarify your explanation.

      The island is flooded twice a day, but at low tide people can walk to the Chiswick Mall.

      So if his team knew about the low tides, and also the missing Roman road, then its all down to timing, and some good actors ie, police etc.

      London’s missing Roman road

      It continues straight through South London to cross the Thames at Westminster. After this it almost certainly joined up with the North London Watling Street, the present Edgware road.

      If my theory is correct then the original Watling Street was built to cross the existing crossing at Westminster (almost certainly a ford). It was never intended to cross at the London Bridge crossing as is usually assumed, and this raises questions as to why the Romans chose to make London their city and not Westminster. (see pre-Roman London and)

      For tidal predictions for various locations on the River Thames (Albert Bridge, Hammersmith Bridge, Kew Bridge, London Bridge, Richmond Lock, Sheerness or Tilbury) issued by the UK Hydrograhic Office

      And then there is the RIDGE….

      I think the information i have added is the true illusion that also Jock mentions above.

      Read the webpages from the links, and you will then come to the same conclusion.

      Research, good timing, and a great team, made that illusion.

      Posted by NirvanaBlissUK | July 30, 2011, 7:42 pm
      • awsome dude nice summery of the illusion ๐Ÿ™‚ defo seems to be the logical explanation with the evidence there. nice one jock for figuring it out! non the less still a really good illusion and actually still has a shit load of people thinking it was some multimillon pound scandal or some guy up there saying “its magic” turns out its alot more simple but at the same time very clever what must make this one of the best illusions of the era. thanks again ๐Ÿ˜€ peace out

        Posted by Kyza | December 27, 2011, 1:26 am
  15. His team managed to drop 200 tons of salt into that area whereby he could float, stand up and even walk so far out.

    Posted by misty | August 1, 2011, 2:01 pm
  16. You guys are are ruining the aspect of fun to this just let it if you did what he did you woudnt want any critisism would you

    Posted by ADAM | August 31, 2011, 9:09 pm
    • Au contraire, exploring and thinking about how illusionists do what they do IS one aspect to the fun of it. Not a negation of the fun. It is a genuinely interesting and fun mental challenge to work out.

      The only people ruining the fun are those that declare it magic, suggest he really has powers, and that we should all stop thinking about it.

      Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo | February 2, 2012, 12:20 pm
  17. A different guy done something similar to me and t friends and showed us how he did it after in spain.. He had a small bubble thing that one person was driving . With some sort of waterproof running machine on it and a bowl on the top… He said to me. Do u like seafood?? I said yeah… Completely weirded out this random guy was talking to me,, so he “run out to sea” stopped leant down grab bed a fish from the bowl and run back to land… It scared me but once he showed me I was like lol

    Posted by Reece | September 5, 2011, 2:12 am
  18. Forget how he walked on water. The real mystery is how the authors of the most inane comments in this thread – like, “it’s just magic” – can manage to use a computer.

    Posted by Harry H. | October 19, 2011, 12:31 am
  19. i was there on the day and it took us 5 mins or so even being there to figure out how he did it. By the end of the illusion all the onlookers knew – many of whom i think were actors. it was much clearer later in the day as the tide subsided but an amazing illusion. The skill here is how he stopped himself freaking out stood on something less than a meter square surrounded by moving water..

    Posted by paul jaones | October 19, 2011, 7:26 pm
  20. OR it was really magic?!

    Posted by hailey | October 24, 2011, 12:09 am
  21. its because he was consantrating like you know when jesus was walking on water and he told peter to to come and then pete stopped consertraing and then he started to drown

    Posted by adaku | October 30, 2011, 3:13 pm
  22. i think we can see the trick in this picture

    Posted by reivax | November 20, 2011, 7:06 am
  23. It’s obvious that he was on something that was at least a foot under him. Probably a stilt extendion on underwater floatation foot pads. He is very careful walking, and had to wait for the boat to come and pull him off the underwater stilts. Snapped off I guess. Also notice that a floating dock was conveniently in place for him to take off on his walk.
    There were some scuba divers in place to get him going.

    Posted by vic | November 22, 2011, 1:48 am
  24. i saw a bubbles coming up from the water this means that there is someone in the sea who is supporting him..
    this may be done by 2 people with a solid material or a peace of ice who continuously move with him

    Posted by tousif | December 5, 2011, 7:15 pm
  25. Why does everyone have to go against anyone who does anything out of the extrodanairy in this world? God could have given him more power than any other one of us. Who agrees? You know what, I think you’re all a jealous of him.

    Nothing’s impossible…

    Posted by Minika | December 17, 2011, 3:37 pm
    • Wouldn’t the greatest magic trick of all be to convince the world that there was no such thing as magic? I bloody love him he’s awesome..he does the unfathomable and I agree, jealousy is such a lovely colour on a bunch of cynics! lol

      Posted by Pygmy | December 17, 2011, 8:35 pm
  26. Why are you being such a hater! Maybe it isnt magic but maybe it is still impossible! It couldnt of been plexiglass because 2 cannoes and a police dingy drove straight across the path which dynamo walked! Before the Airplane was invented people would think flying was impossible maybe there not flying themselves but theyre not far from it! Just accept that maybe Dynamo has just created/thought of something not only mind bogoling but revelutionary?!

    Posted by Aaron | December 26, 2011, 8:15 pm
  27. 4 Scuba divers underneath water with some sort of support platform floating along as he pretends to walk on water is the most plausible answer to this “magic”. Well done Vic.
    The act with all extras in supporting roles was excellent excellent work. Finally, someone to match David Blaine and David Copperfield, I think we should all get behind this great British export and support it wholeheartedly.

    Posted by ukmagicfan | December 26, 2011, 11:52 pm
  28. The whole point of the trick is to get people guessing how he done it cos obviously he didnt actually walk on water, If everyone knew how he done it it would be shit cos anyone could do it so whats the point in trying to work it out, just get over yourselves…

    Posted by Beccy' | December 28, 2011, 5:43 pm
    • Couldn’t agree more! Why are you all hating on the fact that he’s done something so illusional, all of your theory’s are actually a load of bullshit.. If your going to hate or say something unacceptable then don’t comment. I think its magical ๐Ÿ™‚ – let’s see you all explain how he does all the other magic infront of people like the ‘fog horn’ in America & mind reading & not forgetting the tinie tempah one. Keep thinking of your pathetic solutions people, this guy is real + your just jealous ๐Ÿ™‚

      Posted by MLH. | January 3, 2012, 10:34 pm
  29. There was definatley something underneath like the plastic somebody first talked about. But dont get ideas of it being big so it reaches the bottom. Look at the oter boat in front of him. He makes a dead straight line towards it.
    1 this is a guide so he doesnt veer off course.
    2 the plastic is then suspended between the boat and the jetty he steped off.
    3 canoes are very shallow in the water because of their design they will just have glided over it
    4 people in on it? yes police, canoe guys and the river authorites who blocked of that part of the bridge so no boats would come through that day.

    No of course it wasnt magic BUT it was a flippin good trick and he should be applauded

    Posted by Robbie | January 7, 2012, 8:34 pm
  30. How did he bend over backwards on that other trick?

    Posted by Geordie | January 7, 2012, 10:49 pm
  31. How does dynamo pull a card out of his pocket but did no have. A pocket so I Would be amazed if you could explain it please.

    Posted by Jack | January 28, 2012, 3:08 pm
    • Hi jack, dynamo and the card trick pocket one who no’s all i no he’s the best magicain in the world and he’s only young and have all his life to show us moore. Its like how dies he twist a mans iphone4 in front of him then twists it back. Wondafull magic. Of course jack i shown him everythink he no’s lol

      Posted by David ross | February 1, 2012, 1:23 pm
  32. How did he bend over that far

    Posted by Jack | January 28, 2012, 3:10 pm
  33. So right, he couldnt possibly have walked across water,He Isn’t Jesus For Crying Out Loud!!! Its just a publicity stunt aswell. I dont really belive in Magic like that, i always say its either a illusion, a trick of the eye or just a skillfull ‘trick’

    Posted by lily mathews | January 30, 2012, 9:47 pm
  34. He didn’t twist the phone, with slide of hand he placed half an iphone cover over the screen.

    Posted by Tom | February 2, 2012, 12:42 pm

    Posted by DANNNNNTHEMAN | February 10, 2012, 7:59 pm
  36. well..what about putting the phone into the bottle…!_!…any scientific ideas to explain.
    he’s awesome..and some get jealous

    Posted by mike | February 27, 2012, 10:53 am
    • No idea but ur right in saying people got jelouse and stated to try to ruin it for the fans who want to beleve it.
      The iphone in bottle trick i show him how to do it when he came round for tea one sunday lol

      Posted by David ross | February 27, 2012, 12:41 pm
  37. wow..! it means you are also a magician??
    great!..i just love those tricks…

    Posted by Mike | February 28, 2012, 11:44 am
  38. jesus allegedly walked on water thousands of years ago.. What if he too waz an illusionist? Quit asking and trying to figure out what and how he did it if you dont ask yourself the same about Jesus

    Posted by Brian | March 2, 2012, 9:44 am
  39. This may sound a bit odd, but perhaps he has some deal with spirits……he may have a deal with them, they help him in success, and he grants them his body in return. Eerie huh?

    Posted by Ann | March 8, 2012, 4:34 pm

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