USING a giant magnetic field, scientists at the University of Nottingham and the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands have made a frog float in mid-air.

The levitation trick works because giant magnetic fields slightly distort the orbits of electrons in the frog’s atoms. The resulting electric current generates a magnetic field in the opposite direction to that of the magnet. A field of 16 teslas created an attractive force strong enough to make the frog float—until it made its escape.

The team has also levitated plants, grasshoppers and fish. “If you have a magnet that is big enough, you could levitate a human,” says Peter Main, one of the researchers.

He adds that the frog did not seem to suffer any ill effects: “It went back to its fellow frogs looking perfectly happy.”