There is a substance called 'Magic Sand' (hydrophobic sand) that stays 100% dry when taken out from underneath water. It isn't a trick but nature therefore technically not magic

I'm an atheist that also doesn't believe in any type of deity what so ever. If a person develops magic-like abilities self taught, that isn't magic.I'm fully aware the odds of another believer are slim but I thought perhaps I'd find a person who would agree with me or atleast be just as curious so I gave this question a shot.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Edwin Ashworth, dwjohnston, sumelic, ermanen, Jim Jul 14 '15 at 0:11

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.



(Of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature


If you don't like supernatural, how about miraculous or seemingly miraculous?

  1. Of the nature of a miracle or having the power to work miracles

  2. Remarkable and bringing very welcome consequences


  • 1
    A more sophisticated word please? – Casey Affleck Jul 13 '15 at 22:06
  • 2
    ... Hypermundane. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 13 '15 at 22:06
  • 2
    Please explain how this word lacks sophistication. Please edit your answer so that your requirements are crystal clear. – Charon Jul 13 '15 at 22:07
  • @EdwinAshworth - I believe it is extramundane. – Charon Jul 13 '15 at 22:07
  • @CaseyAffleck You say "more sophisticated"; are you actually looking for something without negative connotations? – Vladimir Kornea Jul 13 '15 at 22:07


There is nothing that literally defies the laws of physics. There are things which appear to defy the laws of physics, but these fall into one of two categories:

  1. The mechanism behind the phenomenon is not fully understood (either due to simple misinterpretation of the manifestations of the phenomenon or due to incomplete understanding of the laws of physics)
  2. The phenomenon is a fake
  • agreed. When human laws are broken, the law-breaker is punished. When a law of physics is broken, the law is changed. 'Law' actually means two different things in those two cases. – David Garner Jul 14 '15 at 11:11

A sophisticated word that means something defies the laws of physics (or at least our expectations)?

How about Thaumaturgic.

You could say that Steve Spangler is a thaumaturgist and his hydrophobic sand is pure thaumaturgy.

  • 1
    As thaumaturgy is defined as 'The working of miracles or magic feats' by AHDEL, I don't think OP will like this. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 13 '15 at 22:19
  • I may be off on what the OP wants. I thought the OP wanted a sophisticated word for something or someone that appears to defy the laws of physics, i.e. a miracle or miracle-worker. – William Bloom Jul 13 '15 at 22:32
  • I think he mainly wants to get across his view that science is God. And I thought materialism was dead! – Edwin Ashworth Jul 13 '15 at 22:35


Merriam-Webster: Having a spiritual meaning or reality that is neither apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence: the mystical food of the sacrament.

Oxford: Inspiring a sense of spiritual mystery, awe, and fascination: the mystical forces of nature.

Dictionary.com: Of or relating to supernatural agencies, affairs, occurrences, etc.: a strange, mystical experience.


Depending on context, I can suggest:

scientifically puzzling - The sand should be wet but isn't and nobody can explain why.

a thought provoking result

an illusion - The sand is dry simply because that specific kind of sand is hydrophobic and nobody raised or even thought of this possibility.

"It's magic!" Until we find a scientific explanation.

The human being has a tendency to mystify or say that something is magic when no explanation or theory can be brought up. Time often proves them wrong.


Something that defies the laws of physics is impossible.

It sounds though, that this thing doesn't defy the laws of physics at all, more likely, it defies our intuitive sense of the world.

For example this Quantum Levitation appears to be a trick or impossible, but is real and perfectly within the laws of physics.

You might simply call this trippy


resembling or inducing the hallucinatory effect produced by taking a psychedelic drug.

Heh. :D

Or simply defying ordinary expectations. Ordinary being the operative word here. A scientist working on the substance probably wouldn't see this as 'magical' at all, but the layman would.


With the edit, it becomes simpler.

Such results are paradoxical:

paradox n.

  1. A person, thing, or situation that exhibits inexplicable or [apparently] contradictory aspects


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.