How Do Floating Bonsai Trees Work?

by Megan Grant

We recently covered a hot new trend taking the world of zen interior decorating by storm: Floating bonsai trees. But how do floating bonsai trees work, exactly? I ask because every home decor DIY project I attempt ends up being too ugly to show people, so it might just be easier to shove a tree in the corner of the room and call it a day. Is the bonsai on strings? Is it resting atop a small but powerful fan? Do little fairies fly around the room and use their magic to levitate it? The answer to the floating bonsai tree is... magnets!

According to the Hoshinchu Team, creators of the "Air Bonsai," the short story is that there's a magnet in the "energy base" (the bottom part) and a magnet in the "little star" (the top part). Working together, they give the appearance of the bonsai tree levitating. "But wait a minute!" you ask. "Aren't magnets supposed to attract each other?!" Good question. Remember this one important rule: Opposites attract. A magnet has a two different poles: North and south. When you take the north pole of one magnet and connect it with the south pole of another, they'll attract. But when you take two north poles or two south poles together, the magnets repel in disgust. This is what happens with the floating bonsai tree.

Don't you remember the time in science class when you were playing with magnets and you thought you'd be famous after becoming the first person to successfully stick two repelling magnets together? (Just to be clear, I'm not saying that I personally did this...) It's this powerful opposing strength that keeps the bonsai tree hovering above the base.

If you want to get a little more specific and scientific, Nerdist explains that the floating bonsai plant uses two different kinds of magnets. Inside the plant is a permanent magnet, while the base uses an electromagnet. It is this electromagnet that adjusts its force to keep the floating plant stable.

And that's how floating bonsai trees work. Science is neat!

Images: The Hoshinchu Team/Kickstarter; Giphy