%% Image removed per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1332458601044085800
%% Please start a new thread if you'd like to suggest an image.
%%
->''"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."''
-->-- '''Creator/ArthurCClarke''''s [[ClarkesThirdLaw Third Law]]

The science-fiction equivalent of magic. Magic does not derive from an actual mystical or spiritual source; rather, it is technology in disguise. The characters using this magic may or may not be aware of its true origins.

Compare ClarkesThirdLaw and RunsOnIgnorance (where knowing how the technology works makes it stop working). Contrast with SkepticismFailure. For "TechnologyFromMagic," see {{Magitek}}. Explaining away magic with TechnoBabble or MinovskyPhysics is DoingInTheWizard. Conversely, insisting on the magical nature in place of the previous tropes is DoingInTheScientist. Often used by {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s. If ''the audience'' is left in doubt about its true origins, MaybeMagicMaybeMundane. MagicByAnyOtherName often overlaps with this. See also SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic and PostModernMagic.

Despite similarity to the literal translation, DeusExMachina is unrelated. Not to be confused with MagicPoweredPseudoscience where [[AWizardDidIt magic]] turns out to be the [[NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup hidden component]] in a [[RubeGoldbergDevice seemingly mechanistic]] but otherwise [[HandWave inexplicable]] invention.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/ScrappedPrincess'' is big on this. Despite the magi, dragons, gods, and whatnot [[spoiler:that inhabit this apparently medieval-fantasy setting, LostTechnology actually underlies everything.]]
* ''Manga/{{Mai-HiME}}'' contains this, while ''Manga/MaiOtome'' takes it one step further: the titular Otomes are basically {{Magical Girl}}s who gain their powers from {{nanomachines}}.
* The LittleBitBeastly characters of ''Anime/TokyoMewMew'' are [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke parahumans]] created in a semi-realistic manner... but the genetic engineering also turned them into {{Magical Girl}}s.
* In the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' series, the Data Overmind and its ArtificialHuman agents use non-mechanical technology that the {{narrator}} usually just describes as "magic", since it can directly overwrite reality. As a result, Humanoid Interfaces fighting looks an awful lot like a MagicalGirl battle. It's also implied that humanity, in TheFuture, will use similar technology, which is why the series's representative {{Time Travel}}er can't operate any present-day technology more complicated than a flashlight; her society has outgrown such silly things as thermodynamics.
* A variant of this is presented in episode 14 of the ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' anime. Virgillia explains that the Japanese fire ceremony, which today has been explained by science, was once seen as magic because it was like that to people at the time.
--> '''Battler:''' In other words, if you don't know the principles it's based upon, a rain ceremony is just like magic?
* The entire plot of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' is based upon an [[spoiler: AncientConspiracy's efforts to use the [[BlackBox semi-understood technologies]] and vague prophecies left behind by a {{Precursor|s}} race to attempt to [[AGodAmI ascend humanity to godhood.]]]] What would have made the GainaxEnding a lot less {{mind screw}}y would have been if they had actually bothered to explain that [[AllThereInTheManual in-show]] instead of couching the entire conclusion in mystical mumbo-jumbo and psychobabble, and then having the super-technology manifest as a ''giant nude girl [[spoiler:who then turns humanity into orange juice]] by using the power unleashed by [[FauxSymbolism nine giant robots crucifying themselves.]]''
* Somewhat in the franchise, ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}''. AllThereInTheManual video games reveal that the two first computers, ENIAC and ABC started the digital world. There's the technology side, and this creates digimon who knows magic, demons and angels, mythical creatures and a MagicLand within the CyberSpace.
* Show: ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic''. Scene: two {{Real Robot}}s are fighting with kinetic guns. One of them loses its weapon; the other tries to shoot but the bullet is absorbed by a forcefield that seemingly sprang up from nowhere. The attacker's yelp of surprise is then interrupted by the other guy shooting a giant shockwave of energy from his palm. Another guy complains not a minute ago that while fighting it, his cannon round bounced back and destroyed his own bot even though the opponent clearly doesn't have reactive armor. Say hello to the Lambda Driver with no-one knowing how exactly it works, only that it works... most of the time.
* In chapter 42 of ''Manga/YozakuraQuartet'', Arthur Clarke's third law is quoted by [[spoiler:one of the senate members to Gin/Enjin in regards to Onmyou.]]
* ''Franchise/LupinIII'' has the villain Pycal, who was impervious to bullets and fire, could walk on air, and shoot fire from his fingertips. Lupin found a way to replicate these tricks: ([[spoiler:he walked on air via carefully placed glass panes, shot fire from his fingertips with a small, hidden flamethrower and was impervious thanks to a hard liquid chemical that shielded his body when covered by the liquid.]]) It was never explicitly confirmed that Pycal really wasn't using magic in the manga version, though in the anime Lupin found Pycal's chemical formula. When the villain was revisited in the {{O|riginalVideoAnimation}}VA ''ReturnOfTheMagician'', he received upgrades in power, and was seeking a collection of crystals that were able to use vibrations/sounds to do whatever he wanted. Naturally, Lupin also has his eyes on them, and the two fight over who gets to collect all of them.
* ''Anime/GhostSweeperMikami'' had an story arc with the mother of Mikami utilizing the power of a nuclear aircraft carrier with a big magic circle drawn on the deck and fighting demons a few hundred times more powerful then herself.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Nami is able to practically control the weather through the use of her knowledge and her staff which can manipulate temperatures in the atmosphere. To the point most people actually mistake her for a witch. Again after the time skip, where she even corrects one of the enemies by stating her abilities is "purely science" while using a new staff she calls "sorcery climate".
* In ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'' (and its later OVA, ''Anime/GaoGaiGar FINAL''), the [[AmplifierArtifact G-Stone]] [[spoiler:and its relative the J-Jewel]], [[TheVirus Zonder Metal]], and the [[MatterReplicator Pas-Q Machine]] all do things that seem magical and no explanation for their operation is given beyond [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum 'ancient alien technology'.]]
* The fairies in ''LightNovel/JinruiWaSuitaiShimashita'' are described as having "supernatural technology". Which could also be {{Magitech}}, but they tend to use sciencey terms when asked.
* The Incubators from ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' have reached the point where it is impossible for us humans to any longer tell what is "magic" and what is "technology" to them. Like Lovecraft's various aliens, their understanding of physics and the universe is so far beyond our own that they can do things like manipulate souls or give people visions just by looking into their eyes. While still insisting all the way through that for them, this is all strictly science. Strangely, the Incubators still refer to magic as such. To them it's a type of energy created from emotion, which breaks thermodynamics, and is therefore extremely useful.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh!'' and all its sequels use this in every "Shadow Duel" (Yami no game) where the monsters/cards are not merely holograms anymore but are in fact real and fully able to cause damage to the opponent. Even after countless previous encounters with taking real damage from these games, TheProtagonist always ends up surprised in their subsequent duels.
* A very big point in ''Manhua/CyberWeaponZ'' where the crossing of magic and technology are used in conjunction in order to build much more effective devices than the usual mechanical stuff.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/TheFlash'' villain Abra Kadabra was from a far future time, who used his advanced technology as "magic". Over the decades, this has sometimes been played straight, and sometimes {{Retcon}}ned into either real magic or innate PsychicPowers, and the "technology" as just [[MagicFeather props used as a psychological crutch]]. Others split the difference and say it's MagiTek. At one point, he sold his soul to Neron for real magic.
* ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'' both exemplified and subverted this in equal measure.
** At one point, Gina discovers that magic is [[spoiler:just a derivative of an ancient {{Magitek}} known as Beta Technology. The Saurians who were involved in its creation bio-engineered the dragons as a slave race, encoding them with the ability to use magic (how it works) but not the principles of the science (why it works). After the dragons rebelled and the Saurians were mostly wiped out, the knowledge of how everything worked was lost or sealed away, and what little the dragons knew about how things worked combined with the knowledge of other races formed the basis of ancient magic, with technology becoming a different science altogether.]] This explains why the Artificer, Gina's future identity, is a spellcaster beyond the comprehension of all but the most powerful BigBad, Dreadwing, and Gina is unable to comprehend even the most basic levitation spell in the present, though bits and pieces of her research that will eventually lead to this revelation have actively worried many magical authorities about Gina's continuing "merging" of magic and technology, which works in ways they don't understand.
** However, a later revelation added another layer in that [[spoiler:the {{Magitek}} that formed the basis of Beta Technology is the physics and science of the previous universe, destroyed before our Big Bang. When survivors of that universe managed to thread the needle and escape into the new universe, they brought their science with them, which bent the natural laws of the new universe in ways that shouldn't be possible, thus making it this and {{Magitek}} simultaneously.]]
* Skartaris, the setting for ''Comicbook/TheWarlord'', not only contains genuine magic but a lot of pre-cataclysmic Atlantean technology that functions like magic to the primitive inhabitants.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Apparently the Day Of Wonders virtual reality program in the ''Film/{{Apocalypse}}'' series is so real it can hurt and even kill people who enter into it: a lethal snake bite in the program also becomes a lethal snake bite in reality. Willy Spino in Revelation when he first entered the Day Of Wonders program after it was hacked ran his virtual self fingers on the blade of a guillotine in the program and ended up cutting his finger in reality. It may not be the programming of the Day Of Wonders that causes it to be ''that'' real, but actually the power of the Antichrist working within the program itself.
* Film/{{Thor}} presents the Asgardians as a race whose technology seems magical, or perhaps they have advanced beyond the point where there is a distinction. Also, old Norse legends such as Yggdrasil and the Nine Realms have a cosmological explanation. At one point, Dr. Jane Foster even cited Clarke's law; "Well magic's just science that we don't understand yet; Arthur C. Clarke."
* Blackwood in ''Film/SherlockHolmes'' tries to pass himself of as a sorcerer protected by Black Magic; Holmes deduces an explanation for every trick he performs derived from a combination of science and theatrics. Holmes also notes however, that Blackwood has indeed actually performed the dark rituals exactly as they were described in religious texts, so perhaps Blackwood had better hope that none of it was real after all (otherwise, he will have quite a price to pay when the bill on his eternal soul comes due.)
* In ''Film/JohnCarter'', the ancient, immortal [[SuperiorSpecies Therns]] wield what a modern man might call weaponized nano- or femtotechnology (powered by the "Ninth Ray"). It takes the form of an easily-concealed mass of lichen-like vines that grow and adapt to the user's needs: making [[FrickinLaserBeams beam weapons]] of [[{{BFG}} various sizes]], {{Absurdly Sharp Blade}}s, and even crawling on the skin of someone else to either kill them by crushing the skull or restrain their movement by implanting themselves into the skin. Of course, since this ''is'' the very early 20th century, the stuff looks more like magic than anything. Other powers include a means of VoluntaryShapeshifting, long-range communication and travel and a medallion that can transport people between planets via AstralProjection (that is, leaving the original body sleeping where you left it, and sending a copy with your mind in it to the destination).
* Not quite as deeply involved, but SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor said the page quote in ''Film/SupermanReturns'', referring to kryptonian crystals, although their abilities are in a more realistic range.
* The 1993 film ''GhostFromTheMachine'' has a man build a device in his garage that can bring ghosts over from the land of the dead to the real world. Basically, a {{Necromancer}}-In-A-Box. It works on EMF-Paranormal theory, basically, ghosts like elecromagnetic activity because it lets them interact with the living.
-->"What do all man-made haunted objects have in common? Proxemity to power lines."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* In the ExpandedUniverse of ''{{Daria}}'', the ''Ringbearers'' and their weapons, the ''Defender Rings'', fall squarely into this trope.
* In ''FanFic/SarumanOfTheManyDevices'' the Uruk-hai guns often appear as this to their enemies.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Creator/KAApplegate's ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' series, this is morphing in a nutshell, although it follows MagicAIsMagicA.
* In Creator/MarionZimmerBradley's ''Literature/{{Darkover}}'' series, human colonists stranded on a metal-poor alien planet eventually develop a new "non-causative" science based on PsychicPowers and [[PowerCrystal "starstones"]]. The resulting "matrix technology" can do things believed to be impossible by the conventional technology used by other human worlds. The catch is that it [[MagicPoweredPseudoscience only works for]] {{telepath|y}}s, which prevents it from being built or used by anyone else.
* In Creator/AnneMcCaffrey's ''TheShipWho Won'', a RolePlayingGame-obsessed space ship crew find a planet where magic seems to actually work. Then they discover there's a powerful weather control system built into the planet that can be operated through gestures and "magic words", which the inhabitants have just about broken through their overuse of it as a weapon and source of cheap magic tricks.
* From Creator/JohnRingo's works:
** ''Literature/CouncilWars'' series is based around this trope. Unlike most such examples, rather than being set AfterTheEnd when people have long since forgotten the origin of their "magic", it's set ''during'' the breakdown of a {{Sufficiently Advanced|Alien}} society into relative barbarism.
** In his ''Literature/LegacyOfTheAldenata'' series, the Indowy (and a very few human) Sohon adepts use a somewhat mystical application of {{nanotechnology}} to create materials that pre-[[FirstContact Contact]] physics said weren't even possible.
* [[Literature/TheLaundrySeries The Laundry Series]] by Creator/CharlesStross has the aforementioned Laundry Organization using computer programs and advance math to create magic spells.
* In Creator/OrsonScottCard's ''{{Homecoming|Series}}'' series, the deity of a human colony world, the Oversoul, is in fact an AI in orbit around the planet, which provides certain favored characters with "magical" devices to get them to return to Earth because the society it created is breaking down. Humanity is developing resistance to the [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop Oversoul's Mormonism-inducing mind-control]], leading to an outbreak of atheism and violence.
* Creator/HarryTurtledove
** Subverted in the short story ''Death in Vesunna''. A hot-headed time traveler shoots a Roman book dealer in order to get a book that doesn't exist in his time. The locals, who only heard the gunshot and found the corpse, assume it was "Zeus's thunderbolt", but the two men investigating the case use intelligence and logic to figure out exactly what happened.
** Also subverted in ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'', the novel that made Turtledove famous. Time travelers go back to change UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar in the Confederacy's favor by arming them with [=AK-47s=]. The guns are never treated as magic, simply as weapons of amazing quality whose appearance makes no sense (as a Confederate gunsmith points out, the guns simply appear out of nowhere, without any precursor models, which would still be vastly superior to anything currently available). Within a couple of years, the Confederates are producing their own copies (and the last chapter says that the United States has developed similar weapons). The same thing is true of the [=MREs=] and instant coffee the time travelers had. Dessicated foods are nothing new, just the idea of preparing coffee and whole meals that way.
* Averted in the first Literature/{{Discworld}} novel, ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic.'' Incompetent wizard Rincewind has sometimes wondered whether there might be something different from magic, something better. The Agatean tourist Twoflower shows up with a camera and hires Rincewind as his guide/interpreter. When Rincewind first sees it, he surmises that it could ''possibly'' work by focusing light onto paper treated with extracts from photosensitive plants, thus creating the image. Simplifying for the locals Twoflower wants to photograph, he says, "He has a demon in the box that draws pictures. Do as the madman says and he will give you gold." He's rather disappointed to discover that the box ''indeed'' contains a demon that draws pictures.
* Taken literally in ''Literature/BookOfTheNewSun'' by Creator/GeneWolfe--all magic comes from LostTechnology.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''The Last Question'' turns out to be [[spoiler:''Divinity'']] From Technology.
* And Creator/IsaacAsimov's first ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' novel, the [[spoiler:Anacreonian civilisation is basically taken over by Salvor Hardin's new religion of science]]. Interestingly, this wasn't the original intention of the Foundation citizens (though it ''was'' of course part of Seldon's 1,000 year plan). They simply created the religion as the most convenient way to spread atomic technology to the Four Kingdoms who have regressed into barbarism ([[AWizardDidIt The Galactic Spirit Did It]]). It's only later that they realized that they now hold power over the people of these kingdoms, if not the rulers.
* Creator/HPLovecraft's earlier Franchise/CthulhuMythos stories were full of gods and magic. His later stories leaned more toward extraterrestrials and suggested that all magic is really super-advanced science.
** He never went that far, actually. The aliens (like, say, the Mi-Go swarms) had both super-advanced technology ''and'' magical knowledge, which may have been given to them by one of the more powerful EldritchAbomination.
*** In Lovecraft's world "magic" ''is'' super-advanced knowledge of the laws of the universe that humanity has only scratched the surface of. For example, in ''The Dreams in the Witch-House'' it's shown that the witches in fact use Sufficiently Advanced Mathematics to teleport immense distances and grant themselves near-immortality, but they still do it in the context of a religion, or possibly it just looks like a religion to the outsiders - the pathways beyond the three-dimensional space are guarded by Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos, and he expects annual human sacrifices in return for their use - possibly simply as a sign of cutting themselves off the rest of the humanity than any practical purpose, though this isn't elaborated.
* Perhaps the most plausible example of this trope appears in the ''Literature/DreamPark'' novels, Niven & Barnes' series about live-action adventure gaming at a future amusement park full of high-tech illusions. Sophisticated simulations allow fantasy combats to be played out in reality, holographic or robotic monsters battling role-players with computer-controlled magic staves and hit-point-tracking electric dog tags.
* ''Literature/BlackTrillium'' eventually reveals that the BigBad is using advanced technology from a lost civilization and calling it magic.
* In one story, Literature/LordPeterWimsey convinces the inhabitants of a small Basque village that he is a magician by using ''1920s'' technology. ("Jesu Maria, the wizard could make music come out of a box!") It seems that this is a village so backwards and isolated that not only has not heard about the radio by the late '20s, but neither the gramophone or even music boxes.
* Sharon Shinn's ''Literature/{{Samaria}}'' (''Archangel'') series. In the first-written novel, ''Archangel'', the only hint we get that the angels and oracles aren't magical is a note before the story begins and the fact that the oracles use "interfaces" and apparent computer screens. In ''Jovah's Angel'', the characters finally figure it out.
* Clarke's quotation is spouted almost verbatim by Ted in Creator/MichaelCrichton's ''Literature/{{Sphere}}.''
* SherriSTepper's ''The Waters Rising'' in which all the magic stem from LostTechnology or [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke genetically engineered]] PsychicPowers. Likewise various "magical" creatures are also either products of genetic engineering or cyborgs.
* Creator/TheodoreSturgeon depicted a technology known as Logros in the novel 'Venus Plus X'. Logros was employed to do such effects as anti-gravitation, force fields, cold fusion, and many more diverse and fantastic things. But the principles behind Logros are advanced beyond any ability to describe, and all the machinery is invisible or not recognizable as technology to the uninitiated. However, we are assured that Logros is quite simple to build and use, as with any sufficiently advanced technology. For example, the underlying theory behind an electric motor is quite advanced, but the actual product is a series of simple coils of wires and magnets. Sturgeon goes on to make the statement 'Someday, we will be able to do absolutely anything with absolutely nothing, but the science behind it will be too complicated for any human or computer to comprehend.'
* The majority of stories where starship-era characters somehow meet medieval-era characters have the medieval-era people believe that the technology is actually magic, at least initially. Generally, it's only the trusted allies who are told that it's actually advanced technology, the bad guys are left believing it's magic, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny often with truly hilarious reactions]]. Sometimes has unfortunate consequences if there's a local Inquisition. Creator/DavidWeber is fond of this.
** In Christopher Stasheff's ''Literature/WarlockOfGramarye'' series the main protagonist lands on a medieval world and because of his modern technology, he's taken for a magician (understandably, since magic - technically, PsychicPowers - is commonplace on the planet). [[spoiler:It is eventually revealed that they're right.]]
* ''Literature/ThievesWorld'' has Kemren the "Purple Mage" who channeled magic power from waterwheels. This setup has its own [[{{Pun}} drawbacks]], though.
* ''{{Trapped}}'' by James Alan Gardner explains that magic on earth is actually alien nanotech that has displaced about 1/3rd of all bacteria in the entire ecosystem, including all the bacteria inside animals, and humans too. It can be controlled by people that had nanotech attach itself to the right spot in their brains while still in the womb. Where and how it attached determined the types of powers, and how they were activated. One character explained the feeling of performing magic being like having a million happy puppies eager to do his bidding.
* This is the central conceit of ''Literature/TheSteerswoman''. The characters all use terminology that seems straight out of a StandardFantasySetting, but their world is actually much more science-fictional (the "spell"-casting "wizards" are actually people who've preserved more technology than everyone else, the "gnomes" are [[spoiler:chimpanzees]], the "demons" are [[spoiler:StarfishAliens]], and so on).
* Elizabeth Bear's ''Jacob's Ladder'' trilogy. Angels are AIs given "bodies" by means of forcefields, magic swords are products of nanotech and the "magic" of the various sorcerers, priests and necromancers are varying combinations of cyber and biotech.
* Creator/MikeResnick's ''The Buntline Special'' has Thomas Edison and Ned Buntline working under the auspices of the US government to find a way to circumvent Native American magic.
* Creator/DavidWeber's ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' series takes place on a planet where the original colonists were brainwashed to believe the founders were archangels, backed up of course by high tech and kept in a medieval state of technology by orbiting satellites that wipe out any example of technology that isn't muscle, wind or water powered.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/CountToTheEschaton The Hermetic Millennia]]'' the Witches scorn any interpretation of technology that focuses merely on its material husk.
* Dan Simmons explores this in the novels ''[[Literature/{{Illium}} Illium and Olympos]]''. The Olympian Gods, Prospero, Ariel and possibly the other god-like powers make use of the fact that QuantumMechanicsCanDoAnything.
* In ''Literature/{{Manoratha}}'' by V. Ushakov this seems to be an unexpected side effect of the population's immersion into the eponymous MMORPG "Manoratha". The developers expected skills like martial arts or craftsmanship to carry over, since they are comparably hard and time-consuming to master. Unexpectedly, the most advanced and dedicated players begin exhibiting the first tiers of their most advanced magic schools in reality.
* ''The Psalms of Isaak'' is a ScienceFantasy quintet which takes place in a ScavengerWorld AfterTheEnd. Some relics of the previous age, such as the robotic mechoservitors, are clearly understood as technology, albeit technology advanced beyond the means of most people in the setting to understand or replicate. What is usually called "magic" generally appears to be a product of advanced chemistry, since it takes the form of potions or powders which can be ingested to grant (moderately) superhuman abilities, albeit at the expense of the long-term health of repeated users. The [[{{Precursors}} Younger Gods]] had powers that are generally considered magical [[spoiler: but when surviving Younger Gods start showing up later in the series, their powers look an awful lot like nanotechnology]]. On the other hand, the Younger Gods' rivals the [[AbusivePrecursors Wizard Kings]], though they draw heavily on stolen Younger God knowledge, also used BloodMagic of a blatantly mystical type that defies scientific explanation [[spoiler: as do their spiritual descendants, TheEmpire of Y'Zir]].
* In Linda Nagata's ''The Bohr Maker'' when a superstitious slum dweller is infected with an advanced bit of nanotech (the "Maker" of the title) she interprets it as a sorcerer's curse and, when it enables her to control minds and heal people both she and her neighbors think she's become a witch.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episodes "Who Mourns For Adonais?", "Catspaw" and "The Squire Of Gothos". This is also vaguely implied to be what powers Q in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' and the Prophets from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''.
** The ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Who Watches The Watchers" uses this explanation to convince the people that they are not gods, by pointedly asking how they themselves might be regarded by ancient ancestors who had never seen a bow and arrow strike down an animal at range.
** Another episode, "Devil's Due", had a ConArtist pretending to be the planet's version of the Devil (who also claimed to be the actual Satan) who was using a cloaked ship to fake mystical powers.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' and ''Series/{{Crusade}}'' had the Technomages, who used advanced technology to create the effect of magic (for example, holographic dragons). Interestingly, they're entirely forthright that they're using technology; their belief seems to be that magic is at base ''defined'' as functional artwork, artistry, or artistic intent. The trappings are an attempt to reconnect themselves and others with the inherent wonders of the universe and of manipulating these through applied will. Even more interesting is that other people actually buy into it as well. For example, after a Technomage basically infects Londo's computer with a virus, Londo himself refers to it as being "possessed by a holo-demon".
* On ''Series/StargateSG1'', [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Not Quite Sufficiently Advanced Aliens]] the Goa'uld use technology that their subjects believe is magic, but which the main characters realize is just machines. The Ori combine Sufficiently Advanced technology with strong PsychicPowers due to their [[EvolutionaryLevels evolved]] state.
* The "abilities" (i.e. superpowers) demonstrated by ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred'' are a result of the existence of an [[NinetyPercentOfYourBrain extra neurotransmitter]], [[SuperSerum Promicin]], in their brains due to [[spoiler: biological modification by people from the future]].
* That how the existence of magic is justified in ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace''--it's produced by a dragon-powered thermoelectric plant and transferred through circuit breakers in each wizarding household.
* The TechnoBabble descriptions of the mutations bestowing powers in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' is definitely in the spirit of this trope.
* Many episodes of ''Series/DoctorWho'' involve discovering this truth behind apparently supernatural menaces. (However, the truth tends to be ''scarier'' than what things looked to be at the beginning). The Doctor's race, the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Time Lords]], also have this going on in a [[AbusingTheKardashevScaleForFunAndProfit BIG]] way. Many of their more notable pieces of technology, especially anything created by Rassilon or Omega, are magical items in all discernible respects and some are capable of potentially universal effects.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' has Kryptonian [[PowerCrystal crystal]] technology that can create [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolves]], [[SoulJar hold spirits]], [[DemonicPossession possess bodies]], [[PowersAsPrograms bestow superpowers]] on mere mortals, and can [[{{Magitek}} enhance real magic]]. Not to mention all the usual applications of an [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien uber-advanced race]], like TimeTravel and [[TransportersAndTeleporters teleportation]].
* ''Series/QuatermassAndThePit'' explained traditional black magic and the occult as being garbled racial memories of AncientAstronauts meddling with the brains and cognitive abilities of primitive hominids.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Certain of the more esoteric tech devices in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' start touching onto this trope; especially when you start seeing tech devices that interact with PsychicPowers and things having to do with the warp in general. Certain xenotech devices, like Halo Devices from ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy'', definitively qualify. Despite its [[MachineWorship religious view of technology]], however, most imperial tech does not come anywhere near this level.
** This is actually state policy. Common folk do not understand that their machines are exactly that and refer to "machine spirits" which need to be "appeased" by "rituals" to keep them working, healthy, and benevolent. Lesser "Tech Priests" usually buy the propaganda, too. Of course, the "religious" rituals tend to be good, old-fashioned maintenance with a few hymns thrown in. Based on the author (and world), this CargoCult madness might be reserved for very complex machines or might result in folks sing hymns to their noble, fallen light bulbs when they burn out. Whatever the case may be, the ''vast, vast'' majority of humans truly believe technology is magic.
** And yet, there are frequent reports of phenomena such as a tank continuing to fight after its entire crew has been killed. Given the level of DiabolusExMachina in the setting, whether this trope is truly in effect is something of a question mark.
*** And always it is elite tanks, created by the recovered lost technology blueprint's without the slightest understanding of it's state of the art electronic's. Not to mention the other parts. Most of the Machines Spirits are just A.I. that survived the Dark Ages. Since the Empreror prohibited all A.I., technpriest's don't even think about researching it. Well, at least that's what they keep saying.
** Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay gives us the Technical Knock and Gun Blessing talents. Technical Knock allows an operator to clear a "jam" (the catch-all term used for almost all weapon malfunctions, including in flame and energy weapons) with a swift, simple ritual [[PercussiveMaintenance that may or may not be code for hitting the gun just right.]] On the other hand, Tech Priests can learn the Gun Blessing, which allows them to unjam multiple weapons at once ''with a wave of their hand.''
** Necrons, anyone? They have no connection to the warp, but in material world their technologies tend to surpass eldar's. They have, as of their latest Codex, a unit who can tell the laws of physics to "Piss off and quit cramping my style".
* Lampshaded in ''d20 Past'', a supplement for ''TabletopGame/D20Modern''. The "Pulp Heroes" campaign setting includes a "Scientist" advanced class. One of the class features is that they make scientific discoveries, which they can then use to create technological devices by spending XP. The effects of these devices are taken from the spell lists for the "Urban Arcana" setting.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Numenera}}'' is this trope. Set a billion years in the Earth's future, the game describes that preceding civilizations before the current one (the Ninth World) have mastered intergalactic travel, nanotechnology, quantum physics, terraforming and more besides. All the wondrous locales and 'magic' of the world is performed through highly advanced technology. Wizards (or 'nano') work their spells through nanites in the air.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar'' games, there is both magic ''and'' magic from technology, at least in the ''Phantasy Star'' universe's history. Early on in the story however, magic ( the ''much'' more powerful of the two ), is stated to have 'died', after which it was only usable by the spiritual reincarnation of an ancient and unbelievably powerful mage. [=TECHNICs=], however, as this became known, are initially just described as 'not magic' despite having similar, if less powerful effects to magic. In the later parts of the series (''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline'' and especially ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarUniverse''), [=TECHNICs=] are explained as manipulations of photonic energy by a TECHNIC user's mind, made possible by psychic amplifier technology and photon reactors built into their weapons.
* The MMO ''VideoGame/TabulaRasa'' is based around this - the [=PCs=] are humans with the capability to use ancient alien technology that writes information directly into their minds and lets them do seemingly magical things like shoot lightning.
* The very ''definition'' of ''VideoGame/AnarchyOnline''. About twenty-four ''thousand'' years in the future, nanotechnology allows people to do such improbable things as throw lightning and fire, create huge, floating eyeballs that can throw lightning and fire, and survive death. How does nanotechnology allow people to survive death? No one knows: it doesn't work on any other planet.
* Magic, or rather Ether, in ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' is almost all derived from technology. For Ziggy, it's all functions of his cybernetic body. For KOS-MOS, an android, it's technology built into her or technology she can transport or control remotely. For the rest of the cast, it's nanomachines they control remotely to create various effects. [[spoiler: The exception is chaos, whose magic turns out to actually be magic as we would define it.]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Ar tonelico|MelodyOfElemia}}'' games use this sort of magic. The source of magic in the game world is a series of towers made from a LostTechnology. The spell casters in the game are either the administrators of the tower or the female descendants of same. They [[MagicMusic cast spells by singing songs in a special language]] that function analogously to computer programs to interface with the towers and summon forth magic. Even more so in the back story, as at one point there were machines that allowed regular humans to use it as well. However it was lost in TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Well, [[TheWorldIsAlwaysDoomed the most recent one]].
* The ''Franchise/{{Wild ARMs}}'' series uses this as well. Though studied in academies like FunctionalMagic magic on Filgaia is actually a result of nanomachines [[spoiler: left in the atmosphere by the precursor race who were abandoning a swiftly dying planet, not realizing that by decreasing the population like they did they saved it anyway and the world survives.]] Any supernatural beings or monsters arise from people or animals being altered by nanomachines. In later installments of the series magic is channeled from technological spirits called Guardians using the same principles as above.
* While the entire {{nanomachine}} technology system from the ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' series arguably fits here, an even better example is Fortune from ''MetalGearSolid2''. For most of the game, she is said to have been BornLucky. At the end, it turns out that she has been carrying around some kind of electromagnetic device that somehow deflects bullets, stops explosions, and prevents an unstable weapon from destroying itself.
** Subverted [[spoiler: in that, after the device is destroyed, she still manages to deflect several projectiles fired at her.]]
** Otacon also invokes ClarkesThirdLaw as an explanation of Vamp's wall climbing skills in ''{{M|etalGearSolid4}}GS4''.
* In ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' so long as you can imagine someone inventing something, it's magic by Devil's Proof
* In ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'', the Stasis and Kinesis modules are technological devices that allow the protagonist to slow down time and move heavy objects from a distance. [[spoiler: The Markers also count.]]
* [[{{Mayincatec}} The Coutl]], from ''VideoGame/RiseOfLegends'', since [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien their "gods"]] are AncientAstronauts, are able to wield alien technology as if it where magic.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock}}'''s plasmid abilities are rife with this trope. Examples include the ability to shoot FireIceLightning, or [[BeeBeeGun killer bees]] from your hands.
* Due to CharacterCustomization, ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' allows you to become a magic-based hero who wields a [[SwissArmyWeapon Battle Rifle]], [[GunsAkimbo Dual Pistols]], or Devices, which include a targeting drone, smoke bombs, mines, and time bombs. Conversely, you can be a tech-based hero who can call on the [[CastingAShadow power of the netherworld]] or [[SummonMagic summon demons straight from hell]].
* Eco from ''Franchise/JakAndDaxter'' works like this. Not only can it be applied to futuristic guns, but it can allow users to fire singularity blasts, slow time, conjure green crystals, erect shields, or do any number of other things.
* AMP (Standing for Anti Matter Principle) technology from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' used by the Sanctum Government was modeled after natural [[BlessedWithSuck l'cie]] magic and comes in handy devices called Manadrives.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' PC-98 characters Rika, Rikako Asakura, Chiyuri Kitashirakawa, and Yumemi Okazaki have all used science to such degrees that spirits and fairies emerge. In the Windows series, the kappa frequently borrow and improve upon technology from outside Gensokyo, but this might be more {{Magitek}}.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'': Biotics are magic like abilities that some people develop, if they are fortunate enough to survive in-utero exposure to a {{Minovsky P|hysics}}article, given brain surgery, and attach a {{cyb|org}}ernetic "amp" into the back of their neck. A biotic needs a lot more calories than normal [[AvertedTrope due to]] [[NoConservationOfEnergy Conservation Of Energy]], and their powers are restricted to [[GravityScrew affecting mass, and creating singularities]].
** In fact, [[WhatCouldHaveBeen the original plan]] for the third game was to have a big reconstructive twist where they acknowledge that, in fact, biotic abilities and the mass effect do ''not'' make sense with the conservation of energy. The energy has to come from ''somewhere'': remember all those stars dying before their time? Whenever a ship accelerates to FTL, entropy in the universe increases massively. The Reapers, according to the original plan, were a means of delaying the heat death of the universe by destroying civilizations that have reached the point of using too much mass effect.
** Most of the "Tech powers" in these games are supposed to be grenades, but in the second game, the [[ShockandAwe lightning like]] "overload" ability hits enemies instantaneously, while the "[[KillitWithFire Incinerate" ability]] is a {{fireball|s}} in all but name.
* In the ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' games' backstory, a limitless energy source was eventually discovered and the scientists gave it the most appropriate name they could: magic.
* NOVA in ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar'', the wish-granting comet god, is made of random mechanical parts.
* In the world of the first two ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic'' novels, magic is done by tapping into [[{{Precursors}} the Ancients']] planetary 'Wire'. It is left unclear if this applies to the other worlds, and if the Wire is pure (if [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien sufficiently advanced]]) technology or Magitek (at least some Ancient tecniques utilizes manipulation of the Elemental Planes).
* The Forerunners in ''{{Franchise/Halo}}''. It is very hard to list what their technology ''doesn't'' allow them to do. To wit: hyper-advanced armor worn by ''everyone'' that renders them immortal and removes the need for sleep, solid objects made of [[HardLight light]], truly [[AIIsACrapshoot sentient AI]], mastery of gravity and FTL travel, the ability to create, destroy, and move stars and planets, create structures the size of small star systems, and so much more.
* The page quote is said word for word after a certain technology is discovered in the ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} V'' scenario "Empire of the Smoky Skies".
* In ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'', the demonic realm can be breached though certain forms of teleportation, and computers can be used to summon, store and handle demons (albeit through the use of a BlackBox-laden program).
* In the ''[[VideoGame/InheritTheEarth Inherit The Earth: Quest for the Orb]]'' the titular Orb of Storms was created by sufficiently advanced humans. It has been used for generations to judge the growing and planting seasons and its holders have a huge advantage in managing their food supply. It's apparently [[spoiler: the core operating system for some weather control satellites]].
** The encyclopedic analyzing ability of the voice-activated Orb of Hands is also used to help with construction and the creation of tools.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The vast majority of technology seen in ''Webcomic/{{Heliothaumic}}'' is derived from centuries of study of the titular Heliothaumic energy that is derived from the sun, either using solar panels or [[GreenRocks thaumite]].
* In ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', a binding spell used to negate the powers of a BodySnatcher turns out to be a kind of computer program. However, the computer itself [[{{Magitek}} contains magic parts]]. Magic itself is referred to as the "[[MagicByAnyOtherName etheric sciences]]", sometimes (Kat is confounded to discover that her parents believe in magic, and more so to find out that it's a known quantity not dissimilar to her beloved robots and computers).
* Similar to ''Series/BabylonFive'', ''Webcomic/TheCyantianChronicles'' has Technomages, to the point that Marcus named his familiar Galen.
* Seems to be the case in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', or at the very least Eridan seems to believe so, with his WhiteMagic of SCIENCE as he calls it. [[spoiler: Doc Scratch agrees with him. However there are still inexplicable superpowers, gods, and even the technology has baffling origins. Eridan's own WhiteMagic is implied to have been a corruption of his own superpowers, making his SCIENCE incorrect.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheMonsterAndTheGirl'', Kenrick has a 'BIST' which seems to be like technological version of a D&D 'Bag of Holding', and Kenrick is described as a 'techno-magical' {{Cyborg}} created by a mad alien god. The implication is that it's all super-science.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', [[MadScientist Tedd]] after his years-long study and refinement of alien TransformationRay technology and related equipment. When one of his magic-using friends got in a trouble, they were offhandedly told that shapeshifting, innate or instrumental, uses [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2008-11-13 essentially the same forces as magic]], and witnessed crude measurement of the latter. Three guesses at [[http://egscomics.com/index.php?arcid=72 what his next project is about]]?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In [[http://everything2.com/title/How%2520the%2520scientists%2520discovered%2520magic How Scientists discovered magic]]. Inverted with [[http://everything2.com/title/How%2520mages%2520discovered%2520the%2520scientific%2520method How mages discovered the scientific method]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Every episode of ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooWhereAreYou''. Later {{Spin Off}}s introduced actual ghosts and magic; ''[[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooOnZombieIsland Zombie Island]]'' and, particularly, ''[[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAndTheWitchsGhost Witch's Ghost]]'' were the pinnacle of the latter.
* Parodied in one of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''[='s=] future WhatIf episodes. "We can do anything now that scientists have invented magic!"
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH'', no attempt is made to explain how a series of injections (in the novel, mostly steroids) have given Nicodemus GlowingEyesOfDoom and [[MindOverMatter telekinesis]]. However, since it's [[RuleOfCool awesome]] and thematic, it doesn't have to.
* WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls were made from Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice. And a bottle of Chemical X.
* Used and averted in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', where Kid Flash attempts a technobabble explanation to Doctor Fate's genuine mystical powers. Klarion the witch boy, another magic user, observes this and mocks his current minion Abra Kadabra with the fact that Flash has identified the precise method that he uses to pretend to have magical powers.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DoraTheExplorer'' episode "Boots' Banana Wish" has a wishing machine, which can grant any wish. Though it is prone to breaking from too many double negatives.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Practioners of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_Magic Chaos Magic]] and Technoshamanism believe that this is essentially true.
* Think for a moment (in the most generalized way) about what your computer really is. It is an absurdly complex machine that does nothing but add ones and zeroes together ''really fast''. Despite this, layer upon layer of abstractions built on top of this most basic of arithmetic allows you to not only write with ''light'' but create images, store sound and produce ''seemingly intelligent, interactive responses'' using nanometer-scale metal circuits and plain old electricity. 50 to 80 years ago this would be considered such [[ArtisticLicense abuse]] [[WritersCannotDoMath of]] [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality basic science]] that only the softest of Sci-Fi writers--or those writing outright Science Fantasy--would have dared to touch it. For some, thinking about it too deeply can destroy your WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief in real life. Adding the global Internet into the picture just adds another layer of MindScrew to the whole thing.
** Summed up quite nicely in this [[https://xkcd.com/676/ xkcd comic.]]
* There have been a few cases where human beings with less advanced technology encountered objects from societies with more advanced technology and came to the conclusion, "Magic." In some cases, the less technological society has converted religions since clearly the other society's god(s) were more capable of giving their "shamans" power. {{Cargo cult}}s are one such case. These members generally believe benevolent spirits/ancestors/gods made the manufactured goods and sent them to the more technological society whether due to the rituals and temples (shipping manifests, radio calls, piers, airstrips, etc) of the other group or because these rituals tricked the benevolent spirits to sending the goods. The cult mirrors the actions taken by their more technologically endowed neighbors in order to get the goods themselves. The locals had no experience of modern industry and tended not to believe the explanations given to them.
** Likewise this happens with missionaries. If a group had no modern theory of disease and sees many children die to a disease, they'll likely conclude evil spirits or something supernatural is responsible. If missionaries, who generally mean well whether you agree with them or not, hand out little tablets that make the disease go away, the locals most likely conclusion is, "Jesus' magic is -way- stronger than whatever we've been doing before." The other common scenario was missionaries bringing lethal European diseases with them, leading the locals to believe that the missionary's magic was to blame for their illness.
* We now have access to a lot of "magic devices" from fairy tales:
** A magic mirror that can show who is the fairest in the land. (Google image search)
** A magic mirror that allows instant communication all over the world. (Cell Phones)
** A mop that cleans the house by itself. (Roomba vacuum cleaners.)
** A carriage that drives itself. (Computer-controlled cars, albeit still in the experimental stage.)
** Magic fire. It can be lit and extinguished at will, and able to burn brighter than any ordinary fire (light bulbs). Even old technology can seem like magic to those who came before.
* A History Channel documentary about scientific prophecies of doom included men discussing the impending disasters such as total economic collapse and other such global tragedies. One commented that the current age of man is entirely dependent on oil products that are little more than magic in what they have allowed us to achieve; take away the oil, however, and...
* Though most are still in the early prototype stage, a number of devices like Epoc's Emotiv controller use EEG technology to read your brainwaves and transmit commands wirelessly to a nearby computer. Depending on how that computer is programmed--and what hardware is attached to it--you can effect changes on the world around you ranging from changing the color of an object on-screen to driving a car, just by ''thinking about it''.
** For added ParanoiaFuel it might eventually also be possible for devices like that [[MindControlDevice to work in reverse]], as well.
*** eventually? sony has been working on feeding sensory information directly to the brain for over a decade, at least. in 2006, they reported that they had successfully caused a subject to see the color blue, and were able to consistently replicate it. it's just a matter of time before we get full immersion virtual reality.
* Magicians often accomplish their feats this way. While a lot of magic is done with sleight of hand and knowledge of human perception and psychology, many magicians create entirely new devices to make their tricks work.
[[/folder]]

----