Filmmaker Joey Shanks describes it as “magic” or a “strange material.” A commenter said it’s “like a constrictor consuming a rat.” What is it? Magnetic putty.

The putty, like the type dubbed Super Magnetic Thinking Putty® from Putty World, is designed to “attract one magnetic pole and repel from the other.”

Shanks, in coordination with PBS Digital Studio, showed off the mesmerizing properties of the material in a recent video.

Magnetic Putty Envelops Metal Objects in Joey Shank Video for PBS

(Image: Joey Shanks/Vimeo screenshot)

Magnetic Putty Envelops Metal Objects in Joey Shank Video for PBS

(Image: Joey Shanks/Vimeo screenshot)

Magnetic Putty Envelops Metal Objects in Joey Shank Video for PBS

(Image: Joey Shanks/Vimeo screenshot)

Steve Spangler, an author, science teacher and speaker, explained how the substance works on his website:

Magnetic Attractor Putty is a non-Newtonian solid. This means that while the putty is technically a solid, it exhibits qualities of a liquid as well. Just let your putty sit on a flat surface for a while and you’ll see it spread out like a liquid. The magnetic properties of the Magnetic Attractor Putty come from a magnetic material being mixed in with the putty itself.  There are millions of tiny micron-sized magnets embedded in the putty to ensure that it will respond to any large magnet.

Watch the putty envelop metal objects like “the blob” in Shank’s video:

The material retails from Putty World for about $15.