Monday, December 30, 2013

New (and Completely Useless) World Record for 'Magnetic Man'

Hey, check it out, this guy just set a new world record for keeping the most spoons and other metal eating utensils stuck to his body!

The so called "Magnetic Man" is Etibar Elchyev from the country of Georgia, and he claims he sticks metal to his body through "body magnetism." In reality, he's just a sticky guy (ewwwww!). It's a shame that the news reporter in the ITN clip above falls for this "magnetic body" trick, because that's all it is - an old carnival trick.

It's nothing new, as seen in this other clip (and many, many more you can find on YouTube) of a young Croatian boy sticking spoons to himself, allegedly through body magnetism:

What always amuses me about these "magnetic man" type claims is that they always involve doing something so completely useless. Sticking spoons to your body? C'mon, man! Bending spoons with your mind? C'mon man! Do something useful, like taking dents out of cars. If these "talents" were real, you'd see people doing real, useful stuff with their talents - not useless, silly stuff.

Anyway: If it's not magnetism that is making these spoons stick to these people, what is? Benjamin Radford, editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, explained in an article that appeared on a while back:

A lot of times when you see these videos, the people are leaning back slightly," Radford told Life's Little Mysteries. "If there really is some magnetic attraction, the person should be able to lean over. If a magnetic force is overcoming gravity, we should see that. That's one strong clue that what we're seeing is not any sort of magnetism."

Second, glass plates and a non-metallic remote control, as well as metal objects, are shown sticking ... "Glass is not magnetic. If a smooth piece of glass is sticking to him and a smooth piece of metal, what do those have in common? A very smooth surface. Not magnetism."

That shows that quite a different physical effect is at play. "These people aren't magnetic, it's just that things that have smooth surfaces stick to skin," said Radford, adding, "Often these magnetic people have smooth skin and hairless chests."

Regardless of the actual reasons the metal sticks to someone, we know that these folks are not generating some kind of strong magnetism for very simple reasons such as this one:

According to Radford, scientists and paranormal skeptics have often tested alleged attractors to see whether they are generating magnetic fields, and they aren't. For example, Radford said, when a compass is hung around their necks, it doesn't point toward them, as it would if they were magnetic enough to attract spoons. Instead, it points due north to the Earth's magnetic pole.

(HT: Dangerous Minds)

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