Friday, May 20, 2011

The Magnet Boy of Croatia

Here he is:


All sorts of metal objects stick to him, from the cutlery shown here to irons and – bewilderingly – what seems to be a Samsung Galaxy Tab:mb001

and various non-magnetic things.

Also check out what is undoubtedly the world’s most insane bicycle.

There are more pictures here:

Aside from Magnet Boy’s oddly belligerent countenance, the pictures all have one thing in common.  Let me make a suggestion.  Take a magnet and some ferrous material that sticks to it. Wrap the magnet in a thin piece of material, such as a t-shirt.  You’ll find it still works: t-shirts don’t block magnetic fields.

So why has Magnet Boy got his shirt off in every photograph?

It’s because he’s not magnetic, he’s just sticky.  His shape and posture probably help matters along too, but the objects are sticking to him because of of a sticky substance, likely sebum. Or it might be glue for all we know.

James Randi dealt with this kind of thing in 2004 (and no doubt way before then):  A bit of talcum powder seems to play havoc with magically-induced magnetic fields.  It doesn’t seem to inhibit actual magnets though.

So on the downside, it’s tedious to see the media embrace stories like this that have been so thoroughly debunked and it’s genuinely sad that Magnet Boy is being exploited in this way.  On the upside, it gives us the opportunity to ask fucking Croatians, how do they work?

Update 1: Unsurprisingly, I was beaten to the fucking Croatians joke, it turned up just about everywhere long before I excitedly banged it out.

Update 2: Randi has commented on this, linking to the previous article I pasted above

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