Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Magnetic(?) People

  1. Nov 6, 2003 #1

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    I tried searching Google and Yahoo for information on this, but my quick try gave me nothing (Maybe you will have better luck)

    Does anyone know anything about this phenomenon? I briefly saw them on this 'Bizzare world' sort of program on Discovery channel. It wasn't a pseudo science sort of program as much as it was a 'look at all of the strange things people do' program (It had a guy who eats everything, the japanese log riding event, people piercing everything etc)

    Anyway, amongst all that it showed this family from taiwan (apparently this phenomenon is common to the whole family) who seemed to be attractive to all sorts of materials. By putting spoons etc up against them, they would just stick there as if they were attracted by magnets. My first thought was "Cool. Their body somehow produces a magnetic field." But then the stuck a glass ashtray to their forehead. Not only that, but some doctor studying them says that they cannot detect any magnetic field or anything.

    So....unless this is some sort of incredibly elaborate hoax....or something, this is incredibly interesting. Does anyone know anything about it??????
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2003 #2
    Well, that evidence pretty much kills the magnetism theory, doesn't it?

    Maybe their perspiration is just sticky or something? Right next to me I have some objects, like a comb, a pencil, etc. I was able to stick them to me for a little while -- it's not hard to do this if your hands are a little sweaty, but not too sweaty. Maybe these guys are just better at it?
     
  4. Nov 6, 2003 #3
    It's an illusion and psuedoscience. This is one of the weirder abilities that people sometimes come up with and clam as miracles. I think there was this one woman who would stick gold foil to her face and claim she was sweating gold. It's all about as real as psychic surgery.
     
  5. Nov 6, 2003 #4
    And about as real as people moving matchsticks across tables, and slamming doors shut without touching them. Illusions, pseudo-science, and perhaps some strange coincidences...they probably explain them just fine. Not my field, though, really.
     
  6. Nov 6, 2003 #5

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    As confident as you sound with your dismisal of this, I am still not convinced either way. This did look convincing. Seeing someone pick up a glass ashtray, place it next to their forehead, and then seeing it stuck there is pretty impressive.

    BUt then again, watching magicians make elephants etc disappear is impressive too. So its not always as simple as seeing and believing. But I am still interested in some more information. Maybe one of those skeptic sites which rebuts these sorts of things...
     
  7. Nov 6, 2003 #6
    So then you are left with Occam's Razor.
     
  8. Nov 6, 2003 #7

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    that doesn't really help at all.
     
  9. Nov 7, 2003 #8

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Can you rule out that some kind of adheisive was used? Also, could "up" not have been as it appeared [simple camera tricks]?

    I have seen some of the old tricks used by martial arts masters of centuries past. They were often quite clever.
     
  10. Nov 7, 2003 #9
    When you’re taking about weird phenomena’s, let me tell you about this one..
    This one seems much more serious then that adhesive thing (BTW if it’s some kind of super glue how did they detach those objects from their bodies ?).
    Well, what’s it all about, I’ve saw this thing on TV many times in different occasions, different conditions etc. It’s about man who can charge him self like a battery, and for example take a 220V/100W light ball in his hands and turn it on in full power, or he can bear very high Voltages and currents, I don’t know there was a million experiments with him, he barbecued sausages using two forks and holding them in his hands etc. You could easily call this fake, (I don’t remember his name but the nick is BIBA, he’s from my country and you most probably heard nothing about him), but the guy performed so many times in all kind of conditions and checked equipment, there was even one time he was in the studio with 5-6 university professors disagreeing with he’s story and calling him a magician, nevertheless he did all his stuff, and then after charging him self he gave them (I don’t know how it’s called in English, you know that screwdriver, with the resistor and a light for current testing) to put on his skin and the light shined, but then one of the professors took his own “screwdriver” from a pocket and tried the same thing and it worked (I know they aren’t some quacks, that professor that tested him with his own instrument teaches my brother in electrical engineering faculty, and the others are also real uni. Profs.).

    OK, all of this you could explain somehow, but the most interesting thing to me was experiment where they gave him a piece of ordinary aluminum foil (like one’s from cigar box, or chocolate) he would hold it in his palm, than he would gave it back to you, after a while the foil would start to heat up in your own hand to the point in which you had to throw it away (care to share some explanation... physicists?).

    BTW, guy if totally hairless and can’t sweat, and according to him he discovered this ability by helping a neighbor with some wiring ... Supposable he was tested for a month in some German institute – they couldn’t exp
     
  11. Nov 7, 2003 #10

    FZ+

    User Avatar

    Nope, just high voltages.

    Any fool can do that. Haven't you seen this same thing repeated by dozens of professors explaining electricity? The trick is to use an extremely high voltage, but an extremely high current, such as with a tesla coil. And it is pretty safe. Most documentaries on Tesla (the non-death ray, perpetual energy and other stuff ones) show a picture of a person putting a hand on a light bulb or a flourescent lamp, and the lamp lighting up. No big deal.


    Try this experiment. Connect a 12V battery to two graphite electrodes. Holding one against the other, touch them with each other. See the sparks? The graphite very quickly becomes very hot, yet you are unharmed. I'll wager what he is doing is similar.

    Then these professors lack real experience with such experiments. It is nothing to do with the tester.

    More like chemists. Obviously this isn't an electrical phenomena, which blows his earlier claims straight out of the water. Aluminium is very reactive a metal, and he can simply have chemicals on his hand that reacted to produce the heat.

    The guy is a charlatan.
     
  12. Nov 7, 2003 #11

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    OK, I can't be certain if camera tricks were used, or if they sweated a lot etc, but unless everyone involved in the documentary was involved in perpetuating this sham (which I also agree is entirely possible), then sweat and camera angles had nothing to do with it.

    As I said in the begining, this program was just about wierd things in the world and explaining them. It wasn't about psychic powers and magical abilities and the paranormal and all that, it was just about people who did strange things. (like extreme piercings, eating strange things, riding trees down big hills etc) So i don't see why they would want to use camera angles and stuff to make something up.

    The sweat thing seems unlikely, because its can be quite apparent. Besides, it worked through clothes too.

    In one of the images they were sitting there with a pile of objects in front of them (Spoons, forks, small clocks, ashtrays etc) and they would pick one up, put it to their chest, pick the next thing up, put it to their chest, put the next thing up, put it to their forehead, next bit up, put it to the arm etc... and it all just stayed where they put it.

    All I am interested in, is if someone can find more information about it. I know there is probably an explanation for it, but I want to see one rather than a list of the usual "Oh, its probably a trick' explanantions which can be applied to any phenomenon which is hard to explain (IMO opinion, this is the worst reaction.)
     
  13. Nov 7, 2003 #12
    Well, we can hardly speculate as to how it was done if you leave out details of what was shown, such as that it worked through clothing. Or angles: could they, for instance, stick something to the underside of a horizontally held arm (as opposed to, say, a vertical arm)? That would be the hardest to account for.

    Incidentally, "Oh, it's probably a trick" is a actually a good default assumption when incredible claims are being made. If we've already ruled out adhesion, magnetism, etc., "it's a trick" is more plausible than "an entirely unknown and new physical phenomenon is at work".
     
  14. Nov 8, 2003 #13

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    yeah, true, its just that I wasn't interested in hearing that. My fualt I guess, I could have made this more clear in the begining, but I can make those assumption on my own, I don't need people saying "It's probably a trick"...that is the obvious thing to think. What I am interested in though, is if there is anything documented on it. I am much more interested if there is something concrete on it...

    I'll try again myself....Its hard to think of what to search for or even where to search for it. I'll try looking around at some of the debunking sites, see what they say.
     
  15. Nov 8, 2003 #14

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Well that's just super!

    I've been herer for about half an hour looking now, trying to find anything, and I found my way to this:
    Bizarre World 2
    which is the description of the program that I saw... And it's not even mentioned in there!

    I though that it would say something which might be a tip off as to how I should search for it. This is so frustrating.
     
  16. Nov 8, 2003 #15

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Nope. I give up again. I've tried looking at the skeptic sites, and they don't mention it. I've tried looking at the paranormal sites, and all I get is tons and tons and tons of god damned UFO, Spontaneous combustion and ghost crap.

    I give up.
     
  17. Nov 15, 2008 #16
    "I think there was this one woman who would stick gold foil to her face and claim she was sweating gold. It's all about as real as psychic surgery."

    The grand Robert Stack offered a solution during an Unsolved Mysteries segment about this "Miss Katie." The gold foil that she would 'generate' consisted of 80% copper and 20% zinc, the exact composition of low brass, which has a shiny, light gold color. Hope that explains everything.

    For Raul
    Vaya con dios
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Magnetic(?) People
  1. Keeping people updated (Replies: 1)

  2. Why do people sleep? (Replies: 10)

Loading...