Can Humans Really Attract Metal Objects Or Is It Just Sticky Skin?

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On Monday morning the Mail Online published a story about a “magnetic” man who supposedly can attract cutlery, glass, mobile phones, TV remotes, and even an iron to his body.

The article claimed that Muhibija Buljubasic, a 58-year-old car body repair specialist, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, discovered this special talent eight years ago.

“He is one man who never has to worry about losing the television remote,” the article read.
The story was identical to an article published by Mail Online just one month ago, about a Bosnian boy who can supposedly attract cutlery and coins to his chest.

With over 3,000 retweets it seemed people were pretty impressed by the “phenomenon”.
The story was also covered by the Mirror who compared the 6-year-old boy to Marvel Comics baddie Magneto.

However, stories about “human magnets” are nothing new, and the 6-year-old is not the only person said to have so-called “superhuman” abilities.

In previous years, other people have claimed to be able to attract metal objects to their bodies too.
In 2011, siblings Otto and Juraj Hoffman posed for pictures displaying their apparent ability to attract metal, wood, and plastic. Their mother Srebrenka Hoffman claimed she had the same “superpower” from a young age herself.

Apparently 6-year-old Ivan Stojiljkovic can attract up to 20 kilograms of metal and plastic objects to his body.

And Josip Losonc claims his body acts like a giant magnet.

So is it likely that human magnetism exists? Probably not. A spokesperson from the Institute of Physics told BuzzFeed News it is more likely to be “sticky skin”.

But for those who are not convinced by that answer, there is one scientific way to find out – by using a compass.

“Human magnetism, should a condition actually exist, would be very easy to test for,” the spokesperson said.

“Simply place a compass near the boy and see whether there is a reaction. If the compass needle doesn’t move in line with the potential magnetic field coming from the boy, then he is not a ‘human magnet’.

“Without an effect on the compass, there is no reason to believe the claims of human magnetism.”

So there it is – nothing to do with superpowers, just good ‘ol greasy, sticky skin.

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