Ivan Stoiljkovic, a six-year-old boy from Croatia, might be the next Magneto. He can stick frying pans, spoons, forks, irons, dumbbells, coins and anything metallic onto his chubby stomach. Great power to have, right? Yup! Too bad he’s not magnetic.
Unless science, magnetism, biology and humanismology has changed overnight, Ivan is just a fat kid with sticky skin. OK, not fair. He’s a cute fat kid with sticky skin. James Randi, founder of an organisation that exposes paranormal frauds, debunks the whole Magnet Boy movement:
The fact that aluminium pots – as well as copper and silver coins – stick to this kid, rather shows that his touted “magnetism” – unless it has been drastically improved to pick up normally non-magnetic materials – is simply due to sticky skin. One of the substances normally present on human skin, a naturally-generated protective oil, is sebum, a waxy and particularly adhesive chemical that washes off easily. So, if you want to be clean, take a bath. Of course you’ll have to give up your chosen profession of going about with junk stuck to your body, but you’ll do a lot better on the social level.
Randi’s seen this act before and says if you throw talcum powder on the boy or even a shirt, his ‘power’ will disappear. There was a part of me that wanted to believe, especially because of Ivan’s adorable roundness, but science wins out. [Randi.org, Daily Mail, Image Credit: Sipa Press]