In the past week or so there have been several news articles from major news sources including this one from CBS about a boy that has apparent magnetic powers (metal things stick to him).

Is it possible that someone could have properties similar to a magnet that would allow metal to stick to them or is this something like sweat glands gone crazy?

Is this article something that could be taken seriously? Have there been others like it before?

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    I've actually seen this one before. Curiously when the skin is covered in talcum powder, the "magnetic" powers disappear. Commented May 18, 2011 at 4:06
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    @Monkey I believe it's due to having smoother than normal skin, but I can't find evidence of any of them coming forward for testing. James Randi challenged one man to the talcum powder test, but it never eventuated.
    – John Lyon
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 4:37
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    @jozzas Yeah, Ive been trying to find the particulars on that case. I think it has something more to do with the amount of oil on the skin, but I haven't yet been able to locate the specifics. However, as of now, I'm leaning back slightly just like the kid in the video and I've managed to catch $1.27 on my chest. Alot seems to depend on the angle the kid is standing at. Commented May 18, 2011 at 5:26
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    And yet nobody tried a compass needle. #fail Commented May 18, 2011 at 8:51
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    Magnetometer?! Quick, someone call the ghost hunters! Commented May 19, 2011 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


James Randi wrote about this exact boy HERE:

As you might have seen on a video clip from one of the programs I did on Seoul Broadcasting a few years ago, I defeated the similar claims of a Chinese gentleman who even stuck a porcelain toilet-lid to his own son’s chest to prove how magnetic his whole family was. I dusted father and son with talcum powder, and their powers evaporated…

The writeup on the referenced Chinese gentleman is HERE.

Randi also points out that aluminum and copper stick to him (not sure where this was seen/documented), and that this rules out the magnetism hypothesis.

So... does this disprove this specific case? Not necessarily. The family would simply need to be willing to douse their son in oil or talcum powder or have him put on a shirt to really illustrate that it's not a hoax. Prior incidences of similar "powers" having been disproved sways me much more in the "hoax" direction.

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