Is this Croatian six-year-old boy a real life Magneto?
When Ivan Stoiljkovic takes off his shirt the youngster is able to stick metallic objects such as spoons, mobile phones and even frying pans to his body. In total, his family says, he can carry up to 25kg of metal stuck to his torso.
Watch the magnetic boy video below and you can see what appears to be Ivan’s family sticking everything from forks, remote controls, frying pans and weights to his portly body.
But is it a all a hoax?
Benjamin Radford, renowned skeptic and managing editor of the magazine Skeptical Inquirer, believes it is.
“A lot of times when you see these videos, the people are leaning back slightly,” Radford Life’s Little Mysteries. “If there really is some magnetic attraction, the person should be able to lean over. If a magnetic force is overcoming gravity, we should see that. That’s one strong clue that what we’re seeing is not any sort of magnetism.”
Second, a non-metallic remote control, as well as metal objects, are shown sticking to Ivan’s chest. Plastic is not magnetic, Radford pointed out, so if plastic and metal are both sticking to Ivan, “what do those have in common? A very smooth surface. Not magnetism.”
That shows that quite a different physical effect is at play. “These people aren’t magnetic, it’s just that things that have smooth surfaces stick to skin,” said Radford, adding, “Often these magnetic people have smooth skin and hairless chests.”
Sadie Crabtree of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF), an organization that funds the scientific investigation of paranormal claims, says the effect is actually quite simple. “Skin is naturally slightly sticky, and some types of skin are probably stickier than others. But this is really no different than the trick where someone hangs a spoon from the end of their nose. It’s just sticking through friction.”