"Magnetic" woman baffled by attraction

article-1304481-0AD947F5000005DC-864_634x1008.jpgMetal things adhere to "human magnet" Brenda Allison, reports the Daily Mail. The adhesion of non-magnetic items, so long as they are very light and flat--and her ability to "curse" electronics--are nice touches.


  1. Of course, “The Incredible Slightly Sticky Woman” didn’t quite have the same ring about it…

  2. Fake. If you are going to pull a “magnetism” stunt. Don’t use coins that are mostly made of aluminum.

  3. Ok kid you not, used to date a girl who was diagnosed with generating too much natural electricity in her body that digital watches with conductive backing would burn out in under a week if she wore them. They prescribed her a harness that gave her small electric shocks but it didn’t help. It finally went away when she received a blow to the head years later.

    I only wish I could make this up.

    1. Xeno, I am now morbidly curious about your sex life with this woman. Did latex condoms provide adequate insulation?

    2. Same here. My ex has never been diagnosed with anything related to it, but she could kill any analog watch in about a week. I was 100% skeptical at first, but over the years had to admit that she was right. Never tried sticking metal to her, though (bad jokes aside).

      1. A lot can happen in a week that doesn’t require magical magnetic skin. Like hammers and washing machines.

        There are better ways to test for electronic-destroying powers than waiting unobserved for weeks.

    3. Well, my grandfather stepped on a duck and from that day forward he could make duck noises without even opening his mouth! Strangely enough, it always seemed to smell bad after he made the duck sounds. But it was baffling to everyone.

      And I had an uncle who could explode and then reconnect his molecules. Honest to god!

    1. Stainless steel is non-magnetic? I better go grab all my knives before they fall off my wall mounted magnetic knife holder.

      1. Austenitic stainless steel, which makes the vast majority of production, is not magnetic. Ferritic stainless steels are slightly magnetic, enough for knife holders anyway. Ferritic stainless makes halfway decent knives, austenitic doesn’t.

        1. “Austenitic stainless steel, which makes the vast majority of production”

          Like hell it does. I’m aware that it exists, but I’ve never personally encountered any in my life.

  4. The beautiful part is knowing that the Daily Mail isn’t intentionally Weekly World News-style stuff, and that the reporter and his editors might have actually fallen for a hoax.

  5. Speaking of “how do they work,” check out the quote from the “electromagnetic expert” at the bottom:

    “Lots of people don’t realize that their brain is a magnetic field. We wouldn’t be alive if we didn’t.”

    I’m having a hard time parsing that statement. Is she saying that if we do not realize that our brain is a magnetic field, we die? But many people don’t realize that – she just said so!

    Obviously, there’s a huge tragedy in the making here.

  6. Actually, aluminum and other conductors can become temporarily magnetized if you induce a current in them by the means of a magnetic field differential (oscillating fields will work). This induced field (curl of the current, look into maxwell’s equations) will be oriented in the opposite direction of the field differential, therefore the object, or coin in this case, will be repelled. Now as far as coins and other objects go, the shape of the object will determine how the magnetic vector field is oriented. Objects that form a loop of some sort have a circular path for current to flow through, thus an induced current can be maintained to produce a respectable magnetic field. If you have a closed surface such as a coin, I’m not sure that this would be able to maintain a magnetic field strong enough to overcome its own weight.

    I’m not sure how a magnetic field differential could interfere with a battery powered toy or a cash register for that matter. If this were the case most of our electronic devices would be constantly malfunctioning due to the over abundance of stray magnetic fields we have these days. I would have to say that this woman is full of malarky, which is a substance that attracts gullible reporters and such.

  7. Oh, and bullcrap ahoy – that “expert” specializes in “Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy.”

    Check out bemeramerica.com. Better than crystal therapy, I guess, only in that this therapy promises a slightly higher possibility of death from ingesting cheap Chinese solder, offering society a slight Darwinian bonus.

  8. Now I think I will lay down on the carpet, put some coins on my face, get a friend to stand over me to take a picture, and sell it to the Daily Mail as proof of antropomagnetism.

  9. I can hang a spoon on the end of my nose!

    Some alloys of stainless steel are non-magnetic, Brett Myers.

  10. It’s nicely convenient that everything stuck to her is on surfaces that slope upward. Oh, wait, that’s exactly what anyone who sticks spoons to their face does.

  11. I’d be impressed if this magnetic power of hers could work through a thin strip of paper or plastic. Come on, let’s see her test it out.

  12. Meh… both my dad and I have a bit of an effect like what Xeno seems to be talking about. My dad was once given a lie detector test but no measure could be made of it because they couldn’t get a baseline. We both have some cardiac problems from it too, or perhaps originating from the same thing? I periodically have an irregular heartbeat that so far hasn’t been very dangerous but some times is very disconcerting. Supposedly I’m also at a greater risk of stroke. My dad had one, but we figure it was probably the drugs and alcohol so who knows?

    Eh… all and all it’s not very exiting. And no, metal things don’t stick to me at any greater rate. I’ve never worn a watch so I have no idea about them.

  13. @#13: Shenanigans. I’ve got a friend who used to write for the Daily Mail. They’re very aware of the dubious nature of some of the stuff they publish, however much they may pretend not to be.

  14. Daily Mail, not even going to bother reading the link.

    I believe some people say that’s the closest the UK comes to Fox news, hence it is mostly ignored and brutally satirised.

  15. I have had a coin stuck to my forehead for the last 4 minutes. I wonder if I’m magnetic too? Not only that, I’ve observed that playing football at lunchtime significantly increases my magnetism in the afternoon. It must be the running around that boosts my charge levels.

  16. My Grandmother could change the tuning on an old radio by waving her hand across it, and couldn’t use a microwave (of all things) without them breaking down). Never hung metal from her though.

  17. I have recently found out that my blood pressure is hard to hear. This made a surgeon cancel my operation (since his machine kept insisting I was dead, followed by some insanely high value) until I got an ambulatory BP machine, where I found out the problem. They weren’t putting the cuff on tight enough. The nurses kept saying, “Your poor arm!” and I kept saying “Tighter!”

    Of course this woman is in the Daily Fail, but sometimes people are a little off the medical industry’s expectations.

  18. Obviously a terminator from the future that has forgotten what it is. Bow down to our robot overlord.

  19. She says her body can emit a negative or positive charge, depending on the time of the month.

    Sounds like my wife.

  20. This reminds me of one of my favorite pranks. It requires you, a dime, a friend, and preferably a large audience of co-conspirators.

    1. Show your friend the dime.
    2. Stick that dime onto your own forehead.
    3. Tilt your head down.
    4. Slap the back of your head, discreetly raising your eyebrows each time until the coin falls off.
    5. Make sure to declare something like, “It takes forever to fall off, see? It took me X number of slaps! Now you try!”
    6. Press the dime to your friend’s forehead. But here’s the trick: secretly palm the dime and press your thumb to their forehead. Press for a few seconds. Make sure your friend never sees the dime.
    7. Now have them slap the back of their head.
    8. Watch the audience explode with laughter as the friend fails to dislodge the “phantom” dime.
    9. Make sure to give your friend a big hug when it’s all done.

  21. Although I am pretty sure that this is a hoax, I have never been able to wear any kind of watch for prolonged periods, either digital or analogue, since I was in my early twenties. They all stop within about 24 hours of continuous wear.

    I was told by a doctor that it was because of my “magnetic personality”, but he just thought that he was being funny.

    I did, however, once work at a geological research facility where I crushed rocks and ran the samples through a powerful magnetic separator so that they could be assessed for iron content.

    Perhaps that changed my life?

    Any experts on this?

  22. This isn’t any news. There are in fact several “magnetic people” around the world.

    They don’t have a magnetic attraction anyways, it has to do with their skin adhering to smooth objects.

  23. That is /nothing/. /I/ can stick hundred dollar bills to my skin!

    First, I’ll need some hundred dollar bills from people in the audience …

  24. One may also notice that items only stick to the parts of her that have a positive slope, but not a negative slope…meaning, how come things only stick to her forehead and upper torso, and not the underside of her chin, breasts, or arms?

  25. Though the article would seem to be BS, I have witnessed people able to “bless” or “curse” technology by touch. In IT we call it “laying on hands”, when all you do is take something apart and put it back together and it’s fixed. Conversely, some people seem to be able to suck the life out of electronics by touch. I am waiting for science to have some real hypothesis regarding this type of phenomenon.

    1. I am waiting for science to have some real hypothesis regarding this type of phenomenon.

      Cognitive bias would be a good starting hypothesis…. Still, electronics (especially something with a battery) could be affected by changing temperature or even humidity. Actually, I once had a computer that only worked sitting on the floor, but not when sitting on my desk. Turns out the graphics card was loose, and the card was not fully seated unless the computer was correctly inclined (otherwise it was disinclined – ha!).

      1. Quite a bold statement you’ve made there (ahem.) Yeah, what I’m talking about is not just from an instance or two, but people who consistently have been able to produce such results. Again, I have never seen such a study, but it would be great to see such things tested on the few folks I have seen that seem to possess such “gifts.”

    2. One of my first IT repair gigs as a teenager was fixing the cash register machine at a local pizzeria. After talking to the assistant manager over the phone and asking all sorts of questions about whether it was plugged in, I hopped on my bike and pedaled down to the pizzeria.

      The complaint was the machine would not turn on.

      I walk in, walk over to the register, and see that the electric plug is slightly ajar from the outlet.

      I laid my hands on the machine, bowed my head, and (as there were no customers at the time) roiled up a good old healing-tent asservation along the lines of “eeeeeevehl spirits, Ah command you in tha name of Jaysus to be gon-ah!” and smacked the monitor while simultaneously kicking the plug back seated.


      That garlic pizza was mighty tasty.

  26. I knew a guy who couldn’t play video games because they would reboot whenever he touched the coin slot. Occasionally pissed off people at the arcade when high scores were reset.

    Watched him do this many times. We had no idea why this happened. Freak of nature I guess.

  27. With my magic socks on, a brief walk on my enchanted carpet allows me to curse a balloon so it adheres to the wall!

    Beware! My power will make your hair stand on end!

  28. I’ve seen people affect watches & compasses when they touch them. Magic!

    Okay, it’s literally magic. Sleight of hand can reset the watch and a tiny magnet under a fingernail or palmed between fingers can zap the compass.

    If someone affects electronics by touching them whether arcade games, watches, or compasses I’d first suspect lose wiring and then some trick. The standard plausible-seeming explanations of magnetic skin or static electricity are easy to test and almost always false. (If they were really magnetic you could suspend them via electromagnets, something I would pay to see. And if it was static electricity, you’d be zapping yourself every time you touched their hand.)

    These first-hand accounts don’t seem credible. What have you done to rule out the obvious explanations? Funny how you can laugh at the sweat-stick chick and then credulously report about your watch-destroying girlfriend.

  29. I also have never been able to wear a digital watch more than a week without it failing.

    I bought my digital watches at the dime store and wore them in the shower, when doing strenuous percussive work, playing sports, etc.

    But yeah, the watches never lasted more than a week or two. Probably because I’m descended from a warlock. And I have a special relationship with the sun.

  30. I’m another of the something’s-strange-here people. Watch batteries die fast if I wear watches (so I don’t). Batteries drain themselves if I carry them in my pockets for a few days. I also have at best intermittent success with capacitance sensors. Touchscreens and touchpads only sometimes recognize my fingers. When I got a laptop, it had to be one with a nipple mouse instead of a touchpad. Even my phone will sometimes stop responding to one hand or the other, or just certain fingers… it’s annoying and intermittent, but definitely real.

    I’ve never really thought about it much, it’s just always been true. Maybe someday it’ll be easily answered – and people like me will find that we just have some weird electrochemical thing going on.

    Doesn’t mean I think the magnetic woman is anything but a woman with sticky skin, though. *laugh*

  31. The inverse square rule kicks in here. There’s incredibly powerful magnets that are in your hard drives, tvs and electric motors. You don’t see them causing the same sort of issues she claims to cause.

  32. Batteries go flat in your pocket because of your body heat. I used to carry batteries round in my pockets and they would suddenly start overheating. I don’t have magic powers, there’s just a chemical reaction that wants to happen stored in the battery. Recommendation: Avoid.

  33. With all due respect for the scientific method- I’ve met people with similar conditions. A girl in my office earned the nick-name “zap girl”- and computers would do very strange things whenever she was near them. One time her mobile phone started charging just from her holding it…

    Impossible, but it happened.

  34. It’s easy, do metal ball-bearings stick to her, no, then chalk it up to surface tension an/or static cling. Next.

  35. ERM. Guys, your body has iron in it, iron particles* So everyone is slightly magnetic, but not strongly, “magnetic women” is telling the truth that she is magnetic, she might have a bigger Iron count than you, dont be jelous.

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