Magnet Boy of Croatia: gadgets stick to his chest (big photo gallery)


Young Ivan Stoiljkovic poses for pictures with a Samsung Galaxy Tab stuck to his chest in front of his home near Koprivnica, about 62 miles (100km) north of Croatia's capital city, Zagreb, on May 12, 2011. Ivan, 6, is purported to posess an extraordinary and seemingly magical talent: the ability to attract metallic objects -- from spoons to heavy frying pans -- to his body. He is said to be able to carry up to 25 kg of metal stuck to his torso. Ivan's family also claims that his hands can emit heat and his mysterious ability has also given him healing powers. "Medical checkups so far have reaped inconclusive results," reports Reuters. More images follow, in which Ivan "attracts" cutlery, cookware, an iron, and other metallic objects. In the image below, his grandfather tosses coins at his chest. Surely this isn't a hoax! (all photos: Reuters)







    1. Oh, no! This time it’s different!

      Seriously, nearly every kid in the world has done the “spoon on the nose” trick. This is the same exact thing – just on a bigger and stickier person. I hope nobody actually falls for it.

    2. I watched a TV program a while ago, and there was a man in Asia who claimed the same powers. Their analysis showed that these people just have extraordinarily smooth skin, causing a vacuum to form between them and smooth surfaces, like that of metallic objects. That’s probably why dusting talcum powder on them makes them “unmagnetic”–I guess it disrupts the vacuum.

  1. I’m glad James Randi already took a look at this. I thought I would be the only one to notice he has his shirt off in every picture.

    Note to the gullible: clothing does not block real magnetic fields.

  2. I love it when the first comment of anything is a complete and total debunking of a given claim.

  3. He’s not magnetic. He’s just STICKY. Give him one good shower with soap and water and his career is OVER.

    1. I know it’s pedantic, but I can’t help it — the former FRY has the best plurals!

      For more awesome plurals, see also: Serbs, Slovenes, (and my personal favorite) Bosniaks/Bosniacs.

      If Bosnia=Bosniak, why can’t California=Californiacs?

  4. And all this time I thought I couldn’t do that spoon on the nose trick because my nose was greasy. Turns out I’ve just been keeping it too clean.

  5. You should see him stick to a vinyl chair in the Summer!
    Heh. Heh-heh.
    Okay, it’s actually kind of depressing that this 6-year old kid is a) being exploited by the adults in his life for (presumably) fame and profit, and b) seriously obese. I mean, jeez, look at the kid in the background in the top photo! Nothing’s going to stick to that kid!

  6. One could argue that all matter has at least some degree of a magnetic field.

    Xeni, you should post stuff like this all the time. I hear there is a guy who can pull coins out of children’s ears in Latvia.

  7. His posture and facial expressions suggest that he’s being groomed for a career as a strip club bouncer.

    1. Didn’t want to get into fat joke territory, but his expression makes him a good candidate for a live action Eric Cartman.

  8. Sweaty kid is sweaty.

    Or, to put it another way, if a light dusting of talcum powder removes his “magnetism” (and he attracts non-magnetic materials), can we stop calling this magnetism? Please.

  9. I’m impressed that this kid’s “magnetic field,” can even hold an aluminum non-stick pan. He really, REALLY needs to take a shower I think.

  10. I was going to call shenanigans, since any magnetic field strong enough to hold up that tablet would also seriously fuck with the screen.

    And the first comment I saw was that debunking link. Thank you, Internet.

    1. Uh, no, LCD screens aren’t visibly affected by magnets. The iPad 2 has a couple of powerful magnets in it to hold covers on. You’re thinking of CRTs.

  11. I don’t care if it’s a freaking trick. Take your shameless debunking somewhere else: those photos are definitely Pulitzer material!

  12. I think the coins were already stuck there, grandpa’s just tossing him food so he’ll stay leaning back

  13. Caption to top photo: “When Reuters pays for our story, we’ll have enough for me to eat too, huh ma?”

  14. I don’t care about chubby, look how skinny the young boy in the back is! Now I know who’s stealing who’s food!

      1. I think the other kid is in training to be a lightening rod. I would totally watch their live-action superhero TV show.

  15. Some people are sticky, some people are slippery….and here’s a song about the latter:

  16. It’s an old story. There’s always a media attention seeking father behind it. Have you all forgotten balloon-boy already?!

  17. “Medical checkups so far have reaped inconclusive results,”

    Some medical system in Croatia. I see a conclusive need for a bra, and a future coronary angioplasty.

  18. My first thought was that he ate a big magnet or ten. Seriously, he’s clearly eating all the other boy’s food. What’s left?

  19. No, no, no. This is a result of Chernobyl. Radio-caesium was concentrated in potatos, and if you eat enough potatos, stuff like this is sure to happen.

  20. You guys are coming up with some pretty sticky debunkings here. I’m going to have to go with velcro tape.

  21. Aw, I think he’s a cute little kid. Very photogenic. Look at those soulful eyes and how he works the camera.

  22. wow, best comments to an article in a while

    go team snark!

    my first thought was wondering if there is enough metal in the tablet for magnetism anyway

  23. What about that last picture….I’ve never seen non-stick on steel. (At least in probably a decade or more.)

    Magnetic Aluminum…interesting.

  24. I know it’s been pointed out already, but the stuff is just sticking to him because

    1. These are all flat objects
    2. The coefficient from his filthy skin, and the angle of his huge gut, keep things from sliding down off of him.

    And yeah most of these things are non-magnetic metals. But I bet if you took a few bucky balls, which are ACTUAL MAGNETS, they would roll right off him because they are very little and spherical.

  25. It was either sell the story of his miracle powers to Reuters, or tie a rope around his ankles and lower him into the wishing well.

  26. Never mind the magnetic kid…where can I find me a grown-up version of that pink bicycle??

    1. This is the best I could find quickly. It’s probably as close as you’ll get without going all Maker. Or there’s this. The last option is the old-lady version that’s been around since the birth of the bicycle.

    1. “Antinous’s first comment wins this thread.”

      Agreed. His second one was pretty good too. Sometimes I think they should just hand all commenting responsibilities to him. We’ll just sit and watch.

  27. Thanks to Xeni for posting this. The images stick in your mind. The comments are awesome too. Fucking magnets.

  28. This is beyond obvious as far as the fakery goes – I mean, just look at all the photos – everything sticking to him is at an angle that would just prove at the most, that his skin is resistant to slipping. Having that gut helps too.

  29. Of course he’s not magnetic. Why does that even need to be established. He’s made of meat just like anyone else. Non-magnetic meat.
    What I hope everyone is appreciating is that thanks to the diligent shenanigans of some very silly people we now have stunning photographs of a fat boy with various domestic objects stuck to his torso. Let’s all be very grateful this exists.

  30. Gee, I wonder what happens to his magnet power when he’s suspended in the air with his belly facing down.

      1. Far out. I got real high once back in the day and walked outta SF into south SF, I walked south on Third street actually I think and I… I could actually read the graffiti… It was a revelation. Thank you for the sweeet link hookups! Graffiti Research Lab ROCKS!

  31. i’d love the boy to be the boss in some creepy computer game, something between myst and a shooter. he’d rob all of your weapons that are metal, even the crowbar.


  32. I don’t wish to be mean, but the first pic did immediately put me in mind of Teletubbies.

  33. Gee, I wonder what happens to his magnet power when he’s suspended in the air with his belly facing down.

  34. As an actual Croatian resident I’ve come to grudgingly accept that the world’s mental image of my country will forever be something between Borat’s Hometown, the Ethnic Village in an 80s action movie, and articles like this one. It sort of sucks.

    I suppose it’s my patriotic duty to do a quick unicorn chaser: here’s my country a bit more as I see it.

    (Not that the article and the pictures aren’t fun in an ironic way, mind you – I just find that a tasteful counterpoint never hurts. Also it grates when an international media outlet points out to you that you live next door to stupid people.)

    1. Dude, I live in Texas. You’ve got nothing to worry about! At least the place you live isn’t hellbent on destroying… everything.

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