Magnets in your fingernails: get a sixth sense without surgery

Leigh sez, "This weekend some friends and I decide to try sticking magnets to our fingers with various manicure technologies. I've written up the results – for science!"

Quinn Norton and others have had magnets implanted in their fingertips, which is very interesting, but slightly icky, and Quinn's magnet fragmented and kind of swam around in there for a while. Sticking the magnet to your nail is a lot less surgical, though it's less permanent, too.

I can feel ferrous materials strongly and easily with the backs of my fingers. It's a very gentle pull, and is totally fascinating. I can't feel much of anything through the pads of my fingers. I feel a very light buzz near things with strong magnetic fields, but it's really subtle to the point where I'm not yet convinced it's real – I expect I'll get more attuned to it in the next little bit. For now it just tickles.

I can pick up pretty substantial objects, like the magnet from inside an old hard drive. I'm bad with weights but it's probably 50 grams.

Aiden was a pro at getting the polarities all lined up, but you'll want to think about how to arrange them. Fingers sticking together or repelling? I went with sticking together. Hours of entertainment, I tell you.

So far I haven't managed to erase any credit cards or hard drives with them, and I've been told by others that these magnets just don't have enough power to do either.

Magnetic fingernails

(Thanks, Leigh!)