Mangaluru

Man with ‘magnetic power’ asked to undergo medical test in Udupi

Ramdas Shet of Udupi with some metal objects, including coins and spoons, stuck to his body.  

The Udupi district administration on Monday asked 50-year-old Ramdas Shet to undergo a medical test as he had claimed that his body has developed “magnetic power” after he took vaccine against COVID-19. Earlier, a video clip showing some metal objects such as coins and spoons sticking and hanging onto his body went viral on social media.

However, Professor and Head, Department of Chemistry, National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NIT-K), Mangaluru, Arun M. Isloor ruled out any link between the vaccine and human magnetism. And, senior physician Hansraj Alva at Vinaya Hospital and Research Centre, Mangaluru, called it a mere “gimmick”.

Mr. Shet said that he had seen videos of some people displaying “magnetic power” in their body after taking vaccine against COVID-19. Hence, he too tried it out of curiosity. He was not sure whether he had had “magnetic power” before getting the vaccine.

Deputy Commissioner of Udupi G. Jagadeesha said in a statement that vaccine will not create “magnetic power” in the body. Mr. Shet, who took his first dose on April 28, was tested at the District Government Hospital in Udupi. Some metal objects got stuck to his forehead, stomach, hands and other parts of the body, he said and added that doctors are studying it.

Prof. Isloor said that according to the available scientific literature, none of the recorded claims of so called “human magnets” are related to physics of magnetism.

“Such cases have been reported from other parts of the globe before COVID-19. It is known as human magnetism. In addition to metal objects, some have claimed that they are able to attract glass, plastic, rubber, wood and other non-magnetic metals such as aluminium, copper and brass,” Prof. Isloor said.

“As it involves the attraction of both magnetic and non-magnetic material, this case can’t be related to magnetic phenomenon, but can be explained by physical effect. One may try using plastic or other material. American skeptic Benjamin Radford has tried to check the effect by using a compass and he concluded that, it is not a magnetic field. According to him, these types of sticking of objects is possible with people having smooth, hairless skin and a lean back. According to a Canadian skeptic James Randi, such attractions are possible by frictions and due to unusual sticky and hairless skin. By applying a thin layer of any talcum powder, such human beings will lose their so-called ‘human magnetism’ powers,” Prof. Isloor said.

People should not pay heed to such reports but should actively take part in the vaccination drive against COVID-19, he said.

“Vaccination might cause mild fever or mild body pain for one or two days in some people,” Prof. Isloor said.


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 2:27:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/man-with-magnetic-power-asked-to-undergo-medical-test/article34815191.ece

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