To Be or Not to Be Magnetic – That is the Question

With the advent of free and easy information, phenomena of the most bizarre nature have come to light, including people with superpowers. Among them are the so-called magnetic men – that is, people who allegedly attract metallic objects. These cases always raise questions in people’s minds. Could it be true, or is it a scam?

Probably the best known magnet-man is Etibar Elchiyev, a Georgian man who has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the most spoons attached to his body – a record he set in 2011, with 50 spoons, and improved in 2013, managing to keep 53 spoons on his skin.

Elchiyev claims that his body has a kind of magnetic power, and that he once felt he even pulled towards him a car with people in it. All the skepticism in the world would not make The Magnet Man lose confidence in his abilities. Moreover, he plans to continue setting and breaking world records related to bodily magnetism, and his next goal is to stick to his body metal objects weighing over 300 pounds. 

There are people who support him and track his performance, always eager to see what feat he has achieved. However, there is another category of people, those who doubt that there could be any such thing as a human magnet, who are quick to prove how different our lives would be if people would indeed be magnetic.

Now, the question is not if people in general are magnetic or not – of course they aren’t! – but whether Etibar Elchiyev possesses some sort of anomaly that could make his body attract metal. Could there be something about his blood composition, or his skin, that makes his body act differently from yours or mine? Or maybe he has swallowed a magnet.

Now, setting jokes aside, the most common explanation skeptics come up with is that The Magnet Man is actually The Sticky-Skin Man – which we all are after a hot summer day, before hitting the shower. And they may have a point here. If you check out a heat map, you will see that the sweatiest parts of the human body are the vertical middle section of the back, the shoulders, and the chest. If you look at the pictures of Elchiyev `attracting` spoons, you will see that these precise body parts are the ones the objects stick to – no spoons on his belly, arms, or hips.

Etibar Elchiyev

On the other hand, several pictures show a pan and an iron sticking to his shoulders. How sweaty could one get to be able to do that?!

The so-called Human Magnet can easily disprove the skeptics’ theory by applying some talc powder before starting to attract objects or by proving his magnetic qualities with his shirt on. However, his record stands, regardless of what science will eventually show to be the secret behind his power of attraction. Any way you look at it, he really can keep spoons attached to his body, but whether he does it through magnetism or plain stickiness remains to be confirmed.

I just hope his personality is as magnetic as the rest of him!