"I am all in favor of the skeptical mind. Do not believe anything unless you have experienced it. Do not believe anything - go on questioning, however long it takes." - Osho

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Magneto boy!

What the heck? Just read this story on a few websites.

Six year old Ivan Stoiljkovic claims to be able to carry metal objects of up to 25kg stuck to his skin. But his family claim that this is because he is literally magnetic. Right. Perhaps a more likely reason is that he has sticky skin? A similar thing happened with this Malaysian man in the early 2000s. His skin produced incredible amounts of friction, which gave it a "suction" effect.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

He also claims to be able to heal people by holding his hands over the area of their body which is sore. His family then claim that his hands become hot, and the pain goes away. Of course, this can be attributed to their expectation that his doing so will make him feel better, and their desire to believe that their child is miraculous.

An interesting story to examine methinks. I'm no expert on the science of this one, but I can't say that the idea that the kid is a walking magnet really sticks with me. Any opinions?

Beccy :D


  1. I think this kid could defeat a bald guy in a wheelchair.

  2. I think he probably could.

  3. Hmm. The photo looks pretty damn fake, though it's hard to analyse given its small size. Also, I the fact that it only seems to appear in news outlets that are less-than-reputable and known to post such credulous stories is reason enough to doubt its veracity. The captions are all "his family says" and blah-blah-blah...no one seems to have actually come and done an on-site sceptical investigation.

    I would wait to see if this makes the larger news outlets; if so, it will be easier to judge, and if not, we can probably assume that it has indeed turned out to be fake.

    And as for the photos? The child is rather...shall we say..."pudgy" :) There are a lot of folds in his skin that make it easy to hide wires. Or it could be photoshopped. Keep in mind, many of these such things start off as obscure hoaxes. As they start surfacing elsewhere, the "hoax" part often gets lost or forgotten or just plain ignored.

    Anyway, you've reminded me that I need to get some magnetic alphabet sets again. :)

  4. I'd be curious to know if all that metal hanging from him is ferrous? If it's not a magnetic metal, it's not magnetism. I'd "bet on sticky, sweaty fat kid" over "birth of a pudgy supervillian" :-)

  5. To the folks that commented on this post; your comments appear to have been deleted- but I'll reply anyway, because it'll still be relevant to you.

    To Schrodinger's Cat- that's a good point! They should definitely test that. And haha! I was going to make a chubby comment but decided not to- turns out you did it for me.

    To Tim- I've seen a few photos, and I don't think the photos themselves are fake. You're right about the news outlets though- they're not the most trustworthy. Lastly, it's possible that it is a complete hoax- but I don't think it's done with wires. I've seen pictures of him with small spoons stuck to his arms etc- would be more difficult to fake.