What Produces Magnetism in Human Body?

Human Magnetism Cover

Growing up in the times where not everyone had a gaming console, smartphones were basically non-existent, and electricity had issues getting in someone’s house, magnets were the coolest thing ever. They were these magical substances that simply clicked together without us having to do anything and if put the wrong sides together, doesn’t matter how much we tried they never stuck together. Magnetism to this day is one of the most intriguing properties that occur naturally, but we humans have magnetism as well. But how does that happen?

What is Magnetism?

In order to understand what produces magnetism in the human body, we must know what exactly is magnetism. Magnetism is the half force of the combined fundamental force that is electromagnetism. Magnetism either attracts or repels due to magnetic fields that are generated in certain objects. Magnets are basically of two types either a permanent magnet or an electric magnet.

Magnetic field

A representation of magnetic fields.

  • Electric Magnet: In this, the magnetic field is generated within an element, usually iron with the help of an electric current that is flown in via wires around a coil. As electricity and magnetism are two aspects of one force this leads to the material act like a magnet as long as the current is flowing through it. It is used in various devices, for example, MRI scanners.
  • Permanent Magnet: Though the name suggests that these are forever, but these magnets tend to lose their magnetism upon being heated or after about a time of 1000 years, it is a long stretch of time, but still a finite amount. They occur naturally and do not require any electricity to exert magnetism, so how come they are magnetic without electric current? The spin of electrons in the outermost shell of an iron molecule generates enough electric current for it to become magnetic.

What causes Magnetism in humans?

Our magnetic properties can be categorized as a permanent magnet, as we do not require current and if we try to flow current from our body, obviously it would have other negative effects. As for magnetism, it occurs due to weak ionic currents within our bodies. Our bodies may seem like they have no electricity in them, but we rely heavily on it to function as our neurons send signals back and forth from the brain to other body parts via electric current. Therefore our ability to think, move and feel rely on electricity, and just like the permanent magnets, our body produces magnetism.

Neuron electricity

Sparks of electricity in neurons.

During research in Germany, a group of scientists wanted to find if our brains contain magnetite, one of the most magnetic materials on our planet. They looked through the brains, that were donated to them for scientific research, and upon thoroughly testing these, they found that our brains indeed contain magnetite.

Does it have any effect?

Even though we carry magnetic properties, they are so minuscule that they cannot be observed or have any effect on objects around us. But what if there was someone who had strong magnetism?

Well, there was, in fact, a person by the name Liew Thow Lin in Malaysia but he was often referred to as Mr. Magnet or Magnetic Man that possessed such capability. He was able to stick various metal objects to his body and they stayed stuck onto his body. Lin was often observed performing these acts in public for charity and if all of that was not impressive he could hold objects that weighed up to 3 kilograms onto his body. He was also observed in few documentaries and multiple national and international television shows. Ultimately, this caught the attention and curiosity of many scientists and they conducted tests to see what magnetic property he was exerting. Unfortunately, they didn’t find any unusual electric charge or magnetism, the reason behind his ability was due to his unusual skin. He had skin that had high levels of friction that acted as suction cups to hold various objects. Either way, he was quite popular in his neighborhood but sadly, passed away in 2013.

Liew Thow Lin

A photograph of Mr. Magnet living up to his name.

In the end, our dream to become Magneto still remains a dream, but with the proper equipment and electric charge, it might be possible. As for the natural magnetic properties, we are certain that our body produces magnetism.

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