Reddit’s IAmA forums can be a regular source of BS, so when we came across this “Ask Me Anything” session in which a 24-year-old electrical engineer (and grad student) shares his experiences with having magnets implanted in his fingertips, we were skeptical. Then we read it, and it was kind of awesome. Moreover, it appears there are lots of people out there interested in the magnetic implant subculture--which apparently is a real thing.
Reddit user “elgevillawngnome” explains in this IAmA how he had two Parylene-coated neodymium magnets implanted in the thumb and ring finger of his left hand (he chose those two fingers because they are far enough apart from each other and don’t get in the way of his day-to-day activities). These magnets, surgically lodged in a layer of fat just below the skin, impart a kind of “sixth sense”--a sensation that allows him to feel magnetic fields in objects.The magnets aren’t super strong--only something very small like a staple will stick to his fingers, and they don’t wipe his hard drive when he uses his laptop or demagnetize his credit cards when he handles them. “The sensation I get near a magnetic field changes from field to field,” he says in the IAmA. “AC fields cause the magnets to shake in my fingertips. This causes a similar sensation to bumping your elbow and your fingers going numb. Though, this changes in fields of different frequency or intensity. DC and permanent magnet fields just feel like it's tugging on my finger.”
Below we’ve lifted a few more of our favorite questions and answers from this decidedly different Q+A session. You can read the thread in its entirety on Reddit.
When you pick up metal objects what happens?
Do you have any problems going through airport security?
Won't they reject?
Do you now feel like Magneto from X-Men?
On a scale of 1 to sex in space, how f**king awesome is it having magnets in your fingers?
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.