A 7-year-old Serbian lad named Bogdan, the Magnetic Boy, is just sticky according to Benjamin Radford of the magazine, Skeptic Inquirer. Despite You-Tube videos showing everything from spoons to frying pans adhering themselves to Bogdan, there is no sign of any real magnetic powers here. An MSNBC reporter, however, recently filmed a demonstration of Bogdan’s magnetism and believes that the child has something going on. Whatever it is, not only do metallic objects stick on him, but also items made of glass and plastic, too.
Which is why Radford, during an interview with “Life′s Little Mysteries”, says Bogdan is not magnetic at all, just a sticky kid. “A lot of times when you see these videos, the people are leaning back slightly. If there really is some magnetic attraction, the person should be able to lean over. If a magnetic force is overcoming gravity, we should see that.”
Benjamin Radford adds, “Glass is not magnetic. If a smooth piece of glass is sticking to him and a smooth piece of metal, what do they have in common? A very smooth surface. Not magnetism.” He also pints out that when a compass is placed near Bogdan, the needle does not swing towards him. Another clue that there is no magnetic field being emitted by the child. So why are objects sticking to him?
Gabor Somorjai, a scientist from the University of California, Berkeley, may have a simple answer. He believes it has more to do with greasy oils on the lad’s skin. Even after washing with soap and water, your skin will get oily again within minutes. Such grease has a low surface energy, says Somorjai. “Things that have high surface energies want to go into a lower energy state. And so, they want to be covered with a low surface-energy material.”
A German materials scientist, Elmar Kroner, has a slightly different take on the subject. Kroner has researched how the feet of gecko exhibit adhesiveness, and it has to do with elasticity. “The sweat has a crucial function. With increasing wetness of the skin, its mechanical properties change. The skin becomes softer, and this reduces the elastically-stored energy of the skin and again leads to higher adhesion.”
So is Bogdan a magnetic boy or just a sticky kid? The 7-year-old Serbian child has demonstrated his magnetic powers while shirtless on Yuo-Tube videos and to an MSNBC reporter. But the experts, like Benjamin Radford of Skeptic Inquirer tells “Life′s Little Mysteries” that Bogdan there are no indications that magnetism has anything to do with this. A combination of sooth, hairless skin, with natural body grease, oils and sweat, are probably the reason why items ranging from glass tumblers to frying pans stick to Bogdan′s chest.