Fiction Turned into Fact?
Rufus Leakin
Guru of Folklore

An 11-year-old boy in Brazil's north eastern city of Mossoro is drawing attention with his purportedly magnet-like qualities.

The Globo TV network has broadcast images of Paulo David Amorim demonstrating how forks, knives, scissors, cooking pans, cameras and other metal objects seem drawn to his body and remain stuck on his chest, stomach and back.

The boy's father told Globo that he decided to test his son after learning of a boy in Croatia with a similar ability. Junior Amorim says he was surprised to find "a fork and knife stuck to his body."

The youth says his classmates call him "magnet boy."

Dr. Dix-Sept Rosado Sobrinho told Globo it is the first time in his 30-year career that he has seen a case like this.

If you grew up reading comic books (or what's known today as "graphic novels") you probably read this and immediately thought of the X-Men nemesis Magneto. For those of you not familiar with the Marvel Comics super villain, Magneto is a powerful mutant with the ability to generate and control magnetic fields.

In the X-Men movies he's portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen as a Jewish Holocaust survivor whose actions are driven by the purpose of protecting the mutant race from suffering a similar holocaust.

Although this is very rare, there have been other cases of humans with a certain magnetism about them. For example, in his book True Life Encounters (1998, p.14), Keith Tutt reports on another "magnetic" man called Miroslaw Magola who was born in Poland in the 1960s. Magola apparently not only has the ability to attract metal, ceramic and wooden objects to his body, but originally claimed that he could also levitate.

Tutt claims that Magola appeared on an English television program, called Beyond Belief, in 1996 but was unable to levitate, although his other abilities apparently created strong public interest.

After a deep medical study, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) lecturer Nasrul Humaimi Mahmood said this ability was probably associated with "suction properties in his skin." Professor Dr. Mohamed Amin Alias, from UTM's electrical engineering faculty in Johor, agreed. "His skin has a special suction effect that can help metal stick to it. These powers are not an illusion," he said.

However, it's also been noted that applying talcum powder to these people may decrease their magnetic abilities. I suggest you research the copious evidence "out there" before scoffing, Scully.

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