Move over, X-Men, here comes 12-year-old Nikolai Kryaglyachenko with what he claims are real super powers. A near-death experience, the boy claims, has left him with the ability to attract objects with his now-magnetic body.
Nikolai nearly died when he leaned against a metal lamp post in his home country of Russia. Inside the live lamp post was a faulty wire that sent Nikolai literally flying across the pavement when he touched it and electrocuted himself. But that awful moment, Nikolai maintains, changed his life. When he awoke the next morning, Nikolai claims that coins had stuck to his body overnight. It was then that Nikolai realized that his body attracts objects in a way that is super-human, and that his electrifying experience had left him with a superpower.
"I can do things I couldn't do before," Nikolai says. "But I don't have a lot of control over it. Even when I do not want to do it, I still attract things. Once I even attracted a glass -- it just moved towards me."
His new superpower has also catapulted Nikolai into the upper echelons of his school, and he is now one of the most popular kids. There are lots of 12-year-old boys who would think that popularity itself is something of a superpower.
As odd as his alleged newly-found magnetic superpower may sound, Nikolai is not the first boy to claim to be magnetized. In fact, it happens a lot more often than one thinks, and, according to NBC News, the stories are just that -- stories. In addition to Nikolai's claim, there was a report of two boys, cousins from Serbia, who also claimed to be magnetic. The two boys showed doctors and journalists their ability to hang forks and spoons from their bodies, and a radiologist even said he could think of no scientific or medical explanation for the phenomenon.
But Benjamin Radford, author of Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries, has an explanation for the boys' magnetic superpowers, and it is pretty simple: They do not exist.
NBC News reported, "The explanation is that kids are particularly good at attaching things to their bodies, because you have one smooth, sticky surface (hairless skin, with a slight sheen of sweat) adhering to another smooth surface."
And, as Radford pointed out in the interview, all the objects that the boys attract have one common property.
"When you look at the things involved in these cases, they're all smooth," Radford said. "They're glass, they're plates, they're metal. You don't see rough surfaces. You don't see steel wool."
In addition to that, the boys may employ a slight backwards lean, to keep the cutlery from falling off their bodies. Or the cutlery may be set along the collar bones. And the magnetic effect isn't limited to just metallic objects, but can be done with any smooth item, such as plates or glass because, as Radford says, the trick relies on bare, sticky skin, and it's spoiled if talcum powder is used or the kid puts on a shirt. Neither talcum powder nor clothing would spoil an actual magnetic effect.
So Nikolai may claim to have superpowers, but it seems as though the phenomena of "magnetic children" has been debunked.
Here's to hoping his classmates don't figure it out.
For another story about how a freak accident resulted in a strange and new ability, read about the man who woke up from a coma speaking fluent Chinese.
[Image via AOL]