An astrophysicist in Australia apparently had too much time on his hands while sitting “bored” at home in self-isolation because of the coronavirus pandemic, so he attempted to invent a device that would alert people if they put their hands too close to their face. But things quickly went awry, and he ended up in the hospital with four magnets stuck up his nose.
According to The Guardian, Daniel Reardon, a 27-year old scientist and research fellow at a Melbourne university, was playing around with the idea of a necklace — made of electronic equipment that he had around his house — that would sound an alarm if a wearer touched their face.
He grabbed four neodymium magnets and got to work.
“I had a part that detects magnetic fields. I thought that if I built a circuit that could detect the magnetic field, and we wore magnets on our wrists, then it could set off an alarm if you brought it too close to your face. A bit of boredom in isolation made me think of that.”
The concept was a failure and ended up doing the opposite of what he’d hoped. Instead of buzzing when a person touched their face, the necklace reversed, buzzing constantly unless the wearer’s hand was close to their face. So Reardon ditched the concept, but he was still struggling with serious boredom.
So he began clipping the magnets to his earlobes and nostrils and that’s where things got bad. He quickly lodged two magnets inside his nose
“At this point, my partner who works at a hospital was laughing at me,” he said. “I was trying to pull them out but there is a ridge at the bottom of my nose you can’t get past.”
He fought with the magnets for 20 minutes, and finally decided to do an internet search to figure out what to do. That’s when he got the idea of using other magnets to remove the original ones. But those two ended up getting stuck in his other nostril.
He tried to use pliers to remove the magnets, but they became magnetized and using them was painful. So he gave up and decided to go to the hospital where his partner works because she “wanted all her colleagues” to laugh at him.
“The doctors thought it was quite funny,” he said.
After pulling out three of the magnets, the last one fell down his throat, and he coughed it out.
The doctors chalked the injury up to boredom coupled with self-isolation.
So far, over 743,286 people across the world have tested positive for the COVID-19, and scientists have identified 8 strains of the virus, which means hospitals could be seeing more of these types of incidents.