Scientist ends up in hospital after failed experiment with magnets

Staff writer
·2-min read

By Morgan Greenwald, In The Know

An Australian scientist ended up in A&E after his attempt at building a device to stop himself from touching his face went horribly wrong.

After medical and health authorities around the world started advising people to stop touching their faces, astrophysicist Daniel Reardon decided he would try to invent a sensor that could detect when your hands were on or near your face.

Seeing as he is an astrophysicist, Reardon had plenty of spare electronic parts around the house. As he told As It Happens, his idea was to create a bracelet out of powerful magnets along with a necklace that would be able to detect the magnetic field when it was close to the face.

Admittedly, though, magnets are not Reardon's expertise. "It's just something I was working on in my spare time," he said. And "magnets are very dangerous."

When his project didn't work, Reardon decided to just play around with the magnets and attach them to his face like piercings. Everything was fine when he attached a set to one nostril, but problems arose when he put a set in the other.

"I had problems when I stupidly attached these magnets to my other nostril," he explained. "And then they all, of course, were attracted to each other across my nose and pinched together."

When he tried to remove the magnets from his nostrils, they ended up pinching his septum. He attempted to remove those with more magnets — and unfortunately, he "actually managed to get more magnets stuck up [his] nose," he explained. "I had three magnets in one nostril and one in the other."

Eventually, the 27-year-old scientist realized he needed to go to the ER There, the doctors were able to numb Reardon's nose and get the magnets out "by sheer force."

"The staff enjoyed it — several doctors and some nurses came to laugh at/with me," Reardon told CNN.

On the hospital's medical report, doctors wrote that Reardon denied trying to use more magnets to remove the initial set.

"I was in a bit of pain while they were moving the magnets and my nose — I had made it pretty sore myself," he said. "But other than that I was laughing with everyone else."

If you liked this story, check out this piece on an experiment that demonstrates the magic of soap.

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