Become a Superhero!




Introduction: Become a Superhero!

About: the adventure continues

Remember Magneto, that old guy with the mask from X-men?
So, his superpower was that he could sense and manipulate magnetic materials.
In a few minutes, you can be as cool as him! hooray!

Step 1: Everything

It's really simple--you're going to tape magnets to your fingertips. This way, you feel the magnetic fields that the magnet is attracted to. You could also take a look at the magnetic fingertip glove] instructable, which will give you the same results.

You need some magnets. I got mine from It cost me $10 for 30.
you want strong, fingertip-sized magnets.

You also need tape.

Now, tape the magnets onto your fingertips. Close your eyes and walk around waving your hands. You'll feel a pull when your fingertips come close(~1 inch) to a ferrous material. You can also feel magnetic fiels around current-carrying wires. I found that desktop halogen lamps have really strong magnetic fields around the transformers in their base, and fan motors also have a noticeable 60 hz buzz in the air around them.


Also, listen to the album "69 love songs" by the Magnetic Fields. If you hate it at first (I did), try to listen to it sporadically for a few years, and then spend a few nights sleeping in a hammock in a tidal marsh somewhere in northern massachusetts. At some point in this process, you'll gain an appreciation for the songwriting genius of Stephen Merritt.

Step 2: A Little More

a little more stuff about what you just did--
this is a simple way of mapping other information onto your existing senses. In this case, you're sensing magnetic fields through your sense of touch.

Somebody did a cool research project with a similar setup, trying to help piano students develop muscle memory for songs. She used electromagnets on her subjects fingers, and put electromagnets in piano keys, and would turn on the right combination of electromagnets--like c# and index finger, to encourage the subjects' index fingers to hit the C# key.

Some other sensory mapping stuff that's more advanced (just regurgitating things I read in tech blogs)--

Someone came up with a navigation system for the blind that would generate smells based on a sonar system that would detect how close obstacles were.
Someone else let blind people see by stimulating nerves in the tongue.

Anyway, this is cool stuff. Play with it!




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    68 Discussions

    Interesting thought. Instead of implanting a magnet, what about some kind of magnetic sensitive sensor on a glove or what not, attached to a pager motor?

    Don't the tape readers in cassette players work by reading the tape magnetically? I don't know if it would be sensitive enough to work. You might need something else. You could even change the output to sound, or have the motor somewhere else. If you really worked at it, you might even be able to record what frequency you are picking up.

    Less invasive, more possibilities?

    I have magnets implanted into my ring fingers. not only do I feel metal/magnets, I feel waves ;) Motors, metal detectors, etc. all give a hard-to-describe sensation in my fingers. 6th senses are awesome.

    16 replies

    Actually, it's not a sixth sense, but an extension of the (for lack of the word) "touch" sense. I remember seeing a website of this guy who implanted things like this at home (with help from a surgeon friend) and gained many "sixth senses". Interesting stuff... not that I would do it myself. I think I might try this taping of magnets to a finger....

    what happens if you touch a really strong magnet? Couldn't it rip it out of your skin? And what if you have to work on a computer or other magnetic effected stuff like a CRT monitor?

    I carry a card in my wallet that says to remove my magnets before giving me an MRI, because they will definitely rip out if the magnet is THAT strong. Non-powered magnets only cause discomfort when pressed to my skin because it pinches. I can barely notice touching a CRT monitor and it's not strong enough to erase credit cards or hard drives, which is definitely a good thing

    where do you get that done? also-to your silicone conversation- my friend's finger is made out of silicone... he accidentally cut it off with a wouldn't know it was fake until you twisted his finger around and he doesn't scream...he had it gafted on with some fake skin solution...

    Thats really cool! I'd like to have it done.Is it incredibly painful? and how long does it take to heal over?

    Imagine someone sticking needles straight down into your finger and then taking a scalpel and cutting a slot in it. Then, taking a dull, flat metal thing and rotating it around inside of the hole that was cut to hollow it out. Then forcing something a little bigger than a bb pellet into the hole and sewing it closed. That's about how it feels :P Took about 2 weeks for it to heal over to where it didn't bother me. Took about 2 months for it to be "perfect" again (it still hurt when I hit it wrong up until that point)

    With general knocks and bumps eventually the silicon casing may become degraded leading to leeching of the magnet.... I haven't seen a case of incertion without leeching occuring at some stage or another... Most people leave them and they eventually disitergrate with a brownish tinge to your skin. Some get them removed.... I would suggest if you see any brownish tinge or black in your immediate skin areas, get them scanned and find out if they have been breeched. get them removed if they do... I have seen some nasty pics of people hoping once they have breached the silicon that it will stop, it doesn't it just continues to break down.... No cases of toxic poisoning have been noted yet.

    that would b freaking awsome... but can u explain how u got it there, and is it so strong u get a "daredevil-type" sixth sense(if u have seen the movie)? how long does it take before u can move around fine without seeing?