This superconducting magnet can do more than attract paper clips. It could unlock energy sources that could free humans from fossil fuels. And you are about to take this miracle of science and swallow it whole. How would it change your DNA? How would this affect your animal instincts? And how could it make your brain explode?
In 2021, a team of MIT researchers created a magnet strong enough to recreate the same nuclear fusion reactions that happen in the Sun. Over the next few years, the tests these scientists perform could determine the future of our planet. The energy emitted from this magnet could revolutionize our power grid and reduce our carbon emissions.
So making this cutting-edge technology into your next meal would be pretty selfish. But if you had the power of the Sun inside your stomach, what would happen to your organs? Just pinch your nose and relax. One swallow, and voila. You’re now the proud owner of the world’s most powerful magnet. See, that wasn’t so bad. Well, of course not. You’re just getting started.
The Earth’s magnetic field comes in at .00005 teslas, the measure of magnetic strength. That souvenir magnet on your fridge comes in at 0.001 teslas. But that one floating in your gut would measure at a record-breaking 20 teslas. How are you feeling now? Your body already generates a magnetic field produced by the electrical currents in your nervous system.
Doctors even use these currents to map brain functions. Researchers have found that outside exposure to weak magnetic fields can affect chemical reactions in your cells. So having this magnet inside of you could radically alter your DNA. For starters, magnetic waves have the potential of repairing cell damage faster. Imagine if your body could heal from cancer before knowing you had it. But this comes at a price.
With these powerful waves pulsating through your brain, could you tell which end is up? Every magnet contains two opposite forces where the charge is the strongest. We call these points the poles. These poles carry an opposite charge to the other, usually referred to as the north and south poles. So with this magnet inside you, your head would become a north pole, and your feet would be the south.
The fields coming out could align you with Earth’s magnetic field. Now you could navigate anywhere by instinct. Forget your phone’s GPS. Your senses would be as strong as birds and whales that migrate worldwide using those same magnetic fields. While you might be in tune with the natural world, your other senses could be completely rattled.
The electric pulses in your nervous system could be disrupted entirely, making it difficult to move. Your brain contains a mineral known as magnetite, made up of iron oxide. Your brain tissue could rip apart as these minerals swirl toward the north pole in your head. So if this mineral could gather in clumps, does that mean your body would become magnetic?
While your sixth sense could be heightened, you probably wouldn’t be able to magnetize other metallic objects just by touching them. Just don’t go swallowing anything magnetic. The metals could be drawn to the poles inside your body and rip through your organs. That experiment, like your life, would be short-lived.
And if you got near something as strong as an MRI machine, which uses a magnetic field to take images inside the human body, the waves from the machine combined with what is sitting in your stomach could rip your body apart. It would be really easy to see what’s inside you then. OK, that would be the case if you gulped down a huge magnet.
If you ate a smaller magnetic strip, you might be able to use your magnetic field to levitate like a high-speed train does. While the rest of us are stuck in traffic, you could be zipping around the world. Swallowing the world’s strongest magnet might give you superhuman senses and solve transportation problems, but if you weren’t careful, it could tear your mind and body apart.
- “How Strong Is A Standard Magnet?”. Melissa Monks. 2017. sciencing.com.
- “MIT-Designed Project Achieves Major Advance Toward Fusion Energy”. David Chandler. 2021. news.mit.edu.
- “Researchers Create The Most Powerful Magnet Ever Made On Earth: 20 Teslas”. Scott Alan Johnston. 2021. universetoday.com.
- “How To Make Super Strong Permanent Magnets”. Chris Deziel. 2018. sciencing.com.
- “Permanent Magnet – Joseph Henry Project”. 2022. commons.princeton.edu.