Magnetic Children in Serbia

Magnetic Children in Serbia

Two boys mysteriously attract metal


Maybe some of us really are X-Men. Maybe we'll wake up one morning and find ourselves able to shoot lasers out of our eyes or manipulate the way we perceive time. We don't know all the secrets of the human genome yet. We don't know just what all those nucleic acids are capable of awakening in us. We certainly don't know why certain children in Serbia seem to be magnetic.

They're not comic fanboys, either. They've probably never even heard of Professor X or Magneto. Yet these two kids--cousins living in the same town--are capable of attracting metallic objects just like your everyday magnet. 

Sanja Petrovic first discovered her son David's ability when she asked him to grab a spoon from a kitchen. The 4-year-old had never possessed magnetic properties before, but suddenly he found the metal utensil sticking to his hand. Upon witnessing the phenomenon, Sanja called her sister only to discover that David's 6-year-old cousin Luka had the same power. No other children or adults in the family attract metal. No one else in the town does, either. It would seem the condition is genetic, but no one has any idea so far how it manifests. Doctors--even radiologists--have examined both boys and can find nothing abnormal about either of them. They seem to be perfectly healthy little dudes. They just happen to be magnetic.

What's even stranger about the whole condition is how it seems biologically rooted. The families of the boys have tested their magnetic properties and have found that the magnetism goes away when they're sleeping. It returns in the morning when they're awake and active. After using their abilities, the kids feel tired and cold. I can't imagine what kind of biological condition would create magnetism that waxes and wanes with circadian rhythms, but it does seem to be a recessive genetic trait. Who knows what this says about the human genome? We might have to wait until our DNA mapping technology gets a little more extensive to figure out what's going on here.

Unlike many a member of the X-Men, David and Luka seem perfectly content with their oddity. They put on shows for neighbors where they prove their ability by holding up utensils and metal plates on their skin. As for the boys' families, they have gotten over the initial shock of the strange condition and are just happy their kids are healthy--even if they do have to make sure they stay out of reach of sharp metal objects that might accidentally fly into them.