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Astrophysicist Tries to Invent a Device to Stop the Spread of Coronavirus, Gets Hospitalized With Magnets Up His Nose

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Mar 30, 2020

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Image Credit: Daniel Reardon

In today’s edition of pandemic fails, an Australian astrophysicist, Daniel Reardon, had to be admitted to a hospital with four magnets stuck up his nose. This bizarre accident was a direct result of his failed attempt to create a magnetic necklace that activated an alarm — using a hall effect sensor that detects magnetic fields — if a users brought their hands too close to their face: to stop them from touching their face.

However, Reardon’s invention did the exact opposite. “I accidentally invented a necklace that buzzes continuously unless you move your hand close to your face,” Reardon told The Guardian.

But, even after scrapping the idea, Reardon continued to play with the magnets. “It’s the same logic as clipping pegs to your ears — I clipped them to my earlobes and then clipped them to my nostril and things went downhill pretty quickly when I clipped the magnets to my other nostril. After struggling for 20 minutes, I decided to Google the problem and found an article about an 11-year-old boy who had the same problem,” he said.


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His attempts to extract the magnets stuck up his nose with even more magnets hit a roadblock when he ran out of magnets, and had to be rushed to the hospital. Eventually, doctors managed to pull three magnets from his nostrils, while a fourth fell down his throat.

The Melbourne-based 27-year-old, who studies pulsars and gravitational waves, admitted that he has no experience or expertise in building circuits or things, and came up with this idea while dealing with the boredom of self-isolation. What made this seemingly harmless idea dangerous was the involvement of four powerful neodymium magnets.

“My partner took me to the hospital that she works in because she wanted all her colleagues to laugh at me,” Reardon said. And, it worked. Reportedly, the doctors were amused, and rightly so. “This is an injury due to self-isolation and boredom,” they said.

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Written By Devrupa Rakshit

Devrupa Rakshit is an associate editor with The Swaddle. She is a lawyer by education, a poet by accident, and a painter by shaukh. She has her own podcast called #DateNightsWithD on Spotify. You can find her on Instagram @devruparakshit.

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