Magnetic Personalities: Biohacking Your Hands With Magnets
Raven Brookes @ The Raven’s Writing Desk
I wear magnets. In fact, I wear two. I’m not entirely sure why. It had something to do with an ex-colleague who sold magnetic jewellery on the side. She must have been a good salesperson, we haven’t seen each other for nearly two years, and yet I still wear both magnets (embedded into a rather fetching stainless steel necklace and bracelet) every day. Not so long ago, I learned it was possible to not only wear magnets on the outside, but also on the inside.
This is a type of biohacking, or transhumanism. Biohacking comes in many forms, from wearables such as FitBits (of which, much like my magnets, I will never be without) to LED lights and even programmable chips. I’ll be covering the latter at a later time, but for now – as a partially ‘hacked’ human myself – my focus is on neodymium magnetic implants.
Neodymium magnet implants are gold plated neodymium, a rare earth metal, which have been coated in implant-grade silicone to prevent any degradation or damage to the implant. As one of the earlier examples of transhumanism, it serves a number of impressive and somewhat primal functions. I caught up with three different transhumans, each with a magnet implant of their own, to find out more about this strange – yet oddly familiar – world. Jenova Rain in Leicester, UK, offers two sizes of implantable magnets. More photos, information and prices can be found here: www.jenova-rain.com/magnet-implant-uk/
“I first heard about magnetic implants from an article on obscure piercings and decided on it over NFC microchips or pointed ears after some reading. I looked for a local parlour that offered it and found Jenova Rain online. She gave me my magnet implant last year, which I chose to get in the ring finger of my non-dominant hand.” Senpai Hunt
The standard-sized implants (2.5mm x 4.2mm) are usually best placed in the fingertip of the ring finger, much like Senpai and another transhuman Samuel. Although there are larger, stronger implants that are better placed in the thumb. John, opted for his implant to sit in the pinky-finger of his left hand in order to assist him with his work.
“I work in IT and repair electronics, so I use it mainly for screws and components. It’s a lot easier to just place a fingertip on them than it is to grip them. I can pick up about 2-5 grams, depending on the material – newer ‘copper’ penny coins are liftable as they switched them to use steel cores.” John Burrows.
Here’s how it works: A tiny 1cm incision is made in the desired area, which must have a minimal fat layer. From the first cut, and for the magnet to be inserted beneath the skin it takes around 2 minutes with the pain comparable to that of a tattoo needle. Skin closures are used as opposed to suture stitches, and the incision is typically fully closed 5-7 days later. Scarring is minimal, and typically invisible after three months. Jenova Rain offers full aftercare support and advice both during your appointment and for the lifetime of your modification.
While the ability to pick up small objects and the overall novelty factor of having “magnetic fingers” was likely the original pull for this modification (it is, for instance, very popular with magicians!) all three have reported other, somewhat unusual benefits:
“I use it to to ‘feel’ magnetic fields generated by electrical devices. It is a noticeable effect. I can occasionally pick up fields randomly when walking around.” Samuel Brocksopp
“As I regained full feeling, I began be able to sense various other, unexpected things on the electromagnetic scale such as transformers like the shaver socket in the bathroom and microwaves emitted from the microwave.” Senpai
Aside from the practical uses, both predicted and otherwise, the ability to move small metal objects around is a definite lure.
“Typical uses are to identify if a metal is iron based, and a lame magic trick of levitating 1p and 5p coins out of people’s hands. Kids and drunk people love it! I Even tried it on the dance floor to a group of girls once. They bought me a drink.” Samuel
“After the novelty of freaking people out with lifting up paperclips with it, I still find plenty of uses for it. It’s main use however is more from boredom, experimenting with what things are magnetic… and if it’s light enough to pick up.” Senpai
There are, as with any modification, a few small downsides.
“!f you vape, make sure the battery cover of your mod isn’t held on by magnets, that is kind of annoying if you use your magnet hand. Also, if you’re like me, you will probably stick your hand into live electronics to see if you can feel anything. Don’t do that, you will get electrocuted.” John
But on the whole, it’s a mod which comes with high recommendations.
“If you want to move small metal objects around, go for it.” John
“In general it’s a cool thing to have, albeit hard to justify when people ask why!” Samuel
“I would most certainly recommend having one of these for the utility purposes and if you’re a little kooky, like myself, the whole ‘mystical magnetic powers’ is a neat party trick!” Senpai
“If you have any questions about Magnets or other modifications, please contact myself via the website www.jenova-rain.com or the facebook page. Our full portfolio can be found there too.” – Jenova Rain