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Astrophysicist gets four magnets stuck up his nose while trying to create coronavirus-related device

3 years 5 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 March 31, 2020 10:17 AM March 31, 2020 in News
Source: The Guardian
Dr. Daniel Reardon, an astrophysicist at Melbourne university, was building a necklace that sounds an alarm on facial contact, when he accidentally got four magnets stuck up his nose. Photo: The Guardian

An Australian astrophysicist was attempting to create a device that would alert users every time they touched their face when his project went horribly wrong and he accidentally got four magnets stuck in his nostrils. 

According to The Guardian, Dr. Daniel Reardon, a research fellow at Melbourne university, was building a necklace that sounds an alarm on facial contact, when the mishap occurred Thursday night.

The 27-year-old astrophysicist, who studies pulsars and gravitational waves, said he was trying to liven up the boredom of self-isolation with the four powerful neodymium magnets.

“I have some electronic equipment but really no experience or expertise in building circuits or things,” he told Guardian Australia.

“I had a part that detects magnetic fields. I thought that if I built a circuit that could detect the magnetic field, and we wore magnets on our wrists, then it could set off an alarm if you brought it too close to your face. A bit of boredom in isolation made me think of that.”

His invention didn't work as intended, but he toyed with the magnets a bit more.

“After scrapping that idea, I was still a bit bored, playing with the magnets," he explained. "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.”

Reardon said he placed two magnets inside his nostrils, and two on the outside. When he removed the magnets from the outside of his nose, the two inside stuck together. When he tried to use the remaining two magnets to get them out, all four became lodged in his nostrils.

At first, it was funny.

“At this point, my partner who works at a hospital was laughing at me,” he said. “I was trying to pull them out but there is a ridge at the bottom of my nose you can’t get past.

But after twenty minutes with two pairs of magnets stuck in his nose, Reardon's issue became less than humorous. 

“As I was pulling downwards to try and remove the magnets," Reardon said, "they clipped on to each other and I lost my grip. And those two magnets ended up in my left nostril while the other one was in my right. At this point I ran out of magnets.”

Before giving up and heading to the hospital, the young astrophysicist attempted to use pliers to pull the magnets out, but the pliers became magnetized by the magnets in his nose.

“Every time I brought the pliers close to my nose, my entire nose would shift towards the pliers and then the pliers would stick to the magnet,” he said. “It was a little bit painful at this point.

“My partner took me to the hospital that she works in because she wanted all her colleagues to laugh at me. The doctors thought it was quite funny, making comments like ‘This is an injury due to self-isolation and boredom.’”

At the hospital, a team of doctors applied an anesthetic spray and successfully removed the magnets from Reardon’s nose.

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