9 Things You Didn't Know About Magnets

Written By: msilvestro Category: Magnets Date: 2017-04-05 Hits: 10452

You use magnets every day, and you might not even realize it. Here are some of the most unusual facts about magnets that will give you a newfound respect for these hardworking tools.

9 Things You Didn't Know About Magnets

Magnets are interesting materials that have a wide range of uses and functions.

While there are conventional uses for magnets, there are many interesting things about magnets that most people don’t know.

In this blog, we have compiled a list of some of the strangest and most unknown facts about magnets.

Magnetism is Light

Do you know why magnets stick?

Magnets attract each other because they exchange protons, which are particles that make up light.

However, these photons are virtual, meaning your eyes can’t actually see them.

Instead, they exchange momentum, which is why magnets stick to or repel things.

Not All Magnets Are Iron or Metal

Most of the magnets we use today are made of iron (think: fridge magnets).

But not all of them are.

Magnets can be made of any material with unpaired electrons, including many metals and alloys like neodymium.

Magnetic Animals?

Some animals have magnetite in their bodies, which help them survive in different ways.

For example, homing pigeons have a magnetic sense that helps them navigate.

Additionally, according to a recent study, researchers discovered that birds’ eyes contain molecules that sense the earth’s magnetic field.

Magnets Can Turn Metals Into Magnets

Strong rare earth magnets have the ability to turn some metals into magnets.

For example, ferromagnetic materials like iron can be magnetized with a strong permanent magnet.

Try it: If you rub a magnet on a screwdriver, the screwdriver will then be able to pick up magnetic objects.


MRI Machines Use Magnets

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines use magnets, and they generate fields 60,000 time stronger than the earth’s.

They Keep Sharks Away

Neodymium magnets, a type of strong rare earth magnets, are known to repel sharks.

Some shark species have sensory organs that detect magnetic fields. And in the presence of the magnetic field, they can be repelled.

You Are Standing On A Magnet Right Now

The earth’s magnetic field is created by electric currents in an ocean of molten iron at its core.

Which makes the largest magnet on earth, well, earth.

However, even though earth is massive and is a giant magnet, it is around 1,000 times weaker than a small magnet you might have at home.

Magnets Are Never-Ending

Magnets have two poles, a north and a south.

And if you were to take a bar magnet and cut it in half, the two new pieces would form two poles. Meaning, you would end up with two new magnets.

No matter how many times you split the magnet, you will always still end up with a north and a south pole.

Things You Didn’t Know Are Magnetic

We all know that fridges and certain metals are magnetic, but there are a few surprising things you may never have guessed are magnetic.

  • Sand – Black sand is primarily made up of a magnetic mineral called magnetite, which contains high amounts of iron, resulting in its magnetism
  • Paint pigments are made from iron and some black paint is magnetic.
  • Meteorites – Meteors that have fallen from the sky and landed on earth are generally magnetic because they contain extraterrestrial iron, which a magnet will pick up

Want To Learn More?

Magnets are incredible, and there is so much to learn about them.

If you are looking for more information, or need assistance choosing a magnet for your operations, contact us today.


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