Darwin Award Candidate: DIY Coronavirus Magnet Device Goes Horribly Wrong

Astrophysicist Dr. Daniel Reardon

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

An Astrophysicist trying to find a means of helping us avoid touching our faces during the Coronavirus epidemic suffered an embarrassing mishap when his rare Earth magnets disappeared up his nose.

Astrophysicist gets magnets stuck up nose while inventing coronavirus device

Australian Dr Daniel Reardon ended up in hospital after inserting magnets in his nostrils while building a necklace that warns you when you touch your face

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. Unfortunately, the researcher then attempted to use his remaining magnets to remove them.

“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.

“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. The solution in that was more magnets. To put on the outside to offset the pull from the ones inside.

“As I was pulling downwards to try and remove the magnets, 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.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/mar/30/astrophysicist-gets-magnets-stuck-up-nose-while-inventing-coronavirus-device

Thankfully Dr. Reardon’s nostril magnets were successfully removed. But his experience provides us all with a valuable lesson; if you are self isolating and bored, and have a handy set of small rare earth magnets, sticking them up your nose is probably a bad idea.

137 thoughts on “Darwin Award Candidate: DIY Coronavirus Magnet Device Goes Horribly Wrong

    • Thanks Eric – needed the laugh. It is April Fool’s in Australia, but the Guardian ran the story two days ago, so it is Darwin Award material.

      PS – I haven’t seen a single April Fool’s joke yet. Too grim I guess.

      • And here we have a prime example of the “quality’ of some and most likely a lot of so-called scientists, churned out by academically sub standard Australian Universities….😂🤣🤪🤩

      • April fool’s day has been “cancelled” by all good woke outlets.

        Instead we are celebrating All Fool’s Year. It started officially on 1st January.

        PS. The joke is on you.

        Italy , Spain, Belguim and Netherlands have all peaked
        in daily new cases. MSM is reluctant to tell you this, much preferring to focus on the latest “milestone” round number is some arbitrary statistic they can find.


      • No, not really. Darwin award requirements from https://darwinawards.com/rules/ include:

        So how are the Darwin Awards actually determined?

        Nominees significantly improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race in an obviously stupid way. They are self-selected examples of the dangers inherent in a lack of common sense, and all human races, cultures, and socioeconomic groups are eligible to compete. Actual winners must meet the following criteria:

        • Reproduction
          Out of the gene pool: dead or sterile.
        • Excellence
          Astounding misapplication of judgment.
        • Self-Selection
          Cause one’s own demise.
        • Maturity
          Capable of sound judgment.
        • Veracity
          The event must be true.

        What I don’t get is how can someone get a PhD science degree without accumulating enough experience with rare earth magnets to think he had a good idea?

        His partner handled this exactly right:

        “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.’”

    • I have a whole box (1’x1′) full of old hard drive magnets and of all the crazy stuff I’ve done with them sticking them anywhere inside my body NEVER crossed my mind. ROTFLMAO

      Gloves and safety goggles when handling these things is mandatory and for goodness sake DO NOT stick them inside your body anywhere.

  1. Sounds like ‘product’ Alex Jones might push … and he did run afoul of NY’s AG regards his toothpaste and some other Covid-19 fighting product …

        • The best part of the story is that at the hospital they manage to let the last fall back down into his throat, where he could have breathed it in.

          It seems that the A&E docs are no smarter than the PhDs down there.

  2. Thank you Aussies. We need some levity right now. True coronavirus story. My girlfriends adult daughter was over this morning doing some online training. suddenly she announced that the Governor was banning alcohol sales as of 8pm tonight. I was asked to make a run to the local liquor store for wine and margarita supplies. I went. The store was not very busy. One car in the drive thru. Got a call saying it was a Facebook prank. Bought the necessary supplies any way. Cant be to careful these days. Hope all are well.

    • Salute!

      Actually, Tom Roe, some states in Oz are now putting limits on the amount of boozed you can get at the ” bottle shop”, I guess that’s what they call that a liquor store.

      “Major bottle shops have introduced buying limits, restricting shoppers to two slabs of beer or cider and 12 bottles of wine in one transaction as part of a national alcohol limit by Retail Drinks Australia.”

      My God! We could have a good party with that unless they can only go to the bottle shop once a week.

      Gums sends…

      P.S. Meanwhile, Colorado is tryting to enforce a “stay at home” order from the Governor. But the marijuana a liquor stores are open for business, and regular bars and clubs are closed.

      • Gums we had a tradesman in the other day, he said that he knew of people who were looking to buy kegs of beer! Parties aren’t allowed, maybe they have a big family?

        • he should just contact the local pub
          theyre returning kegs to brewers as they can t sell on tap
          theyd love to sell with some profit margin Id bet.

      • True Aussie vernacular is Bottle-o “Bottle Oh”

        Gonna go down the bottleo and get some grog/tinnies/coldies/piss. See ya in a bit ay

        Just FYI

        • You are probably too young to remember the original Bottle-o. He was the guy with the ancient truck who drove round the neighbourhood shouting “Bottle Oh”. People took their empty beer and lemonade bottles out to him, he would give a little bit of money for them, and then take them back to the brewery for refilling. The brewery would give him more money than he paid you, but he saved you the trouble of returning them yourself.

          He vanished a long time ago.

          • yeah last ones i remeber I was probaly about 7 yrs old so 1966 or so, the returnable deposit came in then in SA so you could drink the drink IN store and save 5c or bring it back later
            weird how that state did that decades past but Vic is STILL only just getting act in gear for refunds on recyclable glas or pet etc
            really save a hell of a lot of litter issues and provides an income for the homeless or unemployed

      • The Moron Nevada Governor has closed all of the liquor stores. All of the grocery stores sell liquor and smokes, so now people have to go to places with a LOT more people. Liquor stores generally carry smokes, mixers, snacks, vapes, etc. , and serve people one or two in the store at a time. The pot stores are open for business, you know that is Medicine!

        Another example of his brilliance, schools are closed but daycares are OPEN for business! Rug rat germ magnets smushed together all day, what could go wrong?

    • Salute!

      Thanks to all for the super linguistic education.

      Idioms are fascinating, and even in one country the same thing or activity has different expressions or meanings. My feeling is the U.S. has the most examples due to the various ethnic/national groups settling here and influencing specific geographical areas.

      Gums sends…

    • And a five-year-old knows how to enhance the magentic force by adding magnets in a row. But an Astrophysicist has to ask a child what to do.

      • JuergenK, I thought that if you turned one of the magnets around, then don’t you get a repelling thing happening? Maybe he put the extra magnets together for more magnetic pull, but had them the wrong way around. Wouldn’t that push them further in?

      • That the doctor was considered a higher authority on magetism than a physicist is telling! The next astrophysicist to carry on the research will probably stick bigger magnets up his nose to make it easier to take out!

    • I’ve known a couple physicists and a whole lot of 3-year-olds. It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference.

      At least this story has a compass moral.

      • Yes, Big Bang Theory is based on real life. I went to school with guys like that, guys who on any given day might stick, say, a mercury vapor lamp up their noses.

      • Yes JuergenK.
        He CLAIMS that adding more magnets got the first ones stuck.
        I’m skeptical.
        Methinks he totally underestimated the adhesive power of boogers.
        3 year olds already know this.

      • He had no business trying to be an inventor without a full set of extra long needle nosed pliers on hand…and not the stainless steel ones neither.
        They are no better than hemostats for that type of work.
        They are only weakly attracted by magnetic fields.
        You need to use fully ferromagnetic alloy tools for that type of procedure.

    • Yet we let this kind of idiot tell us how planets and stars formed etc. Basically because it does not matter.


        • Though I did read a story today that said because China has restricted (or refocused?) the production/export of non-Corona related drugs, Mexican drug cartels have been hit hard.
          They can’t get the good stuff to make the bad stuff.
          Maybe Eliza is just in some stage of withdrawal?
          (Or her Cap-Lock key is stuck.)

    • MAYBE all the pols have succumbed to ‘bad modelling’ put out by … activists, Eliza?

      Inaccurate Virus Models Are Panicking Officials Into Ill-Advised Lockdowns
      How a handful of Democratic activists created alarming, but bogus data sets to scare
      local and state officials into making rash, economy-killing mandates.


      Pictured at the article are the two individuals who make the ‘calls’ as to lockdowns in Dallas County, Texas; first, the county health officer, and the 2nd guy, Clay Jenkins, head county commissioner commonly referred to as “judge” Jenkins …

    • Eliza,

      I think state governors might be the idiots. And idiots probably pressured Trump to enable them.

      Let’s distribute blame properly, instead of trying to force it onto one person here.

      Don’t let the coronavirus scare infect your intelligence.

    • Eliza: Your rants are further diluted by ad hominem emotional and non helpful posts such as this one. Please try to have a modicum of respect here on this site for the sake of people engaged in intelligent discourse.

      • If someone catches COVID-19, ends-up with pneumonia in their lungs, and dies…in your world, if they are hypertensive, they didn’t die from COVID-19 but instead from high blood pressure? Asinine.

        The irony in your comment is that I have seen people argue that Italy’s mortality rate due to COVID-19 is so high because they ARE counting deaths from other causes as coronavirus.

        This is an Alex Jones level of stupid.

        • If a hypertensive person dies because his ACE inhibitors caused a severe infection, that otherwise wouldn’t have happened, then the death is iatrogenic.

          If a patient has compromised immunity or is already at death’s door. the virus is just a co-factor, not the main cause of death.

        • “The irony in your comment is that I have seen people argue that Italy’s mortality rate due to COVID-19 is so high because they ARE counting deaths from other causes as coronavirus.”

          Italy’s National Institute of Health determined that 88% of deaths coded as coronavirus deaths by doctors were not actually caused by the virus. That’s what I mean by honesty.

          • I aggregated the continents to compare US and Europe as both dominate their continents counting of cases. Seems that US is doing better than Europe, if you believe the counting, which I don’t. What I mean is we are intentionally not counting healthy people who have contracted the disease, at least not yet. So, given the skewed counting… here’s the numbers as of late this morning PST!

            Country Cases Deaths Mortality
            Africa 6,061 198 3.27%
            Asia 179,142 7,140 3.99%
            Australia/Oceania 5,266 20 0.38%
            Europe 448,431 29,963 6.68%<–Europe (E.U.)
            North America 193,914 3,812 1.97%<–North America (US)
            South America 13,435 349 2.60%
            Totals 846,249 41,482 4.90% <—ave mortality

          • A person in bad health might not succumb to the wound, but to complications resulting from the trauma due to his bad health. None of these types of details are being clarified by simply coding all deaths as coronavirus.

            A guy with a heart condition walking down the road hears a car backfire, has a heart attack and dies. A heart attack k!lled the guy, not sound waves. Those just helped push him over the edge. Postmortem he tests positive for coronavirus so his death is coded as coronavirus.

          • The fact you feel the need to argue with a joke sort of tells us everything about you 🙂

            Given your obsession it begs the question if a vaccination is available are you going to take it?

          • Sorry, humor and dealing with “Jankowski level of stupidity” come from different parts of my mind. I was on auto didn’t bother to stop and access.

    • Eliza
      Thank you for your valuable insight on the situation. BTW, your is on. Please pay attention to what you type. Someone may actually read it.

    • Trump is doing what the crowds ask.

      Trump is a vaccine skeptic but promises vaccines soon, because crowds want vaccine.

      That’s democratic.

      • Being skeptical is rational.
        Ignoring reality is not.
        Pop quiz: Has Donald Trump had all of his children vaccinated?

        • Is that an ON or OFF thing? You either have your children “vaccinated” or “un-vaccinated”?

          You can’t do some useful vaccines and not others?

          A vaccine has to be useful for anyone anywhere, or useless for anyone anywhere?

          • LOL: Can one be un-vaccinated?

            I think we agree that here in the USA, we get last year’s vaccine and often miss the flu going around this year since it takes a long time to develop the vaccine. So if you already got the flu going around, you don’t need one, and there are downsides. The flu shot will give you something weakened, which needs to be fought off… which is less than fighting off the full blown flu. So it’s not a binary thing.

            Me I don’t take the flu shots, because I don’t like purposely getting a little sick or weakened just in case I get really sick. And I plan not to ever get really sick and usually don’t. Maybe on average now every 2 years… whereas when I took the flu shot years ago and was less healthy, I still got sick twice per year.

            When the Covid 19 shots come out, I will not take one. Already been there with the real thing… and it wasn’t all that bad for me, relatively speaking

    • Never argue with all caps rants — it is either generated by software (bot) or by insanity.

      Sadly, not the only instance where the difference between those two is small, and either can lead to the other.

      • Wasn’t ELIZA one of the very first computer personalities? I remember programming her on my TRS-80……

    • Unfortunately, Eliza, there is currently no cure for TDS. And a vaccine is at least 8 months away!

    • He never had your support in the first place. Your comment is that of a typical victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome which, at times, is more destructive to our republic than any virus.


      judging from your all-caps TDS rantings. I’d say it’s a safe bet he never had it to begin with, so no loss there. One can’t lose what one never had.

    • Last time I checked, it was the governors who are ordering the quarantines, and many of them are complaining that Trump isn’t doing enough.

      Regardless, a whole post in upper case. Sheesh.

    • A late reply.
      Governors and mayors have closed things down.
      One can know this from the timing and differences in the lockdowns.
      Or one can read about who has authority where.
      Just saying.

  4. “The solution was more magnet”

    Oh Grud, he unironically attempted the Summon Bigger Fish method?

    I somehow suspect that the reason this man got into Astrophysics was that he lacked enough basic common sense to get into engineering.

    • This man is going to look back on his life and career at some point in the future and realize his one claim to fame was getting magnets stuck up hi nose.

      • I am working on a HV (high voltage) electrostatic air cleaner that can be implanted into the nose. The mistake the researcher made was in using magnetic forces instead of electrostatic forces. My approach using electrostatic forces solves this.

    • Alan did you know that they put out a limited edition Lamington flavoured crisp in Australia just before Australia Day?

      For non Aussies, a Lamington is an iconic Australian cake. It’s a plain jam sandwich sponge cake covered with chocolate coating and dipped in desiccated coconut. Traditionally cut into small squares before the the coatings are added.

      Surely the best thing about these types of snacks is their salty goodness?

      • I saw a whole shelf full at my local supermarket.

        Two weeks later I could still see a whole self full.

        I have zero regrets for never trying them.

  5. Wow! If you have not played with rare earth, like germanium, magnets you have no idea how strong these things are. The whole idea was nuts, but I am wondering if the astrophysicist was careful to try to attract the stuck magnet with the reverse pole or whether he just stuck another one up his nose?

    • I’ve got some a little bigger than a US nickel that I can’t pull apart; I have to slide them apart. I’ve gotten a blood blister more than once when holding them too close.

      • … my guess is that the astrophysicist

        1) learned from his experiment and won’t stick magnets in ANY orifice


        2) if he doesn’t learn from it, he won’t tell any one about the 2nd time.

  6. What a hoot! I was just on the K&J Magnetics site looking at NIB magnets, and what the story describes is plausible. But my wife immediately thought it was a joke, and given the fact that it’s 1 April down under, I can’t disagree. Whatever the reality status, it is still a good laugh!

  7. Really, really stupid, but not a Darwin Award Winner. He did not eliminate himself from the gene pool.

    • We don’t know that. He didn’t say he put magnets somewhere else, but he wouldn’t mention that, would he?

    • didn’t eliminate hisself from the pool,

      but mebbe likely limited his participation options by letting the news of his nostril magnets out into the public domain.

    • Indeed, not (yet) a winner, but certainly a potential future candidate. The only question is whether or not he manages to procreates before eventually doing something dumb enough to merit the award.

    • This sorts of magnets have caused death when swallowed, by bowel perforation and subsequent septicemia.
      If they get stuck to each other from adjacent loops of bowel, they are strong enough for normal peristaltic motion to cause them to tear right through the intervening tissue.

  8. So one may infer that Dr. Daniel Reardon and the unnamed 11-year-old boy who had the same problem, may also have similar IQs…I guess you shouldn’t expect an “astrophysicist” to know much about magnetism, but only gravity instead. With both nostrils plugged by magnets, he was then a real mouth-breather. Did he consult with the 11-year-old to see how he had solved the problem?

    Whatever this guy invents, I’d give it a wide berth…

  9. “…At this point I ran out of magnets.”

    Now a real Physicist would have coiled a large amount of wire around his head so as to construct an electromagnet capable of ejecting the magnets out of his nostrils at high velocity, like a rail gun.

    Of course this guy would have botched it up and shot himself in the brain with his little magnets. Don’t try this at home children, or at University.

  10. What was even more funny than this “brain surgeon” astrophysicist’s antics was the two ads at the bottom of the article for–you guessed it–magnets! “Order online…” they said. I guess so that one can experience and confirm the data of this experiment and join the ranks of Darwinism!

  11. An Astrophysicist? A PhD? PhD = Piled Higher and Deeper. I thing he deserves to get it taken away

  12. We should all have sympathy for the plight of this lonely inventor, striving away in his workshop for the betterment of mankind. We may laugh at him, but I’d take a wild gauss that he really nose his magnetic physics.

  13. Oven mitts. Washable, reusable. Cover your hands. Protect your mouth, nose, and eyes.

    That said, bad medical staff and personal hygiene, globalism, spreaders of social contagion, and a government and population distracted by more than 13 trimesters of witch hunts and warlock trials have left Americans at risk. The causes will vary in your neck of the woods.

  14. In a way I admire the guy. It’s the kind spectacular effort that led to a spectacular failure. We need people like that to break barriers and innovate. Maybe next time.

  15. The spirit of endeavour and adventure.

    Where would we be without people like this?

    They make the mistakes we all wouldn’t make, just to prove we are all sane.

    Good luck to the guy.

  16. Somehow I get the impression that there will be more people bored at home trying to stick things in orifices where a sensible person ought not to.

    Brings to mind coming stateside after years away seeing young men with round plugs inserted into holes in their earlobes’ fleshy part. When I worked in East Africa (early 1970s) I saw plenty of elderly tribal men with post-plugged earlobes so stretched out they’d hang the ear lobe up by draping the hole over the top of the ear for convenience.

    • “‘What’s it mean? What’s it leading to? You know, if you’d have told me twenty years ago, that I’d see children walking the streets of our Texas towns with green hair, and bones in their noses…I just flat out wouldn’t have believed ya!
      ‘Signs and wonders…But I think once you stop hearin’ Sir and Ma’am, the rest is soon to foller.”
      ‘Well…It’s the tide, the dismal tide…it’s not the one thing.’
      “Not the one thing…'”

  17. Sounds like he was able to laugh at himself, an important fact missing from Mann et al! And as an Aussie myself, he is a lot less embarrassing to Australians than the idiots whingeing about the standard of the 5 star hotels rooms they are confined to for isolation because they left for a cruise in mid-March when everything was starting to close down.

  18. &… To think, that I was in an argument with a Sheila, who was confusing Intelligence & Education ??

    • As a “sufferer” of haemochromatosis, let’s not go there. I am blessed with the lesser aggressive gene combination.

    • Rather odd that, since heat transport in stars is almost exclusively by convection. He somehow must have failed to appreciate that it works in cold gases as well.

      • Depends on the mass of the star, and the stage of it’s life cycle it is in.
        For stars on the Main Sequence of the H-R Diagram, IOW stars burning hydrogen in their core,
        it breaks down like this: Small mass stars are entirely convective.
        Medium mass stars (like the Sun, and others between ~0.5 and 1.5 solar masses) have an inner radiative and outer convective structure, and for high mass stars, a small inner convective and large outer radiative zone. Progressively large stars over 1.5 solar masses have increasingly large inner convective zones, but they maintain a large outer radiative zone. Proportionally, larger stars have more and more of their diameter dominated by radiative energy transfer.
        At least…according to current prevailing astrophysics.
        (except really stupid stars, which have a pinhead-sized inner magnetic nasal zone)



  19. Yeah. Had to be an Australian “academic” dicktard. May as well go to Coles or Wollworths (Supermarkets) to get Aussie PHD’s off of the back of a Weetbix box (Breakfast cereal) these days!

    • Personally, I hope to see him become famous enough to make a guest appearance on Big Bang Theory.

  20. With an additional large neodynium magnet held at the posterior base of the skull, he could have become famous for innovating a new minimally invasive form of lobotomy brain surgery.
    He missed his calling.

  21. Also don’t swallow this type of magnet. A single one is pretty harmless, and so are two that are already stuck together, but two or more swallowed separately may later stick together in a bad place inside you and kill you. They are easily strong enough to pinch a hole in your intestines.

    And don’t do as a security guard in a swedish hospital recently, who went too close to a MRT with a set of handcuffs at his belt. He got smashed into the equipment and they had to dump the Helium to get him loose. Veeery expensive….

  22. But a candidate for the Darwin Awards was the gentleman who, together with his wife, heard that hydroxychloroquine was a remedy that had good results in ameliorating the effects of Corona Virus. Finding that some of his fish tank cleaner contained this substance, he tried eating or drinking it. His wife survived, he didn’t!

    Believe he may have been a Yank. Definitely not Australian!

  23. Knew PHD scientist that validated invisible doggie fence by trying the collar on himself. It worked, big time.
    Never confuse education with intelligence or common sense.

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