You probably know that fridges and certain metals are attracted to magnets. However, there are some surprising items that you may never have guessed are magnetic. In this blog, we are taking a look at some everyday items that can actually have magnetic properties.

A US Dollar Bill

Believe it or not, a US dollar bill is faintly magnetic. You can test it for yourself with a dollar and one of our strong rare earth magnets. Simply curl one edge of the dollar upward and gently brush the magnet against it. There will be a small attraction to it, perhaps not enough to cause the dollar to stick and be picked up but just enough for it to be drawn to it. This is because the ink used in US dollar bills is magnetic.

Cereal

In this case, it’s not technically the cereal that is magnetic as much as it is the iron that is added to it. Several brands of cereal add in small amounts of iron for nutritional value. People that have low iron in their blood, may have to take iron supplements or adjust their diet to include more foods with high iron content. Testing the iron in different cereal brands can make for an interesting school or home experiment. All you need is a strong rare earth magnet, different types of cereal, water and a resealable bag. For more details and instructions on how to conduct the science experiment, visit our blog on how to remove iron from cereal here.

Sand

Not all sand is magnetic, but one type of sand is--black sand. Black sand looks exactly like its name. It is so dark in color because of how it is formed and what it contains. Sand is formed by the weatherization process that breaks down certain minerals and materials in the area. When it comes to black sand, a magnetic mineral called magnetite is the primary ingredient. Magnetite is a naturally occurring oxide that is black in color and which contains high amounts of iron-resulting in its magnetism. It usually forms around volcanoes and after eruptions. Learn more about this interesting magnetic sand and where you can find it here.

Meteorites

Meteorites, or meteors that have fallen from the sky and landed on Earth. are generally magnetic. This is because they contain some of the same minerals and elements that we have on our planet. In the case of meteorites, they contain extraterrestrial iron, which a magnet will pick up. In fact, magnets are often used as a preliminary test to check the authenticity of meteorites. Find out how you can do the meteorite test with a here.

If you’d like to see what other everyday items are magnetic, pick up a strong magnet and test its magnetism around the house! Keep track of what items it picks up and try to figure out why.