8 Strange Facts About Magnets and Magnetism
Magnets are interesting and strange materials. There are still some mysteries that scientists and researchers have yet to solve when it comes to magnets. However, some mysteries have been solved. In this blog, we have compiled a list of some of the strangest facts about magnets and magnetism.
- Magnets always have two poles -- even if you cut them in half. Magnetic monopoles do not exist --as far as we know. Magnets will always have two poles, a magnetic north and a magnetic south. If you don’t believe us, take a bar magnet and cut it in half. The two remaining pieces will still have a north and a south. You can cut it dozens of times and the results will be the same.
- The most powerful magnet in the universe is actually a star called a magnetar. These are stars that have died off and had a supernova explosion. The magnetars are what is left over, and they are strong enough to destroy small planets if they get close enough. Luckily, there are only a dozen of these according to scientists, and they are far far far away from Earth.
- Strong rare earth magnets can turn some metals into magnets. Ferromagnetic materials like iron can be magnetized with a strong permanent magnet. You can try it for yourself by rubbing a magnet on a screwdriver. The screwdriver will be able to pick up magnetic objects.
- The Earth is like one big bar magnet. It has a magnetic north and a magnetic south, which is what the needle on a compass points to. However, this is geographically different than the actual north and south poles. Invisible magnetic field lines run from the north to south poles.
- Magnetic resonance imaging machines use magnets, and they generate stronger fields than the Earth. In fact, it is about 60,000 times stronger than the Earth’s.
- Some animals are affected by magnets. Magnets have been used to study bee communication patterns, migratory cycles and several other animal behaviors. This is because many animals can sense magnetic fields. For instance, some sharks are repelled by them and birds and turtles navigate by them.
- Magnets are ancient. Well, today’s man-made magnets may not be so ancient, but the Chinese are said to have used lodestone, a natural magnet as far back as date. In fact, ancient mariners are said to have used lodestones to help them navigate.
- There are magnetic hills, said to pull cars and other large magnetic objects towards certain locations. However, researchers have found out that these are not really a magnetic anomaly as much as a topographical illusion.
The list of facts about magnets could go on and on, but these are some of our strange favorites. What magnet facts do you find strange and intriguing?