Every superhero has an origin story, but one Russian boy’s incredible tale is not out of a comic book – it is a lot real life.
Twelve-year-old Nikolai Kryaglyachenko was walking home from school 1 day as he stopped leaning against a lamppost.
Unfortunately for Nikolai, the lamppost had a faulty wire and the schoolboy was blasted across the street by a jolt of electricity.
“When I came round, I felt groggy, but managed to get home and told my mum what had happened. When I woke up the next day and got out of bed, I found some coins that had been lying on the mattress had stuck to my body. Then when I was having breakfast and dropped my spoon, it stuck to my chest,” Nikolai revealed.
Being a comic book fan, Nikolai immediately set about testing his new power, which is very similar to the power wielded by Marvel character Magneto.
“I can do things I couldn’t do before, but I don’t have a lot of control over it. Even when I do not want to do it, I still attract things. Once I even attracted a glass — it just moved towards me,” he said.
Naturally, Nikolai’s schoolmates were fascinated by his new power, but what they didn’t know was that he could pass his ability to others, turning them into human magnets, too.
“I could even hang a ladle on my nose,” said classmate Vika Balandina.
Nikolai is not the first real-life Magneto. In fact, an entire Russian family got magnetism superpower in 1987.
A year after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Leonid Tenkaev, his wife, Galina, their daughter Tanya and grandson Kolya were all able to stick metal objects to their bodies, according to The Guardian.
When they discovered their powers, Russian and Japanese scientists examined the family and verified that their seeming magnetism was real.
“There is absolutely no doubt that the objects stick as if their bodies were magnetic,” said Dr. Atusi Kono in 1991.
Another famous real-life Magneto revealed herself at a Superfields conference of 300 “human magnets” in 1990.
Extending her arms out, Marinela Brankova was able to support a 15-pound weight from her vertically turned palm.