Can Humans Sense Magnetic Fields?

  • Published on Mar 18, 2019
  • Research has found some human brains can pick up on rotations of geomagnetic-strength fields as evidenced by drops in alpha wave power following stimulus. For more, see
    Huge thanks to:
    Prof. Shinsuke Shimojo, Connie Wang, and Isaac Hilburn, plus Prof. Joe Kirschvink. Their lab:
    Special thanks to Patreon supporters:
    Donal Botkin, James M Nicholson, Michael Krugman, Nathan Hansen, Ron Neal, Stan Presolski, Terrance Shepherd
    Additional filming by Whitney Clavin

Comments • 4 341

  • Matt Harden
    Matt Harden Day ago

    I have a natural compass in my nose. I feel pressure on the opposite side pushing it towards north. Nobody believes me until I show them blind folded in a swivel chair.

  • Dr. M. H.
    Dr. M. H. 3 days ago

    I LUVed it when the cameraman zoomed in as the scientist said "Notttt"! Lol

  • Will Jones
    Will Jones 3 days ago +1

    Is the brain picking up these magnetic changes, or is it something else that tells the brain how to react? Kind of like how the EEG would change if somebody pinched your arm.

  • ǰąɲƹŁŁƹ ɦɨŁŁɨąřȡ -

    This is one of my fears

  • Dal Kyne
    Dal Kyne 4 days ago

    Both my sister and I grew up scouring mountains and sailing every summer. However, while I have good orientation, she doesn't (but she has other strengths). I'm wondering how we'd both test out.

  • Phi1eap
    Phi1eap 5 days ago


  • Turboslang
    Turboslang 5 days ago

    Master Splinter

  • stefan sauvageon
    stefan sauvageon 5 days ago +1

    He will become Doctor Magnhttan!

  • 2070ahmed
    2070ahmed 5 days ago

    i wonder why she sounded sad while telling people not to think of it as a super power.

  • LittleRainGames
    LittleRainGames 5 days ago

    If they cpuldnt reproduce it at princeton, maybe its because we now have all these signals flying around.
    Kind of like how the bees are being affected by wifi and other frequencies.

  • anil mangalan
    anil mangalan 5 days ago

    If anybody is interested, the older generation people from Kerala, India, uses the cardinal directions for geographic references.

  • Emil Rensen
    Emil Rensen 5 days ago

    I wonder what would happen if we were to suddendly experience a total absence of all magnetic fields. Would we maybe feel it without knowing what it is we are feeling? E.g. get dizzy or something like that?

  • RubberFistFight
    RubberFistFight 6 days ago

    I'm reminded of the time travel boxes from the movie "Primer".
    So which timeline are you from, Derek? :P
    Also, considering the brain is a massive electrical network that is very sensitive to changes in it's own electrical field (see: the spreading wave of cortical depolarisation that heralds a migraine headache, for example) it makes some kinda sense that it would react to changes in the surrounding magnetic field as well, since electricity and magnetism are both part of the electromagnetic force. They've also shown that transcranial magnetic stimulation can make people feel odd although the mechanism is different and a lot more focused than that seen here.
    I guess the question is HOW sensitive is the brain to these changes, and if there's any kind of potential usability there. Glad they're looking into it though.

  • Craig Dallas
    Craig Dallas 6 days ago +1

    You need to talk to me.

  • Create ShareLive
    Create ShareLive 6 days ago

    Human brains have millions of biomagnetites just as birds do. We don’t consciously sense it and wouldn’t know what to do with it if we could.

  • SrmthfgRockLee
    SrmthfgRockLee 7 days ago


  • Ed
    Ed 8 days ago +1

    Before watching the video... I used to live near a power generating station... I can say yes, you can feel it... A lot. Pretty sure when a generator first powers up. It would mess with me all the time, it sucked

    • Ed
      Ed 5 days ago +1

      +Lishtenbird best way to explain would be feeling a wave go through you. Almost like you are going to or did pass out. I hated it

    • Lishtenbird
      Lishtenbird 5 days ago

      What would be the symptoms?

  • kazzit chang
    kazzit chang 8 days ago

    Did they make sure that it's our brain not the equipment that is sensing magnetic field? EM drive experiments made similar mistake and BOOO.

  • Mehmet Baran
    Mehmet Baran 8 days ago

    here is a test for you
    take a nippers in your hand and move it slowly to your nose extremely closely with your eyes closed.this always works for me

  • Balys
    Balys 8 days ago +1

    They should really consider running the same study on a blind person

  • Dwij Gurram
    Dwij Gurram 9 days ago

    Disturbance in Magnetic field of the earth might influence the repeatability of the experiment

  • Wot Mate
    Wot Mate 9 days ago

    1:29 hahahhaa

  • Sebastian J
    Sebastian J 9 days ago

    No wonder I poop facing north...

  • George Washington
    George Washington 9 days ago

    Yes human can sens magnetic field. It requires a little practice to deferential from other experiences and they do not need any extra equipment. For start use very strong neodymium magnet and move your finger around it with closed eyes.

  • ShoveItFlaka
    ShoveItFlaka 10 days ago

    Man I have been once directly next to a 7 Tesla MRI scanner and i tell you, you can feel that (insanely strong) magnetic field. It was absoltely weird, it felt like some sort of spirit going through my body. sounds crazy but I really dont know what words to use to describe that feeling.

  • Pferdekopfnebel
    Pferdekopfnebel 11 days ago

    Do the changing magnetic fields not influence the measurement itself (is the measurement influenced, if there is no person under the cap)?

  • Tiavor Kuroma
    Tiavor Kuroma 11 days ago

    I noticed that I can navigate much better in open spaces like city and forest than inside an industry manufacturing building.

  • C C
    C C 11 days ago

    Doc Brown.

  • Ryan Copetti
    Ryan Copetti 11 days ago

    0:58, I expected to hear a japanese accent from her, didn't know she's that good in english

    • FairyRat
      FairyRat 10 days ago

      Come on man. Wang is a Chinese name.

  • Shiben
    Shiben 12 days ago +1

    No problem, a dog is pooping. We are pooping while watching anyway.

  • Oldën Grimsey
    Oldën Grimsey 12 days ago +1

    Can I go there be experimented upon???! haha

    • Oldën Grimsey
      Oldën Grimsey 12 days ago +1

      I'm SE Asian, and I just wnt to know? :)

  • Kibuigut Barsirian Kenduywa Arap Sing'oe

    you look like a typpical Afrikaan...look alike with Elon Musk

  • Ian Buck
    Ian Buck 12 days ago

    "Whose chair is that" was my first question too! 😆

  • Ian Buck
    Ian Buck 12 days ago

    Am I correct in understanding that the chamber only rotates the magnetic field around the yaw axis, not pitch and roll?

  • heinzerbrew
    heinzerbrew 12 days ago

    In the olden days, people spent a lot of time outside, and the sun was frequently visible. It is possible to tell where north, south, east, and west are based on the location of the Sun. Humans are also capable of remembering information. When the Sun was not visible they were able to remember where North was located based on the last time the Sun was visible.

  • Zeutrus Bd
    Zeutrus Bd 13 days ago

    What if the changed magnetic field just messes with our cells and gives the impression that we sense magnetic fields.. it might for example just be receptors in our eyes/ears sending false signals because of the disturbance.

  • Manny M
    Manny M 13 days ago

    What were the electrodes used to capture the eeg made of? Magnetic material? What about the camera? Couldn't that interfere with the experiment? Also, mri machines create strong magnetic fields, there are reports of people having a sense that they feel different during the scan. If that's the case, one's brain pattern would not be that valid of a study when using fMRI

  • waptek
    waptek 13 days ago

    3:45 & then he sees it!

  • Anon Wibble
    Anon Wibble 13 days ago

    tl;dr americans have no sense of direction!

  • Victor Polevoy
    Victor Polevoy 13 days ago

    What did you feel there in the chamber?

  • Agnes
    Agnes 13 days ago

    Why the dog poo poo video

  • Rizki Ferdian
    Rizki Ferdian 13 days ago

    Of course we do, we are part of whole Universe, just many human brains are being programmed by other who has intention to conquer through mind setting and energy and made them forgot their own ability which they call sixth and seventh sense. sensing magnetic field is one of my "peculiar" abilities since I was born.

  • Oleksandr Bolgarov
    Oleksandr Bolgarov 13 days ago

    "Our brains have the ability to sense the magnetic field change, but it's implicit and subliminal, in the non-conscious part of the brain."
    I can already see this being tied to the marketing of meditation, yoga, health and wellness industries, and spiritual attunement of the earth.

  • Ryan Malin
    Ryan Malin 13 days ago +4

    Now do this test while the patient is on 500 micrograms LSD. That would be very interesting indeed

  • Bharath Nallapeta
    Bharath Nallapeta 14 days ago

    And here in India, we have a "superstition" from our ancestors who perhaps understood this better than us. So the superstition says that one cannot sleep with the head in the North direction. It has to be in the south. Apparently it messes with the body's magnetic field orientation with that of the earth's magnetic field. Not exactly sure how it affects but they did and that's why they advised it.
    p.s. And just like every other superstition in India, there's a whole story about a elephant's head being cut off as a sage commanded that they get the head of any animal that's sleeping with it's head in the NORTH and thus they created the fear that bad things will happen to people who do it too.

  • Inigo Fuentes Tscherner

    The way the professor explains why the chair is the way it is got me dying hahahaha

  • Inigo Fuentes Tscherner

    3:47 Give him THE CHAIR!! Oh nooooooooo

  • Kamil Prystapczuk
    Kamil Prystapczuk 14 days ago

    The culture the paper refers to is prob Guugu Yimithirr people, native to Far North Quensland. They were studied, of course and they actually have great sense of direction.

  • Coldblackice
    Coldblackice 14 days ago +2

    So glad Mr. Miyagi was able to find work after Daniel-son died

    • puppy love
      puppy love 13 days ago

      Stop asking question smartass and wax my car !!

  • Omar Ali
    Omar Ali 14 days ago

    arupha wave

  • Hydrobradman
    Hydrobradman 14 days ago

    Why not do an experiment to test if people can guess the magnetic field change correctly? That would be more entertaining and accessible to watch than diagrams of alpha fields.

  • 1mijaz
    1mijaz 14 days ago

    This is how all the black people communicate telepathically.

  • A Silent Koala
    A Silent Koala 14 days ago

    Yes!!! Human can sense magnetic fields if they have the protein cryptochrome in their system.

  • Fouad Saliba
    Fouad Saliba 14 days ago

    One word: PSYCHEDELICS.

  • joaov2
    joaov2 14 days ago

    13:00 For more analyses on how magnetic fields affect the brain, you could do a video on the 'God helmet' and subsequent attempts at replication.

  • Mohit Talreja
    Mohit Talreja 14 days ago

    What happens if this experiment utilizes electric field instead of magnetic field ?

    but preventing from sparking

    • Mohit Talreja
      Mohit Talreja 14 days ago

      +jay methodus brother I have learnt that electric field and magnetic field together makes electromagnetic field rather it does not constitute only either of them
      Sorry for my poor English

    • jay methodus
      jay methodus 14 days ago friend... They are the same thing. An electric field is an electromagnetic field. A magnetic field is an electromagnetic field. They are not exclusive to eachother

  • Tim von Hahn
    Tim von Hahn 14 days ago +1

    Is this related to water divining at all?

  • danyl barbour
    danyl barbour 14 days ago

    this is why i think we have gon insane
    in 2015 2 stars collided
    we measured the gravity wave generated by that collision
    this wave rang the earth like a bell
    causing the current imbalance in its magnetic feald and accelerating the geothermal activity of the planet

  • rz rz
    rz rz 14 days ago

    maybe we can feel it, but somehow ignore it.

  • InkOnTube
    InkOnTube 15 days ago

    10:26 take these results and make another experiment: make yourself lost and check if you will be walking in circles clockwise or counter-clockwise.

  • Marx The Destroyer
    Marx The Destroyer 15 days ago

    Once I had a dream that I was a bird and I could feel something in my head pulling slightly in a certain direction. North perhaps. Is that what a bird feels?

  • Berkay Bayar
    Berkay Bayar 15 days ago

    I can tell directions like north and south i never thinked it as speacial because its nothing sort of sense or something i just can tell its north like i can tell its my front or back. What an interesting video, i hope these guys would continue on this research im sure there are lots of people like me

  • Khashayar Dashtdar
    Khashayar Dashtdar 15 days ago

    I have 12 dogs. They take a dump in all directions. They actually turn around to evaluate their surroundings before taking a poop or lying down.

  • Leland Shennett
    Leland Shennett 15 days ago

    Lmao my racist ass was so surprised when she started speaking with no accent 😂😂

  • Ikoy De Guzman
    Ikoy De Guzman 15 days ago

    does it hertz?

  • infirmux
    infirmux 15 days ago

    evolution - life adapted to use so called "visual" spectrum of EM. But just as well it could be using other available input stimuli. We know touch (which is EM on atomic level?), sound (again, waves of the medium), smell etc. But it could be quantum effects (or sth) that we don't even necessarily know yet. Nature had eons to learn to utilize any property of physical world. We only started research very few thousands years ago (at most stretch).

  • Channeling Science
    Channeling Science 16 days ago

    I wonder if meditation or learning how to channel could raise magnetic field sensitivity. When brain frequencies change, people can experience hightened sensitivity to noises, light, ringing in the ears, changes in heart rate etc. The community of channelers calls those "ascention symptoms". Maybe sensitivity to magnetic fields can be one of them so testing channelers sensitivity to magnetic fields could be an interesting route.

  • Dsj
    Dsj 17 days ago

    This guy is going to die a early death to radiation

  • Darrell Covello
    Darrell Covello 17 days ago

    This reminds me so much of the Black Mirror episode, Playtest. Good thing his mom didn't call while he was in there!

  • Alex Red
    Alex Red 17 days ago

    Hope CIA, MI6, Mossad, Chabad etc will not use this ability to indoctrinate people by some sort of modulation of the magnetic field using especially created portable or stationary generators.. since it may interact with peoples behavior, probably change preferences or worse

  • Wayne Jackson
    Wayne Jackson 18 days ago +2

    I would be very interested to know if they could do the same experiment but on sleeping individuals?

  • Prajwal Sagar
    Prajwal Sagar 18 days ago

    Ahh...... I wish they had heard about G-maps before taking up the experiment to "navigate", jk jk lol

  • Legendary Modz
    Legendary Modz 19 days ago

    Why does this look like he’s going to be executed

  • Ed
    Ed 19 days ago

    Well if modern technology is the reason we no longer use this magnetic field sensing ability. Then why did mariners in the past need a compass, and a way to read the stars to navigate? Especially when storms pushed ships off course and it became a life and death situation. Peoples got lost at sea when no one could see the stars due to cloudy sky's. Why no one on a sailing ship in days of old, was used as a human compass through history. So I sense one thing for sure, Bull $hit.

  • Little Al
    Little Al 19 days ago

    How about testing people with autistic spectrum disorders (especially Asperger's syndrome), who are known to have heightened awareness of their senses?

  • ASR- PTK
    ASR- PTK 19 days ago +1

    There are Few Channels Who Dont Post Videos For Money! #Veritasium

  • Steve
    Steve 20 days ago

    Did you really need to include the pick of the dog shitting? That's disgusting!

  • Lost Space
    Lost Space 20 days ago

    What if the camera is detecting the magnetic change and making the camera electronics hum at a different frequency youre hearing?

    • Lost Space
      Lost Space 19 days ago

      Or somehow your reaction to the tone being played changes

  • rygyou willy
    rygyou willy 20 days ago

    1:38 spoiled my dinner time

  • {K . N}
    {K . N} 20 days ago

    *To lovers of physics and technology see for yourself dear*

  • Azam Caneene
    Azam Caneene 20 days ago

    If you are still in Caltech, could you please visit Prof. Ali Hajimiri and make a video about his research on semiconductors.

    ASHWIN KARTHIK 21 day ago

    Cant forget the full solar eclipse video ...

  • Christian Prepper
    Christian Prepper 21 day ago +1

    This explains how no matter how far in to the forest we would walk, grandpa always knew the exact direction back to the car.

  • Christian Prepper
    Christian Prepper 21 day ago +2

    13:08 _" only supports the human brain can pick up on the physical stimulus of the earth's magnetic field....."_ *_WOW!_*

  • Jai Cilento NeedsMoreCoffeeʕ•ᴥ•ʔߛ ̋

    13:00 how did the design support that or not, and how would we know how to power it to find any such thing when the approach is so out of hand dismissed. Also, a lot of averaging and no sample size report or link to the paper. who do you think you audience is?

  • Jai Cilento NeedsMoreCoffeeʕ•ᴥ•ʔߛ ̋

    thats why MRI techs over time get dizzy walking into the field where they didnt early in their career.

    • Jim F
      Jim F 20 days ago +2


  • djbme83
    djbme83 21 day ago

    Thanks for the clip of a dog taking a dump.

  • Nereus
    Nereus 21 day ago +1

    but what about strong magnetic fields? what's the effect on people? Because in many countries there is safety regulations about strong magnetic fields because some people say to get headhecks. Ask her about that.

  • apathyboy
    apathyboy 22 days ago +1

    Why not use a more powerful magnetic field. A stronger stimulus should equal a stronger response.

  • ceruchi
    ceruchi 22 days ago

    It's a chill day. Isaac is on his way back from Starbucks, enjoying that California sun. Then he notices the lab assistants are all excited. "Wait," says Isaac, "there's SOME GUY in there? Some guy who wants to know about our research?" -"Yeah," says one assistant, "a science presenter. Like a cuter Bill Nye. He's interviewing Connie and--" But Isaac was already bounding down the hallway, chugging his iced latte.

  • John A.
    John A. 22 days ago

    is this like those transhuman technology videos where they want you to beg to be first in line? is this along the same lines but get you to volunteer for mk naomi, delta and ultra projects? joking but you have to question everything these days.

  • Jiabao Deng
    Jiabao Deng 22 days ago

    Derek, did you consciously feel anything in those experiments?

  • Ascetic
    Ascetic 22 days ago


  • waleed algheryafi
    waleed algheryafi 22 days ago

    Sometimes I look at my phone right before it rings...Is this related

  • Stephen Ayotte
    Stephen Ayotte 23 days ago

    I just finished reading a book called 'The Empire of the Summer Moon' about Comanche Indians in the 1800's. It was mentioned numerous times in the book that they could navigate hundreds of miles with no apparent references or landmarks on the Mid American Plains. I am wondering if they actually had an advanced version of magnetic directionality. It would be interesting to try this experiment on relatives of these citizens.

  • idea loading
    idea loading 23 days ago +1

    I like magnetic fields experiments try it with other humans επισης κανω επιστημονικα βιντεο οποιος θελει ας ριξει μια ματια

  • suDz
    suDz 23 days ago +1

    In India people believe that its bad if you place you toilet towards East or West. They can't explain why, they just believe it.

    • suDz
      suDz 19 days ago

      +Pagani Zonda Pagani Zonda Yes there are. And your comment just clarifies that owning a toilet doesn't mean that one owns character !

    • Pagani Zonda
      Pagani Zonda 22 days ago

      there are toilets in India?

  • Fernando Cue
    Fernando Cue 23 days ago

    Like when you MRI so you can see the brain´s activity?

  • O Balls
    O Balls 23 days ago

    Now it would be interesting to see how this study shows the superior compass of men compared to women.

  • Luiz Felipe
    Luiz Felipe 23 days ago +2

    One possibility is that, as humans got exposed too much to artificial eletromagnetic fields our brain could have learned to ignore some changes in magnetic fields around us

    • Brick
      Brick 20 days ago

      Luiz Felipe good theory