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Edit: having read some (very helpful) responses, I now think my question is closer to this: Could you, either by somehow distributing a foreign substance throughout someone's body, or by somehow causing them to generate an electric current, cause them to have a magnetic field around them such that a key would stick to them? And could you do it without killing them?

It is a highly speculative, and pretty dumb question, but I am curious.

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  • $\begingroup$ No, there is not. Lack of ferromagnetic domains in most materials. Water is paramagnetic but this is much much weaker that ferromagnetism that you see when something like a magnet sticks to a fridge. It takes an MRI machine just to elicit a response and even that won't have a visible or feelable attraction. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Sep 12 at 2:26
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    $\begingroup$ a subcutaneous iron implant would do it, though. $\endgroup$ Sep 12 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ If you charged the human and shot an iron key past them at high velocity, the key would deflect towards them. Does that count? $\endgroup$
    – g s
    Sep 12 at 5:15
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    $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen Water is diamagnetic, not paramagnetic. $\endgroup$
    – Anyon
    Sep 12 at 14:11
  • $\begingroup$ Andrew Geim received an ig-nobel prise for his work on levitating frog - in strong non-homogeneous magnetic field... A few years before his real nobel prize for graphene $\endgroup$ Sep 12 at 14:28
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You cannot magnetize a human, or just about any object that is not ferromagnetic. Ferromagnetism basically refers to the mechanism by which certain materials can become magnetic.

Human tissue is not ferromagnetic, and so you could not make a person permanently magnetic by the use of magnets. Certain substances, like iron, copper, sodium etc., can become magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field, and remain magnetized even when that field is gone, but the amount of these materials in the human body is miniscule, so there is no chance of this happening.

One should be very cautious with claims that the Covid vaccine can make a person "magnetic", or do anything else other than what it was designed to do. There is no evidence for this claim, and no physically consistent mechanism for how such a thing can happen.

Even if vaccines did contain magnetic materials, there certainly would never be enough to "make a person magnetic". There is less than a milliliter ($\lt 0.3$ milligrams I think) of material that is injected via the syringe, some of it, it is alleged by those who push this idea, is magnetic. But still this is nowhere near enough to create an even hardly detectable magnetic field. Think about the fact that on average, an adult human already has approximately $3-4$ grams (not milligrams, actual grams) of iron in their body. This on its own is $10,000$ times more than if the entire volume of the vaccine was a magnetic substance.

If you held a key near your liver (high in iron) would it stick? How about patients who literally are injected with iron (supplements)? Do they become magnetic? It is obviously ridiculous to claim that a vaccine could render a human magnetic, and those who make such unscientific claims maybe have other motives or are just terribly misinformed.

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