ElectroBOOM debunks "Current Mohan" (History Channel)

Bfahome

Member

In his latest video, Mehdi Sadaghdar (of ElectroBOOM) talks about a segment from the History Channel which claims to show a man, named Mohan, who can pass electricity through his body without any ill effect.

Of course, with the ElectroBOOM YouTube channel being more about entertainment than education, he takes a bit of a "Mythbusters" approach to it; not very rigorous, but brings up some good points:

- The host "tested" Mohan's body's resistance, determining it to be around 1MΩ. Mehdi points out that running the 3A food processor shown earlier would require 3MV, a bit more than the 220V wall sockets provide.
- When powering a light "through his body", the bulb is at the same brightness no matter where Mohan touches the wires; one in each hand, either side of his tongue, and head-to-bottom all have the same brightness.
- No sparks jump between Mohan and the "live" wires he touches. 220VAC should cause sparks to jump and likely burn Mohan, regardless of any ability to channel electricity safely. This is never shown to happen.

He also points out some sketchy details such as the host going out and buying a multimeter even though there was one already available ("It was rigged, wasn't it?") and demonstrates a way of faking the "ability" with an offscreen switch, revealing how he does some of his "slapstick" electrical failures in the process.

Anyway, thought this would be fun to share here.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
DID he debunk it?

running the 3A food processor shown earlier would require 3MV, a bit more than the 220V wall sockets provide
why would a food processor not run on normal house current?

When powering a light "through his body", the bulb is at the same brightness no matter where Mohan touches the wires
so?

No sparks jump between Mohan and the "live" wires he touches
Mohan isnt metal. Why would there be sparks?

edit add: this topic has been discussed on other skeptic forums over the years, but i'll add the video segment... it's from StanLee's Superhumans series... in case people want to see it in full
 
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Leifer

Senior Member.
1-2 amps AC @ household voltage is deadly......50 millamps if held, will freeze muscles.


 
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Bfahome

Member
why would a food processor not run on normal house current?
It would, under normal circumstances, but if his body's resistance is really 1MΩ then there's suddenly an additional load that the current has to pass through. Ohm's Law states that voltage=current*resistance, so running the 3 amps of current needed for the food processor through the supposed 1,000,000 ohm resistor that is Mohan would take a voltage of 3,000,000 volts.

Or, starting from the other end, a 220V potential run across a 1MΩ resistor would result in 0.00022 amps of current.

If his body provides any resistance at all, and especially if the resistance is as high as claimed, then forcing the current to run through his entire body vs. just his tongue, for example, would have an enormous effect on the overall resistance. Resistance is based on the properties of the material, but also how much of it there is. It's the reason you shouldn't daisy chain christmas lights or extension cords, because if you keep increasing the length of the cord it'll put up more resistance (meaning the cord will heat up and become a fire hazard). Potentiometers also take advantage of this fact to create varying resistance.

Mohan isnt metal. Why would there be sparks?
Metal to metal isn't necessary for sparks. Some of Mehdi's other videos demonstrate this quite handily. :p
 

mik

Member
I cannot watch the videos right now, but is it addressed that houshold voltage is alternating current type, and a common multimeter will measure plain direct current resistance? AC resistance is known as impedance, which is formed by the capacitive reactance, inductive reactance and plain resistance. The human body may be a large resistor to a multimeter, as I recall from measuring myself, but the impedance is often far lower, in the 300 to 1000 ohm range.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Thanks for the clarification guys. :) I gotta say, i cant follow ElectroBoom at all. He talks way too fast, esp. for us laymen who dont have the basic knowledge he is [allegedly] talking about.
 

Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
Thanks for the clarification guys. :) I gotta say, i cant follow ElectroBoom at all. He talks way too fast, esp. for us laymen who dont have the basic knowledge he is [allegedly] talking about.
Try his website Deirdre.. Things are broken down into text there. I'm not an electrician or an electrical engineer but I still love his videos because they're hilarious and educational at the same time. His whole Schlick is to show you what NOT to do, most of the time, and what happens when you're a dummy and don't show respect to the power electricity has. Go way back to the beginning of his YouTube channel and watch the videos.. You'll be surprised just how much you pick up and begin to undertand while trying not to pee your pants from laughter.
 

Bfahome

Member
I cannot watch the videos right now, but is it addressed that houshold voltage is alternating current type, and a common multimeter will measure plain direct current resistance? AC resistance is known as impedance, which is formed by the capacitive reactance, inductive reactance and plain resistance. The human body may be a large resistor to a multimeter, as I recall from measuring myself, but the impedance is often far lower, in the 300 to 1000 ohm range.
That specifically isn't addressed in the video, but he does get into it a bit in the article on his site:

Seems like he was mainly addressing the claim that Mohan's "1MΩ resistance" was what kept him safe. Like I said, not too rigorous.

(And I think we only covered AC for a week or two in that one circuits class I took, so I'm not as familiar with its behavior as DC, but you're jogging some of my memory of it.)
 
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