There’s a great joke in Futurama, the cartoon comedy show, about a horror movie for robots. In the movie, a planet of robots is terrorized by a giant “non-metallic being” (a monsterified human). The human is finally defeated by a makeshift spear, which prompts the robot general to say:
“Funny, isn’t it? The human was impervious to our most powerful magnetic fields, yet in the end he succumbed to a harmless sharpened stick.”
The joke, of course, is that the human body might seem much more fragile than a metallic machine, but to a robot our ability to withstand enormous magnetic fields would be like invincibility.
But this got me thinking: how strong would a magnetic field have to be before it killed a human?
Unlike a computer hard drive, the human body doesn’t really make use of any magnetic states — there is nowhere in the body where important…