TNM Fact Check: Can these Telangana kids really generate electricity?

Viral videos have been claiming that an Adilabad family can light up LED bulbs with their bare fingers. Is this a miracle, or basic science?
TNM Fact Check: Can these Telangana kids really generate electricity?
TNM Fact Check: Can these Telangana kids really generate electricity?
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A few local media outlets recently reported that a 5-year-old boy from Telangana had electricity passing through his fingers. Videos showing the boy, his sister and some of his family members lighting up a bulb with their bare fingers had gone viral, calling it a miraculous phenomenon. News channels reported the news with a sense of awe, suggesting that the children had superpowers. But none of these claims are true. 

One day in July, Chand Pasha, who lives in Sirisanna Ramnagar village in Adilabad district, brought home an LED bulb. When his two children began to play with it, the bulb lit up without an electric connection. Their family members were awestruck, and began to take turns to try it out for themselves. 

As the news started to spread by word of mouth, people from neighbouring villages and television reporters began to crowd to their home to witness this ‘miracle’. News channels termed the siblings as ‘wonder kids’. News reports show how the bulb lights up at the touch of Chand Pasha himself, his son, daughter and brother, but it doesn’t work for his wife and father, or any of the visitors.Visitors have even been bringing their own bulbs to test the children’s ‘superpowers’ for themselves.

All the bulbs used to depict this phenomenon were Inverter LED bulbs, commonly used as emergency lights. These bulbs usually light up when they come in contact with moisture. Many videos available online show how the bulb can be powered with just water, especially salted water, if it has been charged beforehand. 

A few people have debunked the ‘miracle’ of the Adilabad family by showing how anyone can wet their fingers and light up the bulb. The children were making the bulb glow with their fingers and noses because of perspiration, not superpowers. 

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