“Whenever I feel hungry and there’s no food in the house I hold naked wires and within half an hour I’m satisfied. I eat electricity like it’s food. In fact, it helps my energy levels.”
Naresh Kumar, a 42-year-old resident of Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, has been calling himself the Human Light Bulb (what else?) ever since he discovered by accident that he could touch a live electrical wire without killing himself or getting burned. This was a relief to his employer since he made this discovery at work.
Let’s stop here for a moment and talk about electrocution. Death by electricity occurs when an electric current of a certain voltage or higher flows through the body on a path that includes a vital organ, like the heart. Currents as low as 30 mA (milliamps) over a sustained period can stop the heart. Currents over 1 A also cause permanent burns and cellular damage. Wall sockets in the US (the 120 volt variety) are either 15 or 20 amps. You do the math.
According to India.com and a video from Cover Asia Press, Naresh Kumar claims he connects himself to live electrical wires for up to 30 minutes at a time, usually when he’s hungry, although he can probably be persuaded if you have a camera or offer money.
“I can touch any electrical appliance like a television, washing machine, fridge, and an inverter with my bare hands and it doesn’t affect me. In fact, it helps my energy levels. I think about 80 per cent of my body is composed of electricity now.”
Thirty minutes per meal? Is that eating or gorging? Neither the article nor the video show a doctor or an electrician examining Naresh to verify this or his ability to hold a live wire without harm (even though verification would be easy since he works at a hospital). The only reference he offers is his wife, who doesn’t seem too thrilled to be Mrs. Human Light Bulb.
“There are no switches, and sometimes my children and I fear we’ll get an electric shock. But because he’s obsessed with touching naked wires they are left like this. He even uses his bare hands to switch different appliances on and off.”
That’s where Mr. Bulb’s story loses some of its spark. The video shows him putting wires in his mouth that are attached to bulbs or appliances that appear to be on. However, he doesn’t show an example of where the appliance is off and he completes the circuit with his body, turning the light or the washer on. Nor does he just stick his finger in a socket, a feat that would be solid proof and pretty impressive. He shows a young boy holding a voltage meter to various body parts but that’s not much proof and could easily be faked. Finally, there’s no evidence presented on how he lives entirely on electricity without consuming any food. Does he use the bathroom? Does he need to turn on the light or is he self-illuminating? What happens if he gets into a bath tub with his wife?
Nevertheless, the ability to be a human light bulb – or more correctly, a human electrical wire – is possible. There are plenty of examples of people surviving large electrical currents or getting hit by lightning. But daily? Sorry, Mr. Human Light Bulb. We need more evidence before you can shock us.