Did I have a lame superpower?
May 3, 2010 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Did I used to have a lame superpower?

Alright so I have been wondering about this for a little while now and figured, why not waste a question on it. When i was younger, say between the ages 7-10, I swear I used to be able to 'feel' and taste electricity.

I'll explain.

There was a large electric substation on a road that we drove down pretty frequently when I was that age. I have very vivid memories of being able to feel a current or something in my jaw and even smelling or possibly tasting what I now know was ozone.

I even remember one time when I was laying in the back seat of the car and knew we were passing the sub station without seeing it because of the feeling in my jaw.

I have since lost this terrible super power and actually completely forgot about it until recently.

So, was I crazy or is this possible?

If it helps, I am sure I had some cavities at that point and may have had two silver/chrome capped teeth. Yeah I was not so big on the brushing.
posted by WickedPissah to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe it was something like electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

The next time you have blood work done, perhaps request a midichlorian count.
posted by One Thousand and One at 8:12 PM on May 3, 2010 [9 favorites]

I can definitely smell static electricity, not sure if that's related.
posted by kylej at 8:47 PM on May 3, 2010

Best answer: There are stories about people picking up AM radio stations on their metal fillings. I don't know if anyone's verified it, which makes it a bit suspect, but it's not totally outlandish. The substation might have been emitting similar frequencies, perhaps (or different ones, if your fillings were 'tuned' differently).

Also, kids are typically able to hear higher frequencies of sound. Maybe you were confused about which sense was being triggered, or had some mild synaesthesia? This seems less likely.
posted by alexei at 9:02 PM on May 3, 2010

Best answer: You didn't have "chrome" fillings. It's dental amalgam -- usually a mixture of silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury. It was silver colored, like chrome ... but not chrome.

But you're not crazy. It's entirely possible that you heard humming and smelled ozone. I doubt you felt a current, though.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:26 PM on May 3, 2010

Best answer: Possible. Get your hands on a 9v battery, touch the tip of your tongue to both terminals. Similar taste/sensation?

When you were young, did you ever bite down on tin/aluminium foil? Those of us who felt the "bite" tended to have cavities and/or amalgam fillings.

There are fictional stories written about amalgam fillings picking up radio stations; fiction is often based on some related fact.

Electricity going down a wire does create an EM field around it - it's almost certainly not hazardous or detrimental to health - but these can very well induce current in something else that is conductive and/or not normally conductive. See Lenz's Law/eddy currents.
posted by porpoise at 9:42 PM on May 3, 2010

Response by poster: Yeah the sound thing makes sense. I remember there was a buzz to it of sorts. The sensation be it sound or feeling was usually right below my ears and into the hinge of my jaw. That would probably also explain why I grew out of it.

Yes I know the fillings were not chrome, I was referring to the caps which were silver colored and looked like shiny chrome. Guess they were silver.

Still open to any other theories though because why not.
posted by WickedPissah at 9:47 PM on May 3, 2010

Response by poster: Oh and porpoise.

Yes to I am familiar with the 9v battery test but this was different.

Tinfoil in the mouth...oh god...so awful, but yes this was different as well.

Yeah I never thought it was bad for me but always thought it was cool/odd as a kid.
posted by WickedPissah at 9:49 PM on May 3, 2010

Best answer: I have had a few people claim to be able to feel electric fields. I don't have a judgement of whether it is possible or not. Alternatively electric transmission does create a high frequency noise and as we age we lose the ability to hear high-frequencies. So it would make sense that you gradually lost the ability.

I think anyone can smell ozone if they are paying attention and their nose is clear.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 11:28 PM on May 3, 2010

To be really pedantic, you may have had stainless steel crowns if they were back teeth and not permanent.
posted by lemniskate at 5:24 AM on May 4, 2010

Response by poster: Well I think it is probably solved. I think the sound thing makes the most sense but I do remember feeling it as well.

And the caps were on my mid front teeth and looked really sweet as far as I was concerned.
posted by WickedPissah at 7:14 AM on May 4, 2010

I think I used to have the same thing, but it's faded now. The high frequency sound answer sounds spot on to me. The sound coming from muted CRT TVs used to drive me mad.
posted by richb at 9:26 AM on May 4, 2010

I still get this feeling around electric power stations. To me it feels like a slight vibrating in the corner of my eyes, occasionally in my gums. Could be completely due to the power of suggestion but I still feel it as an adult.
posted by egeanin at 2:19 PM on May 4, 2010

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