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Turn Yourself Into a Static Shock Superhero for Five Dollars

If you want to get a small taste for what it would be like to have Static’s superpowers, but only have five bucks—and no desire to be doused in strange chemical gases that cause mutations in people—then bang, baby! the gadget built in the above video is for you.

Created by YouTube tinkerer and educator, NightHawkInLight (a.k.a. Ben), the DIY “static electricity generator” is essentially a retooled USB ionic air purifier, which, when connected to your skin and the surface you’re standing on, will allow you to make stuff like water and sand dance.

USB-Air-Purifier-03092016Original USB Ionic Air Purifier, which costs about five dollars.

Finished-Product-03092016The finished product, which runs on about 5 volts of electricity from three button cell batteries.

This ever-so-slightly-super power is achieved by ionizing your skin’s atoms, giving them a negative electric charge. And when your negatively charged atoms come into contact with something else that is either positively or negatively charged, you will either repel or attract it; thus the dancing of sand or the bending of water as seen in NightHawkInLight’s video.

Air purifiers actually work in a similar way, by using either a negatively or positively charged electrode to pull oppositely charged airborne particles out of the air. Which means, maybe there’s room for a new DC superhero… like Purifiero! or HEPA-potamus! Or maybe this is just a cool way to freak out your friends with a little bit of the ol’ science.

What do you think about NightHawkInLight’s static electricity generator? Are you ready to try this build for yourself, or are you shocked at the very idea? Let us know in the comments section below!

Images: NightHawkInLight

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