A video going viral on the internet shows a man lighting a bulb by bringing it in contact with his body at the spot where he got vaccinated against COVID-19. He says that the bulb does not light at any other part of his body but turns on once it comes in contact with the vaccination site.
However, we found that the claim that the bulb lights up when it comes in contact with the vaccination site is false.
The person in the video later released another video in which he clarified that the video was a prank that he has shared with his friends, which later went viral. We also found that it is possible to light an LED bulb due to conduction achieved from the perspiration or moisture on one's arm or fingers.
Videos like these could increase vaccine hesitancy and could hamper the inoculation drive.
In the 22-second video, the person says, "I have taken the first dose of the vaccine and when I touch the bulb at the vaccination site, it lights up. It does not light but when I bring it close to any other part of my body".
The video was shared on Facebook and WhatsApp.
The official YouTube channel of news channel TV9 Bharatvarsh also carried the viral video without a fact-check. Some other YouTube users picked up the video from TV9 and posted it on their handles.
Archives of more such posts can be found here, here and here.
We also found that other people were also sharing similar claims.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
While going through the different posts carrying this video, we came across a comment that had shared a video of the same person in the video clarifying that the video was was a prank that went viral by mistake.
"I was pulling a prank on my friends and I had shared the video with them in a group. My friends shared the video and it went viral by mistake. It is not linked to the vaccine at all. The bulb in the video was an emergency bulb that gets turned on when it finds earthing," the man in the viral video said.
CAN YOU LIGHT A BULB BY HUMAN TOUCH?
As mentioned by the person himself, the bulb in question is an emergency LED bulb, also known as inverter bulbs. The product has been available in the market for the past few years and it can be attached to standard bulb holder to be used during power outages.
The bulb uses a rechargeable battery ranging from 2000 mah and above. A variety of such bulbs are available.
A basic rechargeable LED uses power from an Alternating Current (AC) source to charge the batteries or turn on the LED lights as long as it is connected to the mains. When the AC source gets disconnected, the bulb holder closes the circuit of the bulb and it then uses the rechargeable battery in it to power the light.
Since the human body is made mostly of water, it does conduct electricity fairly well. A sweaty person’s skin (with high salt content and moisture) would work even better at coducting electricity.
We reached out Dr Noble Inasu, the founder and head of the R&D of LUMENITE LED, that created one of the first rechargeable LED bulbs.
"The bulb works because it has a rechargeable battery in it and when you connect the positive and negative terminals of the bulb it will light up. You can light the bulb up with a piece of aluminium foil, a small drop of water or even a paper clip," Dr Inasu said.
“As long as some conductive material touches the two terminals, the bulb will light up. So if you have a bit of perspiration or moisture on your arm or fingers or any part of your body, this same mechanism would work to light the bulb.”Dr Noble Inasu, founder
Several videos of such bulbs, also termed as "magic bulbs" can be found on the internet since 4-5 years, much before the COVID-19 vaccination drive started.
Therefore the claim that one can light a bulb by bringing it in contact with the COVID-19 vaccination site is false. Human skin can be used as a conductor when it connects the positive and negative terminals of the bulb, thus, lighting it up.
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