Posts falsely claim that electrically charged rocks were found in Congo – Posts falsely claim that electrically charged rocks were found in Congo – Tekedia Forum

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CLAIM: Electrically charged stones have been discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

AP ASSESSMENT: False. Although some minerals can act as conduits for electricity, rocks cannot store electricity, experts told The Associated Press. A video circulating in connection with the claim shows a rock that is likely pyrite, a common mineral that can conduct electricity but cannot store it, experts say.

THE FACTS: Claims that electrically charged stones have been discovered in the central African country have spread widely across social media platforms in recent days, including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. Some users compared the purported discovery to “vibranium,” a fictional rare metal that can store and release energy in Marvel comics and films like “Black Panther.”

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As proof, social media users shared a video showing several people inspecting a small, shiny rock. One of the individuals connects two ends of what appears to be a wire to the rock, which activates a light on the wire.

“Electrically charged stones have been discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” a Twitter user who shared the video wrote on Saturday. The tweet has been shared more than 27,000 times.

But these claims are as fanciful as a superhero movie, experts say. Some minerals can conduct electricity, but none can store electricity. Experts told the AP that the substance in the video is likely pyrite, a common sulfur mineral with a bright metallic sheen that can conduct electricity.

“The minerals in these rocks, or if they’re in sufficient concentrations, can conduct electricity, but they can’t really store it,” said Simon Jowitt, associate professor of economic geology at the University of Nevada. Las Vegas. “It just passes through it, from one end to the other, like an electric current going through a piece of metal.”

Experts said it’s unclear how the light in the video is powered, but not all of the agreed-upon rocks can hold the charge alone.

Rocks, unlike batteries, are unable to release electricity on their own because they do not produce a chemical reaction that releases electrons and allows the electrons to flow, Jowitt explained.

“There is no chemical reaction capacity in a rock that you would have in a battery,” he said.

Yaoguo Li, a professor of geophysics at the Colorado School of Mines, said of the idea that rocks can store electricity: “So far, we don’t know of any mechanism that actually supports this kind of of phenomenon. »

Natural rocks typically lack all the components needed for batteries, such as positive and negative electrodes, said Yuzhang Li, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“I don’t think any new physics is being discovered here,” Li said. “I would doubt that the rock alone generates any kind of voltage.

Benjamin Hallett, a geology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, guessed that the person holding the rock in the video might also be holding a battery.

It’s part of AP’s efforts to combat widely shared misinformation, including working with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content circulating online.

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