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Why do we get static shocks? Our science sleuths crack another case sent in by curious listeners.

Why do we get static shocks?

Jose Chavez Mendez from Guatemala asks, "Some years ago, in the dry season, I used to be very susceptible to static electricity. I want to know - why do static shocks happen?"

The team uncover some slightly unethical science experiments on static electricity from the 1700s. Hannah Fry uses a Leyden Jar to demonstrate how static electricity works with help from her glamorous assistant, Adam Rutherford. Spoiler Alert: it doesn't end well for Adam.

They discover what makes some people more susceptible to static shocks, and how bees and spiders have harnessed the awesome power of electricity.

Featuring electromagnetism scientist Rhys Phillips and physicist Helen Czerski, author of 'Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life'.

Presenters: Adam Rutherford, Hannah Fry
Producer: Michelle Martin.

Available now

11 minutes

Why do you see faces in unexpected places?

We are “hardwired” for recognising faces and it starts at birth.

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