October 2, 1851

On October 2, 1851, French occultist Jacques-Toussaint Benoit built and tested a pasilalinic-sympathetic compass. Benoit claimed that when snails mated, they formed a permanent telepathic link and that link based upon animal magnetism would work instantly, wirelessly, over any distance and be more reliable than a telegraph. When Benoit tested the device, he had two assistants sending and receiving messages between the snails. Unfortunately, Mr. Benoit and his assistants were French and apparently the snail were German, so the messages were constantly garbled. Also, the messages were garbled because there was no such thing as telepathy or animal magnetism and Benoit was running a scam because his benefactor, Monsieur Triat, was demanding results or he was going to cut off his funding. So, a pasilalinic-sympathetic compass isn’t a real thing and even in 1851, actually testing pseudo-science showed it to be false.

 

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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