Home Archive Cooking an Egg with Mobile Phones

Cooking an Egg with Mobile Phones

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Message claims that an egg can be cooked by placing it between two active mobile (cell) phones.


Status:
False

Example:
We need:

One egg and 2 mobiles
65 minutes to call from one phone to the other
Set up something like in the graphic


We’ll initiate the call between the mobiles to last for 65 min’s approximately;
Nothing will happen on the first 15 minutes…

After 25 minutes the egg starts warming up, after 45 min’s;
The egg is already hot; and after 65 min’s the egg is cooked

Conclusion:
If the microwave radiation emitted by the mobiles is capable to modify the proteins in the egg. Imagine what it can do with the proteins in our brains when we talk through the mobiles.

Photo credits: Komsomolskaya Pravda



Detailed Analysis:
According to this message it is possible to cook an egg by placing it in between two call-connected mobile (cell) phones. Versions of the message have been circulating via email, blogs and online forums since at least 2006. The version discussed here typically travels as a Microsoft Word email attachment, complete with photographs.

The information in the message is untrue. An article that detailed how to cook an egg with mobile phones was first published on the Wymsey Village website in 2000, supposedly by Suzzanna Decantworthy and Sean McCleanaugh. However, the article was a hoax and the names of the writers were made up. The creator of Wymsey Village Web, Charlie Ivermee, eventually admitted to Gelf Magazine in 2006 that he was the real author of the prank article. He explains that, back in the year 2000, he decided to “add to the silliness” surrounding mobile phone health concerns by penning the piece. He explained to Gelf that he “really underestimated how many people would take it seriously”.

During 2006, two Russian journalists, Vladimir Lagovski and Andrei Moiseynko, gave the hoax a whole new life when they claimed to have cooked an egg in around 65 minutes using two mobile phones. Ivermee’s original hoax article was apparently the inspiration for the experiment. An article discussing the experiment was featured in Russian publication, Komsomolskaya Pravda. The photographs and text in many of the circulating versions of the story are derived from this Russian article. However, the results of the Russian experiment have never been substantiated and are highly questionable. Others who have tried the same experiment have failed to even warm the egg, let alone actually cook it. The Three Wise Men website details an experiment in which three mobile phones, and several other devices that emit radiation were all combined in an egg cooking attempt that turned out to be a dismal failure. Freelance food writer Paul Adams also attempted the experiment and subsequently wrote about it in a New York Times article. He told National Public Radio (NPR) that, although he left an egg between two cell phones for around an hour and a half, the egg did not cook. Moreover, UK television science show, Brainiac, tried the experiment with no less than 100 mobile phones, but, again, the egg did not cook.

Most commentators agree that two mobile phones simply could not emit enough energy to actually cook an egg. An article debunking the hoax on the Mobile Manufacturers Forum website notes:

[T]he claim that RF energy from two mobile phones can cook an egg in 60 minutes cannot be true as it is impossible for the egg’s temperature to rise to a level that will cook the egg. We can demonstrate this as follows: even if you assume that each mobile phone is emitting RF energy at its maximum average power of 0.25 W (based on a peak power of 2 W per phone) for 60 minutes; and even if the total power (2 X 0.25 W = 0.5 W) of both phones was completely absorbed by the egg (assuming it weighs 50 g), then the result would be a maximum temperature rise after 60 minutes of only 13 C. Even if the egg was at room temperature before starting the experiment, the result would still be far below the temperature actually needed to cook an egg (which is approx. 65- 70 C).

In reality, an egg placed between two phones would have a much lower temperature rise because the egg is not thermally insulated and it would only absorb a small portion of the energy emitted.

So, although this story has spread far and wide, and some of the sites on which it has been published still claim it to be true, in reality, it has no basis in fact. You cannot cook an egg with a pair of mobile phones.


Last updated: 20th June 2007
First published: 20th June 2007
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Wymsey Weekend – Weekend Eating: Mobile Cooking
How to Cook an Egg (and Create a Viral Sensation)
Translated Version: Can I cook the egg with a mobile phone?
Original Russian Version: Can I cook the egg with a mobile phone?
HOW-NOT-TO, Cook an Egg With Your Cell Phone
Take Egg Off Speed Dial
A Hard-Boiled Writer Eggs Himself On
Brainiac – Episode 14: Micro Waves
Mythbusters Fanclub: Cooking an egg with cell phones
Cooking an egg by two mobile phones: Hoax

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer