iPhone nuked 1

I’m sure we’ve all heard horror stories about cats or babies in microwaves (and although I wholeheartedly wish that all of these stories were in the realm of urban myths, apparently not all of them are fiction, but we really don’t want to think too much about those cases, do we? ). Well recently, it seems microwaves have been claiming a whole new set of victims here in Japan. Fortunately, none of these incidents involve the loss of life, but there is still an awful lot of damage being caused to important personal property — iPhones, to be exact.

Apparently, some people have never been told that they shouldn’t believe everything they read on the net. Let’s make it clear from the start: microwaving your iPhone will not charge its battery.

Yes, unbelievable as it may sound, influenced by Internet rumours, people are actually heating their precious iPhones in the microwave! The thought of “nuking” your iPhone probably makes most of you cringe, but incidents of iPhones being microwaved have been popping up over the Internet. But why? Seriously, why?

The trend, if you could call it that, seems to have started from an irresponsible thread on the Japanese internet noticeboard “2channel“, known for its anonymous and sometimes (or some may say often) dubious postings. Information on the thread claimed that an iPhone 5 can be charged by heating it in a microwave for 20 seconds, and for an iPhone 4s, for 30 seconds. Of course, trying this results in a crisply burnt iPhone or possibly even an explosion, as you can see in this video.

Not surprisingly, it appears that Twitter played a big part in spreading this rumor. Unfortunately, in the vast digital world that is the twitterverse, not everyone has a good sense of what information to believe and what to ignore. In fact, Twitter has even been dubbed the “idiot detector” (baka hakkenki) in Japan.

The tweet below provides a perfect example: “I read on a Twitter timeline that you can charge an iPhone quickly by heating it in a microwave, so I tried it and now my phone is broken. I hope whoever spread this dies, asshole!”

iPhone nuked 2

Yup, you’ve got to see it to believe it, right? Sadly, the article on Japanese news site Byokan Sunday reporting this story says that the number of nuked iPhone cases is expected to increase as the rumor continues to spread.

iPhone nuked 3

Well, anyone who can be persuaded to put an expensive piece of electronic equipment in the microwave probably has no business owning an iPhone to begin with, and Japanese Internet users seem unsympathetic to the victims of this cruel joke. Here are some of their comments:

-“Really, these guys are too gullible!”
-“The whole story has got to be a performance.”
-“Idiots swallowed the story whole!”
-“Why don’t these idiots try cooking a whole raw egg in the microwave? That should be fun.”
-“Please don’t try this at home…”
-“I’m more interested in learning how and what kind of people would actually believe such nonsense.”
-“Charging a phone with a microwave? Crazy, simply crazy.”
-“Incomprehensible, unless people are doing it on purpose as a joke?”

This time, the damage has been limited to some broken iPhones (regrettable, yes, but not the end of the world), so maybe we should consider ourselves lucky. But as the Byokan Sunday article comments, let’s just hope that we never see a big rumor spread on the Internet that may actually cause serious accidents or mass panic, because it can be all too easy sometimes for the line between truth and fiction to be blurred out there in cyberspace.

Source: Byokan Sunday (Japanese) 
Top Image: Daily Mail Online 
Twitter Image: Byokan Sunday (Japanese) 
Burnt iPhone Image: Daily Mail Online

If you’re interested in finding out more about what happens to an iPhone that’s microwaved, you may want to check out this Daily Mail article.