IN SHORT: Claims that you should switch off devices to stop body damage due to cosmic rays are false. Cosmic rays can affect your devices, but they’re not harmful to your body.
“Tonight at 12:30 to 03:30 you must shutdown your cellular phone, tablets, etc … and put your them away from your body. This is according to CCN television,” the text in the posts read.
According to the posts, cosmic rays “will pass close to the earth” which can “cause terrible damage to your body”. They go on to tell readers to “check at Google for NASA and BBC News” as evidence.
So what’s the truth here? What are cosmic rays and will they cause “damage to your body” if you use any of your electronic devices?
High-speed particles that travel through space
Cosmic rays are high-speed particles that travel through space, says Britannica. According to the online encyclopaedia, most of the sources of cosmic rays are from within the Milky Way galaxy, and some originate from the sun.
The Milky Way is a large spiral galaxy that is planet Earth’s galactic home.
Cosmic rays make their way through space and “crash into our atmosphere” where they break down and fall to earth in smaller fragments, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or Nasa, explains.
While there is evidence that cosmic rays can affect our devices, they do not “cause terrible damage to your body”.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an intergovernmental organisation based in Austria, says that cosmic radiation does reach us but it does not cause any harm. It is just like other forms of low-level radiation.
Zombie claim that keeps resurrecting
Zombie claims like these do the rounds on social media for many years, despite being repeatedly debunked. In this guide, we give tips for spotting this type of misinformation.
There are a few clear red flags that this zombie claim is false. The first is that the text is poorly written, with some grammatical errors.
The claim is also shared on social media without any evidence given. It uses emotional language to play on reader’s emotions, encouraging them to share the warning.
We also checked mainstream news media and found no trustworthy sources giving similar warnings, another indication that the claim is false.
Resurrected claims like these could cause unnecessary panic.
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