Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Emelina. Emelina Wonders, “Do twins have twin telepathy?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Emelina!

Have you ever looked at another person and known what they were thinking? Maybe it was a family member or a close friend. It could have even been your teacher or coach. One glance may have told you exactly what they would say next.

Many people have had this experience. Most often, it results from spending a lot of time with another person. After hours of talking, playing, or learning together, people know each other pretty well. It’s no surprise they can sometimes seem to read each others’ minds.

If this happens to you often, though, you might start to WONDER. Could a special ability be to blame for all your mind reading? Could you have the power of . . . telepathy?

Telepathy is the ability to communicate using only the mind. Do you believe that’s possible? As you might imagine, people disagree on this topic. Many say telepathy belongs only in the world of science fiction. Others claim to have the special ability.

Many people have tried to prove that telepathy is real. Most of these attempts have included the ganzfeld (from German, meaning “whole field”) experiment. In this test, one person is cut off from visual stimulation for several minutes. Another person tries to send them information via the mind. Sometimes, people who try the ganzfeld experiment have hallucinations. However, nothing has proven beyond a doubt that telepathy is real.

In recent years, though, scientists have looked into other ways of making telepathy possible. Namely, they’ve tried to do so with technology. In 2014, a team of researchers carried out one such experiment that proved successful.

How did this experiment work? First, one person (the sender) decided on a message. In this case, they chose the words “Hola” and “Ciao.” They put the terms into binary language. That meant using a series of ones and zeroes to spell out each word. The sender, who was in India, communicated this binary message to EEG sensors attached to their scalp.

The sensors then sent the message via the Internet to three special headsets in France. Called TMS headsets, they stimulate the neurons in the brain. Each headset was worn by a different person (receiver). The headsets caused them to see flashes of light, each of which meant either a one or zero. Finally, the receivers translated the message. The whole process took about 70 minutes.

So, is telepathy real? In a sense, yes—but it’s made possible by technology, not a special ability. When it comes to natural telepathy, we may never know the truth. There’s no solid evidence today to point to its existence.

Have you ever felt like you could communicate with another person without words or signals? What uses for telepathy can you think of? Who knows? Maybe one day, you’ll communicate with people all around the world using only your brain!

Standards: CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.1, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.7, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2

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