“An IT worker at a medical facility made a remarkable discovery about iPhones and Apple watches earlier this month, after a freshly installed MRI machine appeared to disable every iOS device in the hospital,” Daniel Oberhaus reports for Motherboard.

“As detailed in a post on the r/sysadmin subreddit, Eric Woolridge, a system administrator at Morris Hospital in Illinois, was flooded with calls on October 8 after several iPhones owned by hospital employees all stopped working for no discernible reason. At the time, the hospital was having a new MRI machine installed, which is used to make high resolution scans of the brain,” Oberhaus reports. “When Woolridge did a tour of the facility, he discovered the issue was isolated to about 40 Apple phones, tablets, and watches. Android phones were just fine, as was the rest of the computer equipment at the facility.”

“As Woolridge later discovered, the MRI installation involves supercooling the giant magnet in the machine by boiling off liquid helium. This evaporated helium is usually pumped out of the facility through a vent, but this vent was leaking the helium into the rest of the facility,” Oberhaus reports. “Woolridge ran some tests of his own to see if helium could shut down an iPhone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: iFixit has a detailed explanation of this here.