Saudis run mad for old Singer Sewing Machines
Rumors from a few days ago started a mad search through family and friend's homes for old singer sewing machines, rumored to contain the 'magical' red mercury. ('...the existential status of “red mercury” – its very existence is entirely unproven.')
Saudis have bought them from for up to $50,000!
An atomic fairy tale
The rumour, according to which the needle of an old “Singer” model contains “red mercury”, a miracle product said to be highly radioactive, emerged for the first time nearly a month ago in the northern part of Saudi Arabia.
With the help of the internet and SMS, the rumour spread like wildfire in the vast kingdom of black gold.
The price of this sewing machine, more than half a century old, started climbing to reach 25,000, 50,000, or even 200,000 riyals (about 6500, 13,000 or 52,000 US dollars) per item, depending on the region. Before then, it could be bought for about thirty dollars.
"...conmen claim that the substance can be used as food for the Jinn who will then bring you lost or buried treasure from deep in the ground,” Zuweid said “They also claim it can be used to multiply your money ten times over.”
Rumors that the Singer make of sewing machine contains the so-called “red mercury” substance.
As the rumors started sweeping the Kingdom a few days ago the prices of Singer sewing machines rocketed from SR200 to hundreds of thousands, with one reported case of a machine being sold for half a million riyals.(about $133,333.50 US)
Abla Hasnain, a social criminologist from King Abdulaziz University said the whole issue was due to a lack of awareness.
“We used to think that people susceptible to this sort of thing were ignorant illiterates, but what we’re seeing now is educated people and academic people falling victim to this nonsense,” she said.
They're blaming it on African conmen.