Snapping commonly occurs when a Misting or Mistborn undergoes heavy stress and pain, often in a near-death situation, causing them to trigger latent Allomantic abilities. According to Realmatic Theory, this creates a crack on the soul which the power can fit into. There are some similarities on this to other magic systems, such as the Knights Radiant all being "broken" as indicated by Syl.
In the Final Empire, children of confirmed noble bloodlines often undergo a planned beating as a test to see if they Snap. Later, however, the mists cause sickness in people, triggering their own Snapping; this process is started by Preservation, but is manipulated by Ruin into killing people, thus raising superstitions about the mists being dangerous.
The length a person has "mist sickness" relates to their Allomantic powers and abilities. The most powerful atium mistings are sick for the longest time.
During the time the mists are Snapping people in The Hero of Ages, they also raise the Allomantic potential of the people they Snap so that exactly 16% are Snapped. The number is a hint left by Preservation for humans to understand.
- Kelsier Snaps after Mare dies, while he is imprisoned in the Pits of Hathsin.
- Marsh Snaps after his mother is taken away by obligators.
- Spook Snaps when he is five years old and can barely remember the event as an adult.
- Vin Snaps while she is being born, during her mother's "unusually difficult labor".
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|The Metallic Arts|
|Arts||Allomancy · Feruchemy · Hemalurgy|
|Concepts||Metalborn · Snapping · Savants · Metalminds · Twinborn · Compounding · Blessings|
|Constructs||Steel Inquisitors · Koloss · Kandra · Chimeras|
|Base Metals||Iron · Steel · Tin · Pewter · Zinc · Brass · Copper · Bronze · Cadmium · Bendalloy · Gold · Electrum · Chromium · Nicrosil · Aluminum · Duralumin|
|God Metals||Atium (Malatium) · Lerasium · Ettmetal · Trellium|
|Era 1 books||Mistborn: The Final Empire · The Well of Ascension · The Hero of Ages · (Mistborn: Secret History · The Eleventh Metal)|
|Era 2 books||The Alloy of Law · Shadows of Self · The Bands of Mourning · The Lost Metal · (Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania)|
|Shards||Preservation · Ruin · Harmony|
|History||Classical Scadrial · Final Empire · Catacendre · Elendel · Southern Scadrian|
|Magic||Metallic Arts (Allomancy, Feruchemy, Hemalurgy) · Metalborn · Mistborn · Misting · Savant · Ferring · Twinborn · Compounding · Atium · Lerasium · Ettmetal|
|Other Media||Mistborn Adventure Game · Mistborn: Birthright · Mistborn film · Mistborn: House War|