General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

Has anyone ever actually picked up radio waves in their mouth?

Asked by AstroChuck (37609points) December 30th, 2009

I’ve heard stories of people who have been able to pick up radio signals from the fillings in their teeth. Is this an urban legend or has anyone actually experienced this or known others who have? I would love to be able to get XM in my mouth.

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13 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It happened on Gilligan’s Island once.

Darwin's avatar

The Mythbusters say no. OTOH, Here are two cases from

# Case No. 1. George was fitted with a cap that was attached with brass wire. Thereafter, he began hearing music in his head, generally popular tunes of the day, usually while he was outdoors. The music was soft but distinct. He never heard an announcer’s voice or commercials and was unable to identify what radio station, if any, he was hearing. After a year or two of this, a new dentist put in a cap without a wire, and the tunes stopped.

# Case No. 2. Lois says it happened just once, in 1947, while she was riding a train from her home in Cleveland to college in Rhode Island. The experience lasted maybe 10 minutes. She couldn’t tell what station she was listening to but recalls hearing commercials and an announcer’s voice. She has silver tooth fillings but doesn’t recall if she’d had one put in just before the event.

And one from the news group sci.electronics:

“I have metal caps on both of my incisors. On one occasion, I picked up the local radio station on my capped teeth. I could not tune it at all. I could only cause the single station to come in or go out. I know it was being picked up and detected by the caps because I could make it go away either by placing my tongue against the caps or by taking my hand off of the aluminum window frame of the window I was looking out through when I first noticed the effect.”

AstroChuck's avatar

@Darwin- Cool! That’s one I haven’t seen. Gotta love Adam and Jamie!

trailsillustrated's avatar

no. there are no scientifically verifiable cases of it. it’s unexplainable, but it has never been proven.

gasman's avatar

Although I’m skeptical, it’s not impossible that under the right conditions a junction diode might form, acting in effect like the ‘cat’s whisker’ detectors of old-time crystal radios. If you can rectify radio waves then you can extract the audio signal from an AM transmission at some particular fixed frequency, though just how this signal would be converted to audible sound waves isn’t clear. Forget about hearing FM radio or satellite transmissions—I don’t think that’s possible.

Such a phenomenon was famously attributed to actress Lucille Ball—but again you have to weigh the possibility that she was simply mistaken or nuts.

AstroChuck's avatar

@gasman- I was joking about picking up satellite radio.

And what about someone wearing braces along with a face-bow? Could that better enable reception?

Chikipi's avatar

Sometimes I get a static or electric feeling in my ear when I listen to my iPhone on Pandora Radio while chewing gum. I haven’t received any frequency from nowhere. I don’t think this is the answer your looking for… Sorry

SuperMouse's avatar

It happened to Laurie Partridge (top row, far right), and if I remember correctly it really ruined a rehearsal.

When I got braces I was constantly on the lookout and hopeful to pick up KMET in my mouth, but it never happened, even with my headgear.

JLeslie's avatar

That’s what happened to Laurie Partridge.

Darwin's avatar

Lucille Ball claimed it happened to her, too.

JesusWasAJewbot's avatar

If they couldnt prove it on Mythbusters, i doubt it.

eeveegurl's avatar

Picked up, no. But apparently used it to send radio waves better. We were lost in the car park of Six Flags once – forgotten where we’d parked our car, and boyfriend ended up using his mouth as an amplifier of the car key. I didn’t believe him and so he ended up finding the perfect spot where using his mouth would work, and not doing so, wouldn’t.

Was pretty amusing.

dvan540's avatar

No its a myth. That seems like a weird thing. Although it would be cool to see.

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