This Scientist's Simple Hack Will Help You Find Your Car in a Crowded Parking Lot

Find your car in seconds.

Aerial view of a car filled parking lot

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Ever come back from a long trip, tired and wary, only to enter the airport parking garage and realize you have absolutely zero idea where you left your car? As the wave of panic envelops you, you try in vain to use your car’s remote alarm but realize you’re likely out of range.

But fear not — science has your back and can help you locate your car. All you need to do is use your head. Literally.

On Thursday, Boston's Museum of Science shared a TikTok video featuring Alex Dainis, a science communicator with a PhD in genetics, who absolutely blew the internet’s mind with a quick hack to extending your car’s remote alarm range. 

“Have you ever lost your car in a crowded parking lot? Well, I might just have the science hack to help you find it,” Dainis said as she took her car’s remote and put it up to her face. 

“When you’re out of range for your car remote to work, you can actually use your head as an antenna,” Dainis added.

She explained, car remotes work by sending out a short-range radio signal, which typically only travels about “five to 20 meters until it peters out.” But, you can “use your head to amplify it” and increase the distance that signal can travel. 

It works, Dainis said, because your head (“like the rest of your body”) contains a lot of water. So, when you hold your key fob against your head, “the electromagnetic waves from your car remote interact with the water molecules in your head. This moves them around. The movement creates a wave that adds together with the remote wave, amplifying it and increasing its range.” 

Not loving the idea of radio waves traveling through your head? Dainis added that you can also try this trick with a full water bottle if you happen to have one handy.

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