Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: cbas on 04/12/2018 15:44:10

Title: Can you receive radio signals with your body?
Post by: cbas on 04/12/2018 15:44:10
Can someone explain what happened to me last night?

I was sleeping for approximately an hour and suddenly I woke up by a noise coming from an undetermined source.
It sounded quite muffled, but it was clearly a radio transmission of sorts in a language I couldn't make out, followed by a rapid succession of monotonous beeps (like morse code).

I've heard about the ability of dental fillings to pick up radio signals. I instantly searched Google, because I was wide awake after the incident. I live in a rural area and it is very quiet at night, so the sound of a voice was quite startling to say the least.

The frame of my bed, which is near my head, could have acted as an antenna. It's not the first time I've heard some weird noises at night, but never so clearly human and amateur radio like. 

My own theory on the matter is that my bed frame is tuned to a specific and rarely used short- to mediumwave radio frequency and my dental fillings pick up this signal. the caused microscopic vibration is then heard through bone conduction.

I'm aware of this topic being in the realm of urban legends, but what I experienced last night was very real. There has to be a proper scientific explanation for this and I would like to reproduce it to test my theory
Title: Re: Can you receive radio signals with your body?
Post by: chiralSPO on 04/12/2018 16:32:22
The most boring explanations are usually the right ones:

It is quite possible that this was in fact part of a dream--I myself have had dreams on multiple occasions from which I awoke because I thought a bee had crawled in my ear, or something similar--and then upon waking was not sure whether the insect was real or dreamed. As I was waking up I was certain I still heard a buzzing sound, but once fully roused, there was no sign of any insect... (and I once tore my apartment apart looking for a cat that I was sure had sneaked into my open bedroom window--I had caught a glimpse of it entering just as I woke up--presumably because I heard it... but after a few hour of searching I eventually decided that my senses had deceived me, and there was no actual cat)

It is possible that you did hear an actual radio, most likely from a passing car or truck with the radio on too loud--by the time you were fully conscious, it had disappeared, but just as it passed, it was loud enough to rouse you.

It is possible that this was an auditory hallucination (nothing to worry about if it happens very rarely, especially if just at night, when waking up, but worth following up with a Dr. if it happens often, or increases in frequency).

It could also be tinnitus or an ear infection--something that is not an actual sound, but not hallucinated or dreamed either--the describing the sound as "muffled" and then "beeping like morse code" sounds to me like it could be caused by an ear infection (and I'm NOT a medical doctor). I have had intermittent ringing in my ear (with a noticeable ear ache) that did sound quite a bit like morse code, and the sound of the fluid moving around in my ear sometimes sounded like the crackle of an old radio.

It is possible, but highly unlikely (depending on who your friends are), that someone is pranking you, either playing actual sounds, or using more advanced technologies to generate sounds in your head (it is possible, but not well studied, so unless your friends are former KGB agents, you have nothing to worry about).
Title: Re: Can you receive radio signals with your body?
Post by: chiralSPO on 04/12/2018 16:41:09
It may also be possible that you do somehow have an antenna picking up AM radio and converting it to sound waves... But I don't know what the requirements are for that...
Title: Re: Can you receive radio signals with your body?
Post by: Colin2B on 04/12/2018 18:01:14
If you donít have an antenna the signal needs to be quite powerful. It would be worth checking if there is an amateur radio transmitter nearby, you could find out when s/he was transmitting.
To detect radio signals you need to rectify them, this can happen with contact between 2 conductors with a layer of oxide between them, so a bedstead might work if the signal was powerful enough.
There are lots of reports of people saying their fillings are picking up radio, but Iíve never seen a verified example.
Title: Re: Can you receive radio signals with your body?
Post by: RD on 05/12/2018 12:23:15
If the voices were like a person in the room speaking clearly in normal-length sentences, then it's a hallucination which can be normal ...
Quote from: nhs.uk
Hallucinations and sleep
It's relatively common for people to experience hallucinations just as they're falling asleep (hypnagogic), or as they start to wake up (hypnopompic).
The hallucination may take the form of sounds, or the person may see things that don't exist, such as moving objects, or a formed image, such as a person (the person may think they've seen a ghost).
Hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations are particularly common in people with narcolepsy. However, they can also occur in people without narcolepsy or any disorder. They're essentially like dreams, and in themselves are nothing to worry about.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hallucinations/

... in a language I couldn't make out ...

That the voices were incomprehensible means it could be auditory-pareidolia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_voice_phenomenon#Explanations_and_origins), (aka "Rorschach Audio", like the ink-blots), where noise is misinterpreted as speech. Pareidolic voices generally incomprehensible, just an occasional word is heard, any sentences are very short, and usually gibberish.

The source for auditory-pareidolia could be anything which makes noise: water circulating in central-heating pipes, wind, rain, tinnitus, borborygmi, anything.

It may also be possible that you do somehow have an antenna picking up AM radio and converting it to sound waves... But I don't know what the requirements are for that...

A crystal radio (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_radio) requires an antenna which is many meters long, electrically connected to the semi-conductor, (not just nearby).

Even if a voltage could be induced in metal tooth-fillings via a radio signal, the person would not hear a sound,
if anything was detected it would be an electrical-sensation in the teeth.