How Lucille Ball Heard Spies Through Her Dental Fillings
Lucy Isn’t Alone – Others Have Reported the Phenomena
In fact, there are stories of other people who have heard radio signals through their dental work. Cecil Adams of Straight Dope reports two of them:
• In 1947, a woman in Chicago heard radio signals for about 10 minutes while she rode a train from Cleveland to Rhode Island. She heard commercials and an announcer’s voice but not clearly enough to identify the station. She did have “silver tooth fillings” but could not recall if any of them had just been placed prior to her trip.
Fact or Fiction?
The conclusions are mixed. “Mythbusters,” of cable fame, was unable to reproduce the phenomena and called the myth “busted.” Snopes, a well-known site that researches to determine the validity of thousands of stories circulating on the Internet, calls Lucille Ball’s claim “undetermined.”
Science Might Have the Answer
Robert Hunsucker, a professor at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, explains how this phenomenon can actually occur.
A radio receiver is made up of an antenna, a detector to convert the radio wave to an audio signal, and a transducer, which is anything that acts like a speaker. In very rare cases a person’s mouth can act as the receiver and their body acts as the antenna. A metallic filling can act as a semiconductor that detects the audio signal, and the speaker would be something in the mouth that vibrates enough to produce noise, like bridgework or possible a loose filling.
Are You “Hearing Things”?
While it is highly unlikely that you will be hearing radio broadcasts through your dental work, be sure to schedule an exam with us if you do! We will work together to be sure your restorations are “sound.”