File under did you know: Remote keyless entry can be strengthened using your head. What do I mean? Try unlocking and locking your vehicle from a distance, using the keyless remote, then move away from the vehicle until you are out of range. Put the key fob up to your head and try it again. Your car will lock and unlock, thanks to the power of your mind… or at least something in your head. You can use this as a fun party trick to amaze your friends.

Here’s the original British version of Top Gear, with a look:

How does it work?
There are several explanations, each interesting in its own way.

A seemingly obvious theory to explain how this works is that your skull acts like an amplifier, focusing the signal in much the same way as a megaphone concentrates and amplifies sound waves. Or much the same way a satellite dish focuses waves. Radio engineers counter this theory, though and note that flesh and bone are not structurally right to perform this kind of magnification. Satellite dishes are engineered in a very calculated manner and if they weren’t they would only scramble the signal they are meant to capture and amplify.

Another slightly different theory is that your body’s electrical field amplifies the signal of the remote key.

A California radio engineer named Tim Pozar is on record as positing that “using your head” to jack your remote effectively turns your head into an antenna. In his words, “You are capacitively coupling the fob to your head.” The key in this (if you will) is the conductive powers of water in your body. ‘All the fluids in your head [make it] a nice conductor.” He notes that the head is “not a great conductor, but it works.”

His thoughts remain an essentially untested theory, though, and no true scientific, lab-tested explanation exists. In any case, it is verifiable that there is something about your body that boosts the signal.

Can this be healthy?
Whether or not it is healthy to put your keyless entry remote up to your head and click it is another matter. We don’t recommend that you do this often. Electronic signals are known to cause cancer and although there is no data to show that remote keyless entry systems do cause cancer this may be only because people are not prone to hold the fob close to the body. Cellphones also use electronic waves and they have been shown to cause cancer and other problems, especially if overused.