Money can burn a hole in your pocket

Date:March 5, 2004 / year-entry #86
Orig Link:
Comments:    17
Summary:The new $20 bills explode when you try to microwave them because of the tracking device embedded behind Andrew Jackson's right eye.

The new $20 bills explode when you try to microwave them because of the tracking device embedded behind Andrew Jackson's right eye.

Comments (17)
  1. John Wilson says:

    Well, the same thing happens to copy paper if you microwave it in a stack like that. Plus, some of those bills aren’t the new new 20’s, they’re the old new 20s — the old new ones have a circle around Jackson’s head, and the new new ones don’t.

  2. Raymond Chen says:

    (I should have written "alleged tracking device".)

  3. Tim Smith says:

    I put a frog in my microwave and it burst into flames. Around the right eye no less. I guess the government is placing RFID tags in frogs.

    Logically, that article is so flawed it is funny.

    Where are these RFIDs? Without hard proof of the RFIDs (as in extracting one from the bill), the conclusion is flawed since contradictory examples can be presented.

  4. Raymond Chen says:

    Agreed. All that the article really demonstrated is that something in the bills is detected as if it were an RFID. But it still is good to be aware that cash can set off anti-theft devices. Sorry for overselling the story; I was trying to be funny and failed.

  5. Surely pocket microwaves are a bad idea…

  6. MilesArcher says:

    Don’t some US bills have metal threads (or ink) in them? Wouldn’t this account for the same behavior?

  7. John Brown says:

    Paper money, in a capitalist society, is the most effective disease vector known to Western science. Microwaving is the only non-destructive way to sterilize paper money (try running some bills through an autoclave, and you’ll see what I mean). Now, you can’t sterilize your money without destroying it.

    We know that the US government has engaged in bio-warfare-related experiments on uninformed and unsuspecting US citizens ever since 1948, and we know that the Bush administration profits immensely from "terrorism" directed at domestic targets.

    Apply the principle of the least hypothesis to that set of facts, and you end up with a pretty clear picture of why this is being done and what we can expect to see in the future: Plagues, chaos, and a totalitarian takeover.

  8. Larry Osterman says:

    I’d actually suspect that the issue isn’t RFID tags, but instead that there’s something in the ink on that area of the bill that reacts with microwaves.

    It’s possible that there’s a tracking device, but it’s also possible that there’s something else. The portrait on a bill is the most ink-intensive portion of the bill, so if there’s something in the ink that reacts with microwaves, then it would tend to burn at the place with the most ink – the portrait.

    But then again, it could be a vast conspiracy between the Microsoft and their minions in the U.S. Government to track your location by the money in your wallet.

  9. Michael Carter says:

    Yeah John Brown, and pretty soon we’ll have "Human sacrifice, dogs and cats, living together… mass hysteria!"

  10. John Brown says:

    Mr. Carter, you laugh because the corporate media tell you to laugh — but when W’s plagues hit and you cough your entire digestive system out into your lap in one hideous convulsion, you’ll be laughing in a different octave.

  11. Tim Smith says:


    The only reason I said what I said was because there are way too many silly people who believe this garbage.

    You can even see it in this thread.

    But the jokes on me. When the day comes, I will pay for my blind ignorance.


    (P.S. There are people who still think the earth is hollow and there are huge holes at the poles. The only reason we don’t know about it is the "world government" (singular :) ) doesn’t want us to know about it.)

  12. Nate Silva says:

    Tin foil. Humanity’s last defense against totalitarianism.

  13. asdf says:

    I wonder if microwaving my computer will disable microsoft passport.

  14. mendel says:

    Those aren’t all new 20s — at least some are the previous series, per the oval around Jackson’s head.

    In any case, "is detected as if it were an RFID" doesn’t make sense — microwaves are reported to disable RFID, not catch them on fire.

    The observation seems to be "I applied microwave energy to a stack of paper, and it burned", which is exactly what I would expect a stack of (cotton or other) paper to do. Fibrous cotton or wood has a pretty low flash point.

  15. tekumse says:

    Duh! The tag was in the wallet.

Comments are closed.

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