The adventure app, which sends users to random locations near them, has been leading teens to some unusual discoveries
Since the world went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, life has – for the most part – been boring AF. That is, until people started discovering Randonautica, an app which sends you on a random adventure to explore your local surroundings, and potentially have a life-altering experience.
The app asks users to set an ‘intention’ – which can be anything from, ‘I want to discover something new’ to ‘I want a kitten’ – and then uses a random number generator to produce specific coordinates in a location near you. Randonautica has no control over the coordinates it shares with users.
According to Bustle, the app is programmed with quantum physics and spiritually in mind, and aims to inspire users to step outside their comfort zone and think differently. “Randonauting is heavily inspired by chaos theory and Guy Debord’s ‘Theory of the Dérive’,” the app’s co-founder, Joshua Lengfelder, told the publication. In the theory, a dérive is an unplanned journey through a landscape, in which participants allow themselves to be drawn to any new experiences or encounters that they come across.
For one group of teens on TikTok, this experience was particularly sinister. @ughhenry shared a video of himself and friends going on a Randonautica trip, which ended up at a beach. At the destination, the group found a suitcase, which turned out to have a dead body in it. The friends noticed a strong smell coming from the case, so called the police – they only found out about its contents later in the news.
“Btw my laughter is the way I was trying to get through the situation,” @ughhenry commented on his video. “The moment I got back home, I broke down. I still can’t sleep.”
Other users have also had eerie experiences. TikToker @gothboithrift shared a video of his journey, which took him to the gravestones of two of his relatives. @thatwelshdyke told a story in which she reveals Randonautica stopped her from being involved in a car crash. A third user @sourbongwater shared a handful of videos about her experience, which ended with a random truck pulling into her driveway and waiting there for 45 minutes before driving off. One girl posted a video of herself crying after finding a man who’d just been shot.
this just happened in aurora colorado. please do not go randonauting, you never know what you’re going to come across. ##randonautica♬ original sound - mykenarae
The app appears to encourage these weird experiences with its choice of three locations. The first is an “attractor”, which is an area with lots of clusters of quantum points – random numbers that have been converted into coordinates. Bustle suggests these locations might have “a lot of energy”. The second is a “void” area, which has a low density of quantum points, and the third is an “anomaly”, which is regarded as the strongest kind of location for those who have a specific journey intention.
Randonautica has become renowned on TikTok for its creepy stories, with the app’s hashtag racking up over 200 million views. It’s unclear how many of the stories are actually real, but most of them make for good viewing nonetheless.