Carrying a tennis ball in your purse or bag could help you get back on the road if you lock your keys inside of a car (video below).
A YouTube video explaining the hack of using a tennis ball to unlock your car door went viral, garnering more than 16 million views since September 2007.
The video, which has a disclaimer that it is “for innocent women only,” claims to teach you how to unlock a car door with only a tennis ball with a hole in it.
A woman, referred to in the video as Blondie, demonstrates how the hack is done on a car with an electronic locking system.
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Before attempting the hack, you have to prepare the tennis ball. Using a hot key or screwdriver that has been heated up over a flame on a kitchen stove, a small hole should be made in the tennis ball.
Once done, the video instructs you to “keep this magic ball in your purse at any time.”
Blondie then shows you what the tennis ball should look like, and proceeds to unlock a car door with it.
“Place the ball over the lock with the hole facing the opening of the lock,” the video’s instructions state.
“Hold it like that and then press the ball as hard as you can,” it continues, as Blondie is seen pushing on the tennis ball against a red car’s door lock.
As she presses on the tennis ball, the door unlocks.
The video states that this hack works because “the air pressure you create when pressing the ball forces the locking mechanism placed inside the door" to unlock your car.
The sharing of such a simple hack to open a car door was bound to face criticism, especially since if it were this easy, then car thieves would all be carrying a tennis ball around with them.
MythBusters Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara set out to discover if a tennis ball with a hole in it could actually open a locked car door, according to Discovery.
They used different-sized holes in tennis balls, but could not unlock any car doors with them.
“In case the air pressure inside the tennis balls simply wasn't sufficient, they even tried vacuum-sealing the car lock and applying 100 psi of air pressure (about nine times the normal atmospheric pressure) to it,” MythBusters explains.
Even the extra amount of pressure couldn’t verify that this tennis ball hack will actually open a locked car door.
The MythBusters group concluded this hack to be “busted.”