As you’ve seen in our past two mythbusters, movies get it wrong – a LOT. We’ve already debunked the idea that all you need to pick a lock is a bobby pin and good MacGyver hair; and we also tackled how kicking down a door isn’t necessarily ALWAYS your way to break in to a room. Today, though, we’re touching on cracking a safe by using your ears.
We’ve all seen it in cartoons and movies – a bad guy needs to get into a safe, so what does he do? Just presses his ear up against the safe and listens. Magically, in a matter of minutes the safe pops open and the jewel thief gets away scot-free (well, until Batman or some other crime fighter shows up and foils their plan.) This time, movies have at least part of it correct. But hold on there! Just because it can be done certainly doesn’t mean that it should be! Plus, as per usual, Hollywood makes all of this look entirely too easy. It is true that listening to the certain clicks and pops within the combination lock does help with eventually opening the safe, but it also takes the ability to detect the vibrations inside to actually crack the safe. Listening alone isn’t going to get the job done.
First, let’s take a look at what is really contained within a combination lock. This video here gives a really clear picture of how the components within a lock work in order to open.
Believe it or not, there’s a scientific approach to cracking a safe and that was first really brought into light by Harry C. Miller. You can read more about Mr. Miller’s efforts here. Needless to say, this isn’t a quick job. It takes time and actually quite a bit of effort.
But wait there’s more! In case you do get the itch to try your hand at lock manipulation, we found this nifty little video showing you how it can be done.
(Let it be known here and forever: LockNet does NOT endorse a life of crime! This is just handy to know in case you ever need to help yourself out at home!) Check out this video that uses none other than one of the world’s most fun liquids, beer(!) to help you crack that combination lock!