People Are Using Britain's New Plastic Money to Play Vinyl Records

The new plastic polymer £5 notes are bonkers. They can’t be crumpled, are extremely hard (though not impossible) to burn, and some wonky stuff happens if you shine a laser through the queen’s face. By far the strangest revelation about this Money Of The Future? The £5 can be used as a rudimentary record player needle.

This phenomenon appears to have been first discovered by a multimedia artist from Norfolk named Michael Ridge who has previous player records using cacti, a bird skull, fish bones, and tortilla chips.

“I found the edges of the new plastic £5 notes to be quite sharp and hence potentially good at playing vinyl,” he told Gizmodo over email. “Set-up is very simple, a contact microphone is held on the back of the note which picks up and amplifies the music being played through the note itself, the contact microphone is connected to a small guitar amplifier off screen. The whole video is recorded live with no editing.”

With some folding, he was able to perform this same feat with the old £5 bill, though that hasn’t stopped others on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter from imitating it with Great Britain’s new space money.


For anyone considering a bit of bandwagon-hopping, keep in mind that using plastic money as a needle will almost certainly damage whatever record it’s playing, so use a record you don’t care about.

[Boing Boing]

Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// Keybase: Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/

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Money of the future? Not in Australia, where we have been using them since 1993. Welcome to the 20th century, Britain.