#parent | #kids | What Is Randonautica, the App That Led Teens to a Dead Body?

Photo: @ughhenry/TikTok

As a species, apps are hard to trust. They simply know too much. They just sit there on your phone, sponging up your most intimate details and sometimes selling them to advertisers, or using your current location to create a fun scavenger hunt where the prize at the end is a corpse. Yes that example is pulled from real life! For confirmation, we look to TikTok user @ughhenry, who documented his haunting experience with Randonautica earlier this month.

For the uninitiated, Randonautica is an app that sends users to a randomly generated set of nearby coordinates, asking adventurers to set out with a goal in mind. While I doubt very much that @ughhenry’s was “find a dead body in a suitcase,” that is precisely what happened when he and his friends arrived at their beachy Randonautica end point. They saw a black roller bag washed up on the rocks, and quickly noticed its overpowering stench. Undoing its zipper, the teens found the luggage to be stuffed with something wrapped in trash bag. They called the police, and what do you know: human remains.

Randonautica does not specialize in crime scene discovery, and its creator described @ughhenry’s experience as a “shocking” coincidence. Yet Randonautica does seem to generate more than its fair share of eerie user experiences, particularly for an app that seems — at least to my tech-illiterate mind — to function basically like a pared-down Pokémon Go. Please, what is this fresh hell?

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