Randonautica App Can Create Dangerous “Adventures”

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July 20, 2020

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What is the Randonautica app?

  • The app uses a phone’s location and quantum random number generators  to take users on “adventures” 
  • It’s free to download and there are no age requirements
  • Users can “manifest” the type of experience they want to encounter by typing in an intention or what they hope to find
  • The app then generates a set of random GPS coordinates for the user to travel to
  • “Randonauts” then post their discoveries to TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, and other social media networks

Why should parents care?

  • Since the Randonautica app encourages users to go to random locations, there is no way to know if those locations are safe 
  • The perimeter can be changed in Settings to allow the app to generate locations that are several miles away from a user
  • Although the Randonautica app regularly directs users to private property, the company recommends that users don't trespass
  • This can be confusing to tweens and teens
  • It might entice students to break the rules if it seems like they’re being dared to go on an adventure
  • The company behind the app is also making a YouTube reality show where "Randonauts" are portrayed as brave, daring, and open minded

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This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
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This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

The Randonautica app markets itself as “the world’s first quantumly generated Choose Your Own Adventure reality game.” It might sound enticing to students, but safety is a major concern with this app. The app prompts adventurers to set out with a goal in mind. Then it sends them to a randomly generated set of nearby coordinates. These random locations often include private property, although the app warns users not to trespass. Some teenage “Randonauts” were recently directed to a beach, where they made a gruesome discovery.

This guide for parents, educators, and students explains exactly how the Randonautica app works, where it can send your students, and why it could be dangerous for young users.

Parent & educator training video

What is the Randonautica app?

Randonautica app location found
The app warns users not to trespass on private property, although it often directs users to private property
  • The app uses a phone’s location and quantum random number generators  to take users on “adventures” 
  • It’s free to download and there are no age requirements
  • Users can “manifest” the type of experience they want to encounter by typing in an intention or what they hope to find
  • The app then generates a set of random GPS coordinates for the user to travel to
  • “Randonauts” then post their discoveries to TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, and other social media networks

How does it work?

  • Users get 10 free locations, then must pay for “points” to continue
  • Other in-app purchases are available, including an upgrade that removes water locations like lakes and rivers

Where did the app send the SmartSocial.com Team?

The SmartSocial.com Team did a careful review of the Randonautica app to determine if it's safe for students. Here are some of the locations the app suggested that we travel to:

Randonautica app location examples: to the middle of a lake, someone's backyard and private property
Places the app wanted us to go: the middle of a lake, someone's backyard, and more private property.
Randonautica app location examples to a farm that is for sale and a construction zone with no trespassing signs
Places the app wanted us to go: to a farm and a construction zone with no trespassing signs.

Where is the Randonautica app available?

Randonautica in the news

KIRO TV headline: Teens claim they found suitcase with human remains in TikTok video
The TikTok video indicates the young people were led to the site using the game app Randonautica… Videos posted to the social media platform TikTok show a suitcase washed up on the rocks and the people who found [later discovered human remains inside.] KIRO-TV
WIRED headline: "randonauts' have found a great way to spice up lockdown walks
For many, the appeal of randonauting comes with the opportunity to encounter coincidences and patterns that provide a deeper meaning or insight into real-life events and dilemmas. Instead of a standard random number generator, which can never be totally random, the Randonautica app uses quantum random number generators, including the Australian National University Quantum Random Numbers Server. The numbers themselves are generated in real-time in the lab “by measuring the quantum fluctuations of the vacuum,” and it’s that quantum mechanic that makes them, theoretically, truly random. WIRED
GoodtoKnow headline: The horrifying and dangerous TikTok trend you should warn your teenager against
A new trend called Randonauting is taking [TikTok and Instagram] by storm – and it could put young users in danger if they decide to try it out. GoodtoKnow.com
Chicago Tribune headline: Choose your own adventure with Randonautica app, and explore your surroundings in a way that can be a little Pokemon Go and a little "twilight zone'
[The app's creator] said the point of setting an intention is twofold. First, she said it’s about creating your own story by setting the theme of your adventure. She said there is a theory that consciousness can have an impact on quantum random number generation. 'If that’s the case, setting an intention could have an influence on the matter of the world around you,' she said. 'Or, the world around you could have an influence on your intention.' Chicago Tribune

What do some users think about Randonautica?

App review by Jordan Michel: Pretty cool to be able to go on random adventures but I wish you could be able to report, temporarily remove, or be able to warn others about locations. Our very first location was in the middle of the woods with a hidden homeless camp all around us. Extremely unsafe and felt like a baited situation, but we always go in groups and left. Would have gone much worse for an unsuspecting child, or anyone alone.
App review by Daniel Bolanos Sciarpa: Just a marketing experiment...it tries to be a 'throw a dart at a map while you're blindfolded' but in digital...they tried to put a touch of mysticism and paranormal things for mystery and marketing purposes.  The problem is, it's just a random coordinate generator. Of course. It is very slow...

Why should parents care?

  • Since the Randonautica app encourages users to go to random locations, there is no way to know if those locations are safe 
  • The perimeter can be changed in Settings to allow the app to generate locations that are several miles away from a user
  • Although the Randonautica app regularly directs users to private property, the company recommends that users don't trespass
  • This can be confusing to tweens and teens
  • It might entice students to break the rules if it seems like they’re being dared to go on an adventure
  • The company behind the app is also making a YouTube reality show where "Randonauts" are portrayed as brave, daring, and open minded

What can parents do?

  • Urge young students not to use this app without adult supervision
  • Teach your student it is illegal to go on private property
  • Discuss other potential dangers of traveling to random locations, such as encounters with strangers
  • If your student really wants to go on a “make your own” adventure with friends - suggest some safe games or books
  • If older teens insist on using the app, make sure they know the Randonautica’s 10 safety tips, which include avoiding dangerous areas and “Randonauting” solo

Conclusion

The Randonautica app might spur a sense of adventure, but it also gives students a reason to consider visiting vacant buildings, construction zones, private property, and more. The potential for danger at these random locations is real.


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Randonautica App Can Create Dangerous “Adventures”

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