What is the Necklace the Participants Wear on Naked and Afraid?

Naked and Afraid‘ is a survival series that places survivalists in some of the harshest conditions to survive for 21 days (40 days on ‘Naked and Afraid XL’). The show pairs two participants together in each episode. The pair must fight against every challenge nature throws at them, perform various tasks, and gather resources to survive without wearing a single piece of clothing on their body during the filming. Despite the lack of clothes, all the participants can be seen sporting an identical necklace. What is the purpose of this ornament? Is it simply due to the producers’ affinity for jewelry, or does it serve some purpose? Let’s find out!

What Is the Necklace on Naked and Afraid?

‘Naked and Afraid’ isn’t just your regular survival show. It is drastically different from other similar shows because of its unique format that requires the participants to survive in the wilderness completely naked. That’s particularly challenging as it is, but they are only allowed to carry one personal item such as a lighter, machete, magnifying glass, etc., and are provided with a satchel. However, viewers have become accustomed to seeing the survivalists wear a bead-shaped necklace throughout their quest. The necklace might make one wonder for a moment whether they are watching a reality show or an episode of ‘Lost.’ Seeing all the contestants wear identical necklaces reeks of some conspiracy or deeper spiritual meaning depending on which side of science vs. faith argument you stand on.

As it turns out, the necklace carries no scientific significance or spiritual meaning. The purpose of the necklace is something much simpler yet essential. It is actually an incognito mic specifically designed for the show. Of course, now that the cat is out of the bag, it seems obvious. On most reality shows, usually, a lavalier microphone is attached to the cast members. This microphone is responsible for clearly capturing the audio, especially the words spoken by the cast members. The mic is attached to collars, ties, or other pieces of clothing. But since participants on ‘Naked and Afraid’ are in their birthday suits, such type of mic is rendered useless.

Instead, the production crew came up with a waterproof mic designed as a necklace that fulfills the job a lavalier mic is typically tasked with. The satchel the participants carry contains a wireless audio transmitter which is connected by a wire to the necklace. But why a necklace and not any other ornament, you ask? Well, for a mic specifically meant for recording the cast’s voices, it must be in close proximity to their face. A necklace is the most efficient option the creative team could come up with. If you think about it, it is a pretty elegant solution and has clearly worked to great effect as the necklace has been a constant throughout all seasons of the show.

Read More: Is Naked and Afraid Fake or Real?