Episode 21: Ping-Pong Rescue

Air Date: November 3, 2004

Ping-pong balls can be used to raise a sunken ship.


Even though it took an impractically large number of ping-pong balls (27,000), when enough of them were piped into the Mythtanic II, the boat rose to the surface.

A 4 year old child can be lifted by a bunch of party balloons.


It would require such a large number of balloons (3,500) to lift an average 4 year old girl just a few feet off the ground that there is no way the myth could have happened unintentionally.


  1. dc says:

    One wonders what the ping-pong ball limit is. That is, how deep do you have to go before the pressure crushes the balls before they can help raise the ship?

  2. Dangerous says:

    Good question – spheres are really strong structures but I guess water pressure can be really strong too.

  3. jamoecw says:

    every 30 feet is about 15 psi, i can’t remember the pressure at which the balls gave way, so i can’t tell you how deep, but if you remember then just do the math.

  4. Nick says:

    Awww. Too bad you didn’t get to blow anything up. That was a pretty boring episode, I must say o.o

    PS: Do you think taht using Hydrogen baloons will make the ballon requirement decrease? Hydrogen IS lighter than Helium…

  5. jamoecw says:

    hydrogen is small enough to leak through the balloons, so it wouldn’t work for long, if they could fill them fast enough in the first place.

  6. Dinj says:

    Yeah, hydrogen would leak…not to mention, you know, the fact that if one balloon caught fire, it would create quite a big explosion…(maybe the explosion could lift a person off the ground? =P)

  7. Breanna says:

    how would one find out a) how to get that many ping ping balls b) how much it would cost….and c) how many would it take to fill an acura?

  8. Sasha says:

    I just saw this episode, and I remembered a book I read when I was a kid. The book was a collection of strange but true news stories. I was able to remember enough from the book to dig up this: http://www.starch.dk/isi/kroyer/donald2.htm

  9. Jamie Mcgin says:

    Pardon me please I have a fashion question. Where can I buy that skirt that Kari is wearing on the “balloon Lift” episode. This is important! I would sew one if I could see a clip of the episode to get a better look. Anyone have any ideas or is everything always about engineering.Thanks

  10. caleb says:

    water presser can be so strong that it can keep water a liquid way below freezing temperature.

  11. Paul Malley says:

    Why don’t you show how Mythbusters would stop the
    flow from an underwater broken pipe.
    Depth is irrelevant.
    Use skuba gear to mimic the robots.
    Trim the pipe to size using an air or hydraulic saw or better still oxy, that can’t get stuck.
    Push a clamp sleeve over the pipe with a valve on it, then close valve.You don’t need huge pressure in the leaking pipe as the exercise is simply to demonstrate the principle.

  12. ubxp says:

    Why does the epp show a Seagate truck delivering the ping pong balls. Does a company that makes ping pong balls also go by the name of Seagate? For anyone who doesn’t know why that’s odd Seagate make computer hard drives

  13. misopogon says:

    The Seagate truck belongs to M5 indutstries, Jamie probably bought it second hand. I don’t think that Seagate itself is involved with the show. However, it is strange that they don’t blur it in post-prodcution…

  14. Daryl Spitzer says:

    My son would like to watch “A 4 year old child can be lifted by a bunch of party balloons”. But unfortunately the MythBusters DVDs are organized into “collections”, not by season. Is there a cross-reference between episodes and collections? Is this episode available on DVD?

  15. IGNACIO says:

    How can I see te 21 episode video?

  16. Bharath Sago says:

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