Episode 5: Hammer Bridge Drop, Buried Alive, Cola

Air Date: October 24, 2003

A high fall over water can be survived by throwing a hammer ahead of oneself and breaking the surface tension.

busted

Dropping a hammer in front of you may break the surface tension, but it will not save your life because water is still too viscous to move out of the way quickly.

Cola is able to remove bloodstains.

confirmed

The cola was able to emulsify bloodstains.

Cola is able to clean rust.

busted

The cola was unable to break down rust deposits.

Cola is able to clean chrome.

confirmed

It surprisingly cleaned the chrome better than the commercial chrome polish used for comparison.

Cola is able to dissolve a tooth overnight.

busted

The tooth did start to dissolve, indicating that with enough time it could be completely dissolved. However, the acidic solution used for comparison was much more effective in dissolving the tooth.

Cola is able to dissolve steak.

busted

The cola just gave the steak a soft, pasty consistency.

Cola is able to clean a penny.

confirmed

Results were good. The only part of the coin that was not cleaned was an area where a bubble had formed.

Cola is able to clean battery terminals.

plausible

It works, but it was hard to tell if plain water did not perform just as well. The cola did not do anything spectacular.

Cola is able to remove greasy stains in your laundry.

busted

No effect at all.

Cola is able to degrease engines.

busted

The cola did not remove any of the grease.

Cola is able to kill sperm.

busted

The MythBusters added cola to some slides and saline solution to others. They counted the number of live sperm they could see through a microscope camera in one minute, and found that the number of live sperm in both saline and cola was relatively the same. With the help of Dr. Turek they determined that cola doesn’t do much more than dilute the sperm.

It is possible to stay alive when you are buried alive.

busted

Jamie risked his own life for this myth. While without the dirt Jamie stayed in the coffin for 50 minutes, he maintained just thirty minutes when the dirt was factored in. Suffocation from the lack of outside air would have claimed the life of anyone buried alive. There is also the possibility of the coffin being crushed by the weight of the dirt pressing down on it. The risk of sudden collapse was the main reason the test was aborted after only 30 minutes. After the coffin was uncovered, it was found to have buckled significantly.

42 Comments

  1. Jenny says:

    It’s amazing to me that anyone would be willing to be buried alive. Even if it is their work. Ever since an unfortunate fascination with E. A. Poe’s work during my teen years being buried alive is fear of mine. Cremation for me. ASAP.

    • Hunter says:

      my first experience with the buried alive was the movie buried alive. to this day it freaks me out. in my will it says i will be cremated

  2. ilia says:

    can a man stop a bullet with a hand

    • Chris Hulley says:

      A thrown bullet, sure. :-)

  3. Simon says:

    in movie xXx2: State of the Union
    near the ending, the charater survived jumping into water from a bridge by a shot at water with his grade launcher to break the surface tension
    is this possible?

  4. Nicole says:

    in the one with the hammer when falling i think they should have tried holding the hammer infront of you. just like diving you should just slide in

  5. AlwaysWrecked says:

    If you believe anything from a xXx movie you need to have your head examined lol. But they have done water tests with firearms, although with standard munitions. It would depend on the type of round fired, the type of grenade launcher used and also when the grenade actually would explode. See the episode where they threw a grenade in a water bucket for standard grenades, see the episode on firing into water for standard munitions, combine your thoughts, use best judgement, and pray you never have to really try either.

  6. Damian says:

    Of course a man can’t stop a bullet with his bare hand. … Unless somebody tossed it to him. But I doubt that’s what your talking about. I think they tested that one… In season … something.

  7. Bekaak says:

    Nicole, if you were falling from a high enough distance into water to die, wouldnt your arms brak on impact if you held the hammer in front of you?
    your shoulder bones wouldprobably break/dislocate and then you may pass out from pain and drown

  8. Doug says:

    It is possible to stay alive when you are buried alive. Some states require the coffin to be placed in a concrete vault with a lid then covered with dirt, thus eliminating the possibility of the coffin being crushed. The extra space would help prolong the possibility of staying alive longer. the concrete lid ends up being only a couple of feet under the dirt, enough to allow air to penetrate the soil???

    • Rob says:

      To Doug. Hey that would be great! Spend four days in the coffin while you dehydrate to death? Or slowly suffacate in a few hours. I will take nither. Hopefully when they think I’m dead I had better be! LOL! I’m with Hunter, I want to be cremated. Now you are going to keep me up all night thinking about this! LOL!

      • Antoine says:

        Are you a gravedigger or something like this ? 5 years is a lot of time on the interwebs..

  9. JoeOvercoat says:

    If you held the hammer in front of you, your arm would crumple with the impact of the hammer on the surface of the water. Keep in mind that you don’t actually ‘break’ surface tension – you simply pierce the surface with an object, and if you pass through the surface before that piercing closes (essentially instantaneously) then you avoid the effect: unless you are immediately behind an object that can cleave the surface tension, and do so symmetrically, you are going to be arrested at the surface, whether you are a hammer, or a human. At least, I would expect…

  10. Ponce says:

    I can’t believe nobody asked which one provided the sperm for the coke experiment.

  11. S says:

    The reason the hammer experiment as well as anything you could ever through in front of you when falling would not cushion your fall is that breaking surface tension still will do nothing to keep the water from acting like cement. You have to reduce your speed when falling or not matter what you do the impact will be the same. When you break surface tension, the water does not magically change get softer, the water continues to be water and act like water. Surface tension is a silly word to use because it misleads people and makes them think breaking surface tension will make the wall of water your about to impact become soft. Your best bet is to throw a grenade a head of you and hope when you get to the water the ploom of water that shoots up provides ‘resistance’ and slows you down before you hit

  12. Moose says:

    Wow, I am amazed that people still think the possibility of being buried alive still exist. Believe it or not your blood is drained and fluids replaced with embalming fluid during preparation for the burial. If you survive that process, being buried alive would be the least of your worries. And at the point you have a choice between being buried alive or burnt to death (since we are assuming you are alive) I don’t think it matters anymore.

    And the cola on rust does work. I’ve loosened bolts on old engines using rags dipped in cola.

  13. rory says:

    Concrete coffins are not for still alive people.
    I grew up in South Louisianna and we require concrete coffins because in a big flood dead bodies and coffins will float off if they aren’t concreted in. Check Yo Self.

  14. James says:

    Is “cola” actually Coca-cola or did they use a no name brand? I believe the myths state that it is Coca-cola that can do those things.

  15. Bennie says:

    is it true that u can glue youre mouth shutt????

  16. benj says:

    they dont show the brands of the items they use in tv…… unless its an advertisement

  17. Emmanuel otu says:

    It is possible to stay alive when you are buried alive. Some states require the coffin to be placed in a concrete vault with a lid then covered with dirt, thus eliminating the possibility of the coffin being crushed. The extra space would help prolong the possibility of staying alive longer. the concrete lid ends up being only a couple of feet under the dirt, enough to allow air to penetrate the soil???

  18. Dragonfyre says:

    I’m not sure if you realize this Emmanuel otu, but someone post that identical comment.
    It’s impossible for the situation to even occur…much like someone else has said, they drain your body of fluids nowadays…if that happens, you’re dead, and it doesn’t matter anymore. In the past–which I believe this myth originated from–they didn’t have technology to tell the difference between life and death when the living were in a state of prolonged unconsciousness…hence, buried alive. And with regards to the concrete vault, you would still die. Why? A person needs sufficient nutrients and water to live, neither of which are available in any kind of concrete prison.
    Myth busted…get over it.

  19. lolz says:

    haha ya Nicole, holding a hammer in front of your head while diving into water probably isn’t the best idea in the world…

  20. WOW nicole says:

    haha ya NIcole, holding a hammer in front of your head while diveing into water probably isn’t the best idea in the world,.,

  21. ratard says:

    It is possible to stay alive when you are buried alive. Some states require the coffin to be placed in a concrete vault with a lid then covered with dirt, thus eliminating the possibility of the coffin being crushed. The extra space would help prolong the possibility of staying alive longer. the concrete lid ends up being only a couple of feet under the dirt, enough to allow air to penetrate the soil???

  22. Crystal says:

    what other items does cola have an affect on? such as nails,aluminum
    What about other brands of soda like mountain dew os sprite would they have an affect as well?

  23. myth says:

    OK so Buried Alive is the myth not live in the coffin lots of people were buried alive an they had bells an what not so if the body moved same one would have time to try an save them… I say try lol

    lots of times the people would wake up an die =(

  24. Bill Dill says:

    The “myth” of water being as hard as “cement” and will kill you if falling into it at terminal velocity appears to be BS. I just saw an old video of a world record high dive (guy does 3.5 flips!) from 172 feet. Doing the math for speed gives 105 mph (3.27 sec fall from 172 feet) at the surface. Since terminal velocity is only marginally faster than this speed, is it inconceivable that someone could survive at 120 mph or thereabouts? This myth has NOT been tested. Now if I could just figure out how to submit my question…

    • Aaron says:

      I think that is 105 feet per second, not miles per hour.

  25. doctor iono says:

    Bill, it depends entirely on how you hit the water. Cliff divers are doing incredibly dangerous things – if they hit the water at even SLIGHTLY an angle, they will be killed, since the water will be basically hard as cement.

    However, you can basically fall into water from most heights, including the one in this episode, if you are perfectly straight.

  26. bartek says:

    wow just wow i cant believe people like this get shows about myths i mean i could do that if i had that gear… ah what am i saying i lllooovvveee the show its so cool

  27. cole says:

    will a shotgun blast fired form a few feet from the water make a high fall survivible

  28. Lightningstar says:

    They asked me: Can you kill with a cola can? Actually, I think I already know the answer because of the soda cup killer myth. So all I feel like saying now is This website is Awesome!

  29. Lightningstar says:

    MYTHBUSTERS IS FUNNY AND AWESOME!

  30. JStar says:

    I thought this episode was Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love your work guys!!

  31. Emily Simonson says:

    did you notice in the cola greece removal test if/that it loosened the greece?

  32. avril brown says:

    The first buried alive portion was NOT scientific and overlooked some very important info. Someone COULD survive two hours if they were in the situation that presumably someone mistaken for dead would be in- namely NOT conscious and thus using very little O2. For example, they say you are not dead until you are WARM and dead. People survive being drowned for extended periods all the time if they are cold. A professor of mine was involved in a situation where a woman showed no signs of life, including no descernible breathing, was almost infused with fluids used in preparing the body for burial and she WAS alive! So, this one is NOT CORRECT nor was it scientific!

    • Says says:

      bud, these guys are MYTH busters not SCIENCE buster. if they tested it and its busted than its busted, but its good u got those stats and stuff

  33. Says says:

    Nobody actually said much about cola cleaning blood in these comments. Lots of people say its possible. They also said dissolving a tooth is poss. which is not, dissolving a nail in either 4 days or 24hours. that is not possible either. i tried dissolving bacon in about 30 hours but it only showed a little change and not much.

  34. Kirk says:

    With respect to not surviving a 200 ft drop into water, the current high dive record is over 175 ft.

  35. logan says:

    i love myth busters

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