Episode 90: Supersized Myths

Air Date: November 14, 2007

Sharks can hunt by feeling low frequency sound waves transmitted through water.


The Mythbusters traveled to the shark infested waters of South Africa and placed underwater speakers in the water. After transmitting sounds at various frequencies ranging from forty to a hundred megahertz and even resorting to high frequency sound, the Mythbusters failed to attract any sharks.

The presence of dolphins can deter sharks from attacking their prey.


This myth was born from the stories of dolphins protecting shipwrecked sailors from sharks. The Mythbusters built an animatronic replica of a dolphin and took it to the shark infested waters of South Africa. They tested the waters by throwing in a seal-shaped lure only to have it attacked by a great white shark just barely five seconds after it hit the water. They then placed the fake dolphin in the water with the lure. The sharks approached the lure, but when they saw the dolphin, opted not to attack. The Mythbusters replaced the lure with actual bait, but the results were the same, and the sharks appeared reluctant to attack. However, once they removed the dolphin, the sharks immediately began attacking the lures and bait again. With these results and with plenty of anecdotal evidence, the Mythbusters decided that the myth was plausible.

The jetwash from the engines of a full size Boeing 747 can flip a taxi. (Revisited from Episode 13.)


The Build Team obtained a taxi and towed it across the rear of the 747 as it was powering up for takeoff. The moment the taxi crossed the engine exhaust, it was lifted into the air and flipped several times, completely demolishing the vehicle.

The jetwash from the engines of a full size Boeing 747 can flip a school bus.


Like the taxi, the build team towed the school bus across the path of the 747 engine exhaust. Also like the taxi, the school bus was lifted off from the ground, rolled several times, and was completely demolished.

The jetwash from the engines of a full size Boeing 747 can flip a small plane.


Like the taxi and school bus before it, the airplane was thrown into the air and suffered significant damage when it crossed the path of the 747 engine exhaust.

A Chevy Impala with rockets can move fast enough to achieve flight. (Revisited from Pilot 1.)

appropriately supersized

The Mythbusters started with small scale tests, and determined that their old JATO configuration was not suitable for the myth, because the top mounted rockets caused the car to veer off course. Instead, they opted to mount the rocket tubes inside the trunk of the car to achieve a more stable trajectory. They then obtained a Chevy Impala and made the necessary modifications to accommodate the rockets. To ensure that the car would get into the air, the Mythbusters set up a makeshift ramp. However, when they started the actual test, the rockets exploded, completely destroying the car before it could even leave the ramp. Because none of the central questions of the myth were answered, the Mythbusters had trouble deciding what to call the myth. In the end, they agreed that the the myth was "Appropriately Supersized".

This myth was tested a third time in JATO Rocket Car: Mission Accomplished.

A person can waterski behind a full size cruise ship.


The Build Team first started by having Tory practice wakeboarding and swapping tow lines between two different boats. Then they tested the myth on a full size cruise ship, the Regal Empress. His first try failed, but Tory was eventually able to transfer to the tow line attached to the cruise ship and ski behind it, proving that the myth is possible.


  1. David Hastings says:


  2. David Hastings says:

    ohye ai forgot can u guys make the rocket car have wings if you revisit that myth?

  3. StephenRowland says:

    about shooting a fish in a barrel. as a youth I,ve shot fish in a small pond aiming under the fish near the top of the water and shot,killing the fish by hitting it!!!

    • Julio says:

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  4. gerald says:

    It was pretty cool. But you guys did not see what it would do to a 2 story building.
    from G
    P.S. hi Adam.

  5. hey mythbusters i want to know if there is any possible way to alter time. (time travel)
    people say it’s impossible but i want you to prove it.

  6. Ernest says:

    Maybe they can try to test Aesop’s Fables, to see if they are all true or somewhat true.

  7. mythluver says:

    After eating hot peppers or any other subsequential hot item, put a small pack of sugar in your mouth and it dissipates any burning sensation – confirmed !

  8. david dodge says:

    can a cigerette ignight leaves or a mattress like the movies

  9. It would be great if you would edit the shark myth: speakers can’t produce megahertz and megahertz are certainly not low frequency.

  10. Zhoen says:

    When testing peppers, could have checked your folks for supertasters. Oh, well. Don’t hurt poor Grant again.

    Bus flung up and over was utter coolness. Wow.

    Too bad Jamie didn’t get to do the waterskiing, but Tory did really well.

    Did Adam forget his ginger pills?

    • MSpears says:

      “Don’t hurt poor Grant again”? Sure, let’s go hurt Adam some more. I enjoy watching him in pain. ;-)

      Tory’s done a few things that looked pretty painful, too.

  11. Mike says:

    It would have been nice if they had done the tests with the jet exhausts at idle and various power settings on the different vehicles. Very seldom is a jet on the ground at full power and not moving.

  12. Rodrigo says:

    this is the better episode that I saw…..I hope you can play again the myth of the car rocket exploded since last ……
    Ask refund or free rockets which were productions by professionals …..

    Good myths

  13. Daniel says:

    The force of the impact on the rocket fuel tanks made it explode in the first place, apparently you forgot about the explosive nature of that fuel guys. That ramp had an angle of aprox 30 degrees with respect to the horizontal, so the vector of force suddenly pulling down the fuel tanks as the car smashed onto the ramp and tried to ascend on it, generated in micro seconds some supersized version of hammering a probe containing nitroglycerin. But it was a great BUMMM!

  14. steFaN says:

    Well i am from Macedonia and i am a huge fan of yours.. specialy Kari i love her and her ass it is the best… i want to ask u smth. i heard a mith about the ocean.. in the night if you swing your hand or leg or smth it will leave green light trail behind… it is this true?

  15. Scott says:

    in reply to steFaN: I agree, ass is best in show, also, true about the floresent effect in ocean at night, is caused by a living organism in the water.

    • Asami says:

      THANK YOU!! If there is such a thing as evolution, why are mnkoeys STILL mnkoeys?????? The answer is OBVIOUS!! ANYONE WHO THINKS EVOLUTION EXISTS IS GOING TO BE IN FOR A SERIOUS COLLISION WITH **REALITY** ONE DAY!!

  16. Gregor says:

    Wacthed a repeat of “Cash Cab after Dark” last week and Ben posed the questioned about what wedding tradition been banned because it causes birds to exploded.
    Thought you work on this one…

  17. David says:

    when will you get the newer ones in like pirit special 2 and confederat steem gun

  18. Leo says:

    I have a really great myth, I’ve heard is true from reliable sources. You might have done it before though. When a stone that has been in a riverbed for ages, i.e. thousands of years, is put into a fire the water that has slowly been absorbed into the stone will expand and the stone will explode killing others around the fire.

  19. David says:

    I like that myth leo

  20. Glenn says:

    well i dont know if theres a place to ask about myths, but this seems to be as good as any other lol. i just saw the one were they shot the 50 cal. in the pool” and other guns” and the bullet broke in to fragments. Just thinking here, but would heavy rain or even a water fall have the same effect? might make it do some strange things. but who knows lol

    • MSpears says:

      I’m pretty sure that heavy rain would not break up a bullet. In the military, one of the things they say is, “If it ain’t raining, we ain’t training”. I’ve seen film footage of Marines and Navy SEALs performing target practice with live ammo in rain so heavy that I would definitely NOT want to be outdoors.

      The waterfall probably wouldn’t have an effect either. You’re still talking about a relatively thin sheet of water, not a “solid body” of water like a swimming pool.

  21. maddie says:

    hey, i dont know if this is really testable, but u know the saying “people who live in glass houses shouldnt throw rocks?” well could a few rocks or pebbles really break or shatter an entire glass house? just wondering

    • MSpears says:

      If it was made from untempered glass, almost certainly. If it was made from tempered glass (or *especially* laminated glass), then no… unless it was a really honking big rock (at least bowling ball size, or bigger).

  22. maddie says:

    umm hey its not 12:13 AM its 9:16 PM. whatev im in CA so maybe its the time dif

  23. Lord Wayder says:

    The best TV program ! And you guys, right about this legends

  24. dw says:

    a comment to the waterskiing behind a cruise ship thing.

    1983 Р3 guys was waterskiing behind a ferry sailing between the danish islands Fyn and Sjælland.

    They where later taken to court – but released without punishment – as far as I remember.

  25. Dick Landgraff says:

    Dolphins vs. Sharks. You can easily see why Sharks are wary of Dolphins if you watch the Ivan Tors comedy movie “Hello Down There.” It shows Dolphins ramming Sharks and actually knocking them unconscious with their blunt (but hard) noses.

    This has been known for a very long time. So whenever Dolphins (or Porpoises if you wish to call them) are in the water, there are no Sharks around.

    • Suresh says:

      The guy that will use his skill and constructive initimagaon to see simply how much he can give for any dollar, rather than how little they can give to get a dollar, is likely to succeed.The main quality inside a leader is that of being called such. All leaders whose fitness is questioned are clearly lacking in force.

  26. cmpolara says:

    I want to know if you guys got a refund for that $10,000 rocket.

  27. Gene.K says:

    If the small scale of the rocket car is 6 times smaller, in real life size shouldn’t the thrust be 6 times stronger so it matches the small scale?

  28. ERIC R says:

    Waiting for another revisit of the JATOs on cars…

  29. Case says:

    Cheezy I know BUT, if you drove an Indy car down a regular city street at high speed, would it suck the man hole covers off??? Like to see this one. Thanks!

  30. Lars Falk says:

    Comment to dw.

    You are absolutely right. Three guys waterskiing after a ferry in Denmark, at the same time. They were “Busted” by the police, but the case was dropped by the court in november 84.
    Great show
    Lars Falk, Denmark

  31. NatureLover says:

    In reference to Dick Landgraff’s comment, “This has been known for a very long time. So whenever Dolphins (or Porpoises if you wish to call them) are in the water, there are no Sharks around.”
    Actually, that misconception is BUSTED by several nature videos that even air on the Discovery channel showing dolphins and sharks peacefully feeding side-by-side. My memory of all the footage I’ve seen of dolphins and sharks peacefully together is that is usually happens in large schools of fish or bait-ball situations. Lots of food to go ’round. That’s not to say that dolphins can’t attack or intimidate sharks (as shown by the episode), but they CAN be found hanging out together. So don’t assume there aren’t any sharks just because you see dolphins!
    Not sure if porpoises and sharks have been documented on nature video together, since porpoises actually ARE different than dolphins (porpoises and dolphins are as different from each other as humans are from monkeys)!

    Kudos to the Mythbusters for once again showing that the “big ol’ scary” shark can actually be a bit timid. :)

  32. Terry Crowe says:

    I’m totally new to mythbusters and you guys are just amazing. I too was very intrigued by all these talk about cars running on water. Is it really possible? If all this is true, we surely don’t have to worry about paying $5 for gas. If this is all scam, then why aren’t the responsible authorities taking any action?

    • MSpears says:

      The responsible authorities HAVE taken action.

      Stanley Meyer claimed that he ran a dune buggy on water instead of gas. Meyer’s claims could not be verified, and in 1996 he was found guilty of fraud in court.

      In 2008, Thushara Priyamal Edirisinghe (of Sri Lanka) claimed to drive a water-fuelled car about 300 kilometers on three liters of water. He was arrested a few months later on suspicion of investment fraud.

      Daniel Dingel, a Filipino inventor, has been claiming since 1969 to have developed technology allowing water to be used as fuel. In 2000, Dingel entered into a business partnership with Formosa Plastics Group to further develop the technology. In 2008, Formosa Plastics successfully sued Dingel for fraud, with the 82-year-old Dingel being sentenced to 20 years in prison.

      In June 2008, Japanese company Genepax unveiled a car which it claimed ran on only water and air, and many news outlets dubbed the vehicle a “water-fuel car”. It turned out that the vehicle that Genepax demonstrated to the press was a REVAi electric car, manufactured in India and sold in the UK as the G-Wiz. In early 2009, Genepax announced they were closing their website, citing “large development costs” (but the more likely cause was that they were afraid that they would be caught committing fraud).

      • Maish says:

        , we are dust. Which it’s a fact. You even have skin flakes. That turns to dust. If aiettshs thinks, they came from monkeys? More power to them. ha ha But not me. I believe in God’s Bible and God’s word. That’s the truth for me. The Bible is unstoppable.

  33. Hannes says:

    Will swallowing a magnet attract you to other magnets like in “Tom and Jerry”? Please test that.

  34. Vince Davis says:

    Can a car really be converted to run on water to double your gas mileage? Please test.

    • MSpears says:

      No. It can’t. And every claim that someone has invented a car that “runs on water” has been proven to be fraudulent, as I explained above.

  35. Ethan says:

    Does haveing to many cooks really spoil the broth.

  36. grandpa says:

    chevy impala with rockets – I heard this myth in the early 1960’s about someone attaching jato units to his car lighting them off ,becomeing airborne and slamming into the side of a mountain killing the driver.

  37. Thomas says:

    Thank you all for a great program.
    Just watched the episode 90, “Supersized Myths”. Waterski after a full size cruiseliner was done by 3 guys at the same time after the ferry, MF Queen Ingrid, crossing the Great Belt in Denmark back in July 24th 1983. It has been done several times after, and who knows, perhaps also before.

  38. Faruk says:

    Have you ever watched Mythbusters?That is what desutrctive young boys grow up to be: engineers, scientists, physicists, chemists If your parents don’t care, why do you care? Have you considered joining their fun? You might really enjoy it.References :

  39. Robert Sollare says:


    Where can I find the scene that shows your foam dolphin and the White shark?

    Kind regards Robert Sollare / Sweden

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