Episode 153: Mini Myth Madness

Air Date: November 10, 2010

As a tribute to the fans, the MythBusters randomly chose several fan-submitted myths and tested them in this episode.

A scuba diver can wear a tuxedo underneath his drysuit, go underwater, resurface, strip off his scuba gear, and be able to present the tuxedo perfectly.

confirmed

Adam and Jamie donned tuxedos after meeting with an image consultant to learn about the particulars of black-tie formal dress. Adam boarded a boat to serve as a comparison standard, while Jamie put on a drysuit and took a 40-minute scuba dive to rendezvous with him. Once Jamie climbed aboard, removed the suit, and brushed himself down, both his tuxedo and Adam’s were found to be in presentable condition for a party.

(This myth was inspired by the pre-title sequence in the movie Goldfinger.)

A car’s tire pressure can significantly affect its fuel efficiency.

confirmed

The Build Team ran a car through a test course with regular tire pressure, slightly over-inflated, slightly deflated, extremly over-inflated, and extremely deflated tires, and measured the resulting fuel efficiency for each. The data showed that lower than normal tire pressure resulted in significantly more fuel being consumed, due to a larger amount of surface area contact with the road, causing increased friction. Higher than normal pressure did improve fuel efficiency; however, the Build Team discouraged the idea of overinflating tires due to the safety hazards involved and the negligible cost savings.

A laptop can stop a point-blank blast from a shotgun.

plausible

Using a 12-gauge shotgun, the Build Team fired a load of birdshot at a 4-year-old laptop in a leather bag from point-blank range, with a block of ballistic gelatin behind it to represent the owner’s body. The birdshot easily punctured every area of the laptop that was hit and damaged the gelatin severely. In a second test, they targeted the battery – the component with the highest density – and found that none of the pellets would go through it. The team classified the myth as plausible, since only a very lucky shot would be stopped.

A hair weave can stop a .40 caliber bullet.

busted

The Build Team replicated the conditions of the news story on which this myth was based, firing at a ballistic-gelatin head through a car’s rear windshield from 8 feet behind it. The bullet easily penetrated the head’s hair weave and exited through the front, pulling some of the hair with it. The team hypothesized that in the actual shooting, the bullet may have ricocheted off a metal part before coming to rest near the victim’s head, giving the illusion that the weave stopped the bullet.

A refrigerator door can stop a spray of 9mm bullets.

busted

The Build Team fired numerous 9mm bullets at a modern refrigerator door stocked with items commonly found in refrigerators. Every shot easily penetrated both the door and a block of ballistic gelatin placed behind it, indicating lethal impacts. The same result was achieved with a double-walled steel refrigerator door from the 1950s.

What is the best way to limit the spread of germs created by sneezes?

inner elbow

Adam and Jamie tested three different techniques of containing sneezes – a hand, an inner elbow, and a handkerchief – with the help of snuff and food coloring as in Flu Fiction. Adam’s sneezes into his hand spread droplets up to 9.5 feet away, while Jamie’s elbow stopped nearly all of the droplets from his sneezes. The few that were not stopped traveled only 0.5 feet. When Adam sneezed into the handkerchief, those droplets also traveled 0.5 feet but soaked his hand as well. They noted that the germs would quickly spread to both the user’s hand and other items that touched the cloth, defeating the purpose of using it. The elbow was judged to the most effective device for containing germs from a sneeze.

It is easy to take candy from a baby.

busted

Adam and Jamie measured the amounts of force required to simply pick up a lollipop versus taking one from a baby. They tried snatching the lollipop from babies of various ages (6–18 months), and found that the babies would actively fight to keep the candy. Younger ones tended to use brute force to hold on to the lollipop, while older ones used different tactics such as crying and moving the candy out of reach. Picking up the candy required 0.08 pounds of force, while taking it from the babies took an average of 2.01 pounds, indicating that it is not easy to take candy from a baby.

If a bottle of beer is put in the freezer for long enough, removed while it is still liquid, and given a sudden shock, the beer will instantly freeze solid.

confirmed

The Build Team left bottles of beer inside a freezer for various times, ranging from 120 minutes to 180 minutes, before removing and striking them. They found that 180 minutes of cooling time was necessary to allow the instant freezing to occur. The most likely explanation is supercooling, in which a liquid in a very clean container can be cooled below its freezing point, but will rapidly form crystals and freeze if it is disturbed in any way.

18 Comments

  1. RandomAnimations27 says:

    It would’ve been easier to take candy from a baby if they had just walked up to the baby and snatched the candy, not come in slowly with a claw.

  2. Tim says:

    Random, I’ve seen this ep online and if they walked up the baby and tried to snatched the candy, the young ones will use brute force and the older ones will cry and move the candy from reach, with or without the claw.

  3. Spiky says:

    besides beer..is there any other drinks that will freeze the same way as it was tested?let say a bottle of soda where it will also produce bubbles if we shake it…and,is it must be glass bottle and not plastic bottle??

    • Himself says:

      The instant freeze thing can work with anything almost. You can do it with water just as easy.

  4. Emir Alp Turgut says:

    Hello! I admire you very much. I’m sitting in turkey. My house in Istanbul. We would like to follow the Discovery channel. In addition, I love you too. Please do not go without reading this message. Because it is very important for me.Finally, I am very happy for your own form ulaşabildiğim. My name is Emir Turgut Alp. 14 years old. I know that shooting is not possible to come to your country. For this reason, a request from you will be. I connect with the audience like a great pass to me, the 2010 season, if not all free of charge if you send a part of the Turkish version dvd? My English is not strong enough so that the program I use when writing Minogue. Please kırmayınız hayranınızı like me. Turkish Turkish sub-departments, but can also be written. I really love you so much. Make sure that. And I wish you success in your shots the next.Finally, discovery channel team would like to thank all respects .. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman and Grant Imahara favorite ..

    Turgut Alp Emir.

    • hoto says:

      Thats not weard

  5. John Dahl says:

    In Goldfinger Bond wears a wetsuit. That’s what should be tested.

    • Iyanna says:

      Dude a wetsuit is acualy wet on the inside you know you do not commonly wear clothes under it
      so you would be wearing a drenched tux on your party

  6. Mandi Moss says:

    I was extremely disappointed in the execution of the testing of the “weave” myth as it was clear that you guys didn’t research it at all. “Weave” is not a wig. There’s a lot of types of weave actually and none of them are “wigs” and the only thing that they have in common with wigs is that it is hair that is not your own.

    Weave can be synthetic hair or human hair. It can be loose hair fastened to look natural (or it can be elaborate braids or dreadlocks etc), it can be attached via cornrow, stitched in, it can be fastened by small braids, metal clasps or plastic fusion. There’s a huge variety of options and as I said, none of them are a wig or even a clip on piece of hair. It is something that is “installed” to your hair in a semipermanent way.

    While I am pretty sure that the bullet ricocheting and landing in her hair is the most likely explanation I would have been very curious to see how tightly wrapped/braided synthetic fibers (which can very in strength and weight) would have held up in a test.

    Yes I am a nerd that knows a lot about fake hair.

  7. kirk says:

    extremely deflated tires have a smaller radius then normal tire pressure!!

    would you try regular tire pressure on all,
    regular tire, slightly bigger, slightly smaller, extremly bigger, and extremely smaller tire

    TY Kirk

  8. KC says:

    I like the beer thingy, it’s cool. . .

  9. Patrick Plamondon says:

    I totally agree with Mandi- this round of testing was fairly sloppy, and didn’t give the myths the best chances of success at all (the hair weave completely loose was a worst case scenario). I was practically yelling at the TV when I saw this segment. They set this up for failure. Testing loosely braided or tightly braided hair (best case scenario for the myth I think: a really tight bun) could have yielded much different results. Another problem with this testing- I think I heard them say that the fridge door protected the guy from 9 mm rounds, and I also am fairly sure that they only brought a .40 caliber pistol. A .40 caliber round is more powerful than a 9mm round (not hugely so, but the difference is there). Using a 9mm and having a fridge door with a metal exterior rather than plastic also could have produced different results.

  10. Patrick Plamondon says:

    Just kidding about the fridge part, I commented before finishing the episode. But the weave point is still totally valid.

  11. Mark says:

    Hi there! First of all, believe it or not, I’m only 8 years old. Secondly, I am just saying I’ll try the instant freeze thing, and say if it worked with me later.

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  12. brooklynne says:

    EHi there! I think myth busters needs to revisit the hair weave catching a bullet myth. First off they were not using weave, they were using a wig… Very big difference. Second there are multiple types of weave; sew in, glue in, clip in, hot fusion and cold fusion. Sew ins require you braid the hair into corn rows and the sew the weft of hair to the braid .Glue ins and clip ins are pretty self explanatory, with one you glue the weft of hair to the hair as close to the scalp as possible, with the other the weft of hair has clips attached to it that you then clip to the hair as close the the scalp as possible. With hot fusion you take about 30 strands of hair and. attach them to a section of hair roughly the same size with a small ball of hair glue. Cold fusions are similar to hot fusion when it comes to the amount of hair per section, but they differ in method of keeping the hair in place, with these you have a small bead that you place around the hair and clamp in place.I personally think they should go back and retest all of these, I have a feeling that they will come up with very different results. Though I am not sayingany of these with stop a 40 cal bullet, but they could potentially stop or slow significantly a smaller caliber round. Anyways, just a thought.

  13. Matt says:

    I love Mythbusters. But unfortunately I think they got the “candy from a baby” thing all wrong. It’s not about forcefully taking the candy from the baby – it’s about coaxing the candy away. Little children will happily hand over something they are playing with if you are nice to them – it seems like a game: “I give you this, you give me that”. Then once you have convinced them to hand it over, you can walk away.

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