Pilot 2: Vacuum Toilet, Biscuit Bazooka, Leaping Lawyer

Air Date: January 23, 2003

An obese person can get stuck on an airline vacuum toilet.

busted

It is impossible to get a perfect seal on a modern airplane toilet, and even if it is possible a properly working toilet provides suction for only a few seconds. Even then, the suction (3 psi) is not beyond human ability to overcome.

A woman was struck in the head with an exploding tin of biscuit (scone) dough, believing that she was in fact struck by a bullet.

plausible

The dough can blow out of many types of biscuit cans at a car’s internal temperature of 150 °F (60 °) with enough force to potentially strike the driver of the car in the back of the head. However, no one can actually verify the incident actually occurred.

A lawyer accidentally killed himself by running through the plate-glass window of the 24th floor of his office building.

confirmed

At a run speed of 4.7 mph (7.52 km/h), a 160 lb (64 kg) subject was able to smash through a pressurized plate glass window. The incident was confirmed by a journalist to have actually occurred in Toronto.

34 Comments

  1. Craig Willard says:

    I do not dispute the “confirmed” status of the lawyer through window myth. But, every time I have seen the footage of the Mythbusters test, it appears to me that the wooden base of the sliding rig contacted the window pane first. (Before the blue part on the top) This wood part of the rig has a different hardness than anything the lawyer would have been wearing. I would like to see the rig set up again in such a way that there was no possibility of the wood rig contacting the window pane.

  2. Bob says:

    Craig is totally correct, confirmed is busted, the base broke the glass..oops guys. I play racquetball and wiegh qbout 225 and have hit the glass very hard many a time. One guy at the club did break one once–it was a very big section of glass too.

  3. jridge says:

    Person running through a plate glass window can do it and not be injured. I watched my brother run through a sliding patio glass door at a home construction site….not a scratch, this was in 1962 before safety glass requirements.

    • fpaul says:

      safety glass and high strength glass are not the same…skyscrapers have high strength glass and some up to 1.5″ thick. I broke a sliding glass door myself, it’s made that way on purpose, costs more but saves lives.

  4. Howard says:

    You had one program where your people said that a radar could not cook food. Well having worked in the military as a radar maintance man I can tell you that yes indeed you can cook food with a radar system. Well if your people actually used a high powered radar system rather a small unit like radar for an airport. I worked on a fps60 would produce 8 mega watts and the idiots placed a frozen duck in a plastic bag in front of the wave guide horn and it was cooked to well done at half power in 20 min’s. They tried to get me to clean off the duck fat off the radar and I refused. They cooked it they had to clean it. This was one of the dummer stunts one guy almost fell off the the radar support arm.
    Thats it.

  5. Carissa Warren says:

    ok left a can of peper spray in my truck while gone for a week 7-19-08 to 7-27-08 an dit exploded, temps outside the car hit 105 and higher so to say it cannot happend is a lie

  6. Kat Coburn says:

    Okay, just saw the ep on the obese person on the vacuum toilet and must say that you missed an important bit of data.

    You see, my father was a mechanic for UAL at the time (early 60′s) this acutally occurred. The lady in question was obese, the toilet was on an electra-jet and the mechanics were (more or less) sworn to secrecy about the entire episode. They managed to break the suction by inserting a straw between her thighs and she was given free first-class tickets for life.

    I think you were using modern airplane toilets, but what you need is a toilet from an electra-jet to get a reliable check on this myth.

  7. Tonya says:

    I’m glad to see they marked the biscuit myth plausible. I spent my high school years in a rough neighborhood; I saw people get shot on my front lawn. When I pitched an expired can of Pillsbury biscuits into the trash and turned back to do dishes, the can of refridgerated biscuit dough burst, and more than one of the biscuits hit me in the back. With the noise and the impact, I wondered for a few (very long) seconds if I had been shot. To this day, I shake like a leaf when trying to open these stupid cans, dreading the popping noise they’ll make.

  8. dave says:

    to do with will bass beats make you go to the loo

    confirm u just have to have the right music adam did sit down they should try it in on wooden floors sitting down

  9. Ingmar says:

    I second the comment from Craig Willard. It looks like the plywood base of the lawyer hit the glass first and possibly broke the glass, not the lawyer!

  10. tim says:

    there has been many instances where people have gone though safety glass. There was a real estate agent who would often run into the windows in high rise apartments to scare and show potential buyers the safety glass, but one time the window broke and he fell many stories to his death because of a small manufacturing defect in the glass.

    As well, there was an instance on a cruise ship with a vacuum toilet system where an obese women flushed the toilet while on it and the suction actually pulled her small intestines out through her rectum. She was lucky there was a doctor onboard and they were still close to port and she survived.

  11. Michael says:

    running at 4.7mph! what a load of crap! i can walk faster

  12. Jake says:

    Who flushes the toilet whilst sat down?

    • darah says:

      it’s called a courtesy flush.

  13. dan says:

    can pillsbury bisquits in a can be flown on a plane at 30,000 feet ? or will the can explode. have a friend that wants to take them to austrailia

  14. Hal says:

    I bought a canister of the cheap brand of canned air at Walmart. I left it in my Buick overnight, and the next morning it had exploded and knocked out my middle rear brake light (on the back “dash” area), and also put a hole in the cosmetic sidewall in the back. What caused the canister to explode without anything touching it?

  15. chris says:

    In the 70′s I was involved in aerosol production one product was a tyre puncture repair can and these were being exported to Singapore where they were exploding in cars we had to do trials to try and simulate this and it was only after I had forgotten to turn off the hot water bath one night that one exploded blowing a heavy steel tank out of shape and sending the heater unit through the laboratory ceiling. the cans exploded because they had a steel base with an aluminium top which with the high pressure in the can slowly pulled itself apart, these cans were replaced by a one piece aluminium can.

  16. ivy says:

    okay…ha ha…I have actually gone through a plate glass window. When I little kid…playing in an old church (they didn’t have the shatter glass yet)….and I ended up riding to the hospital in an ambulance and recieving 250 plus in stitches internally and externally including a three inch piece of glass stuck between my bone in my right leg. So….plate glass is bad..and definetly could kill if it hit certain arteries..etc.

  17. Greenman says:

    I would just like to thank Kari for her work on this episode.

    Hooray for spandex!

  18. Joey says:

    I have had a case of soda cans explode in my car. The soda’s were an off brand, maybe some brands use less aluminum for their cans to save money. My vehicle was a hatchback and the soda’s were in direct sunlight in the back.

  19. Rainer says:

    I just finished wiping the remains of an exploded Seltzer soda can of my windshield in NJ. 98 Degrees outside according to the car thermometer. Hot like heck inside. Only took a couple of hour standing in the sun. Glad it was nothing sticky.

  20. Meep says:

    Jamie’s explanation of the toilet scenario was…painful. If they didn’t speed up the whole I don’t think many people would have survived.

    I hope he wakes up in the morning and begrudgingly thanks the stars that Adam is paid to cover for him.

    Sadly, I identify more with Jamie in most situations.

    ~meep

  21. boe says:

    axe deoderant spray exploded in my car in the middle of summer in wisconsin. it was in a hatch back car with the can sitting in the sun under the back window.

  22. Karol says:

    This glass hazard is as preventable as it is widespread because of the widespread misunderstanding of the statistical nature of glass, and the building codes being so far behind. The builing codes confuse two hazards: fall and incision, and the safety tests were written in 1970′s, and are hardly indequate with glass sizes used today.

  23. alex says:

    the myth about the lawyer is true it was shown on the show 1000 ways to die

    • MSpears says:

      That’s not a good reason to call it true. “1,000 Ways to Die” plays it fast and loose with the truth. Though I suppose they might be glossing over part of the truth so some idiot doesn’t try it at home and die. But they’re not a reliable source, IMO.

      HOWEVER, Snopes has confirmed it is true. And Snopes IS a reliable source, IMO.

  24. Eileen says:

    6 cans of soda on the back seat of my car,4 exploded and the other 2 bulged out. They didn’t explode from the pop top-the whole tops of the cans were taken off!….Oh by the way,I live in Phoenix and temps inside my car have gotten upwards to 500 degrees.

    • Shannon says:

      Pepsi cans in Tulsa oklahoma exploded with the tops blown off in my pastor car. Sucks for him, but myth confirmed. Not busted. He posted it on Facebook showing the cans with the tops blown off. Need to revisit Adam/Jamie

  25. bav says:

    Was watching this the other night – I recalled an incident and went looking for it – Nwabisa Lusu, the nine-year old who was stuck to the toilet for almost half an hour on a South African Airways plane due to a valve leakage – she suffered some internal injuries and was in hospital at the N1 City Hospital Goodwood (Capetown) for a week, after having surgery.
    It was an airbus (don’t know the model) and an American doctor (Richard Darling) assisted during the flight. (according to the Capetown News)

  26. Mark Santee says:

    Though it was not an airline toilet, there was a woman who’s intestine WAS pulled out by a vacuum toilet.
    This incident happenned in 1986 on a cruise ship named “Pegasus” to a woman by the name of Helen Larson.

    Please research your myths before declaring a FACT to be untrue.

  27. Sith says:

    Yesterday I returned to my truck after work to find a Pepsi I left in the cup holder exploded 1/2 of the contents into my car. Being that I live in Minneapolis we worry about this sort of thing during winter not summer. Don’t know how hot the temp was Inside the truck but the outside temp read 93 degrees when I left work at 4:30PM.

  28. boondox says:

    The exploding aerosol can in a hot car is fact. I left “Fix-a-flat” in Mercedes C320 on top of parking garage in Vegas at 12 noon – left work at 5:00 pm – top temp was 105 – the can was halfway through the windshield with a strike point about 2″ above dash – whole windshield was shattered. There were actually two holes – side by side, plus deep gash on top of dash. Top of can came off – bottom end through glass. Potentially deadly.

  29. Tom says:

    I’m sorry Mythbusters but a latex but isn’t a very good substitute to an obese women. Fat can be pushed around inside the body. That butt replica was rigid, of course it’s not going to seal and hold pressure.

  30. Tony says:

    I had a 1/2 full black can of tire shine foam rupture in my car on a hot Phoenix afternoon. The vehicle was a white CRX with blue interior and no tint on the windows. Luckily there was no damage, but there was tire shine EVERYWHERE! It apparently also tripped the motion sensor on my car alarm.

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