MythBusters Results: Recent

Most Recent Myths

Episode 78: "Walking on Water"

Ninjas had the ability to run across water.

busted

To test this myth, Adam tried various special shoe designs, including Mizu gumo, which were meant to increase the his surface area on the water or increase his buoyancy. However, the shoes either failed to keep Adam afloat or made too much noise as he tried to cross the body of water. Jamie then created a Non-Newtonian fluid from a mixture of water and corn starch, which made the water solid enough for Adam to run across unaided. However, it is unlikely that ninjas had access to large amounts of corn starch, so the myth was busted.

Ninjas can catch arrows in midair.

busted

To start off, Jamie fired arrows blunted with tennis balls while Adam tried to catch them. Though it took several tries, Adam did manage to catch the arrows flying through the air. However, these arrows were only moving at a third of the speed as a normal arrow. In order to test a full speed arrow, Adam and Jamie built an artificial hand that could close with both human and superhuman speed. The artificial hand managed to catch the arrow easily in superhuman speed, but the human strength setting was just not powerful enough to grip the arrow in time.

Ninjas can catch a sword in between their bare palms.

busted

To test this myth, the build team constructed a machine to swing a sword as well as a pair of artificial hands to try and catch it. However, during their tests, the hands were simply not fast enough to catch the sword, plus they suffered damage as they attempted to stop the blade. When they consulted an expert, he pointed out that it would be more prudent to either block or dodge the sword rather than trying to catch it with your bare palms. He did show that with the use of Ninja Shuko Climbing Claws, he could easily block a sword with a single hand.

Episode 77: "Birds in a Truck"

A truck carrying birds will be lighter if the birds fly around than if the birds sit/stand.

busted

Adam and Jamie constructed a large box and placed it on top of scale and then filled it with captured pigeons. Then, the Mythbusters activated a special contraption that would force the pigeons to fly into the air, but they could not detect any discernable difference in the weight of the box. They then placed a model helicopter inside the box and had it hover above the ground, but this method also failed to produce any results. The Mythbusters theorized that the air being displaced by the birds' wings and the helicopter rotors was pressing down the box, which is why there was no change in the overall weight.

A boat moving at 25 miles per hour can be split down the middle by hitting a channel marker.

busted

Through small scale tests, the build team noticed that whenever they tried to have their model boat hit the channel marker dead on, the boat would just glance off with minimal damage. Tory then tried having the boat turn into the marker at the last second, which produced more positive results. Moving on to full scale, the build team acquired a used boat and had it crash into a specially constructed channel marker. The boat struck the marker, but only suffered minimal damage rather than splitting. The build team then tried moving the boat at faster speeds, but still could not split the boat. Wanting the boat to be completely destroyed, the build team opted to drop it from a crane, effectively busting the myth in the process.

Episode 76: "Voice Flame Extinguisher"

Sound waves can put out a flame.

confirmed

A normal human voice cannot put out flames. An amplified voice, however, can put out a candle at low frequency while tone generators can extinguish propane flames. This can be done because the sound waves disrupt the air enough to snuff out the flame. Also, using a high explosive bomb can put out flames since the blast wave pushes away the oxygen that fuels the fire. Using explosives is a common method firefighters use to put out oil fires.

Using hypnosis can make one act against their will.

busted

While hypnotized, Grant was told to do certain uncharacteristic actions through hypnotic suggestion, and he would perform these actions after a specific trigger. However, the triggers did not work, so the test was performed again on a producer who believed in hypnosis. However, this test also failed. In addition, many experts and hypnotists agree that hypnotic suggestion will never work if the suggestion conflicts with the subject's moral fiber.

Using hypnosis can make one remember things more clearly.

confirmed

The Build Team was given a short play and were later quizzed about minor events, in which they failed miserably. Taking the same tests under hypnosis, they remembered tiny facts such as name tags and tattoos and passed with flying colors. As a side note, "earthlings" who were "abducted" by "aliens" claim they don't remember a thing unless under hypnosis.

Episode 75: "Myths Revisited"

REVISITED: A trombonist had put a firecracker into his mute, and at the final note of the 1812 Overture, launched the mute, striking the conductor and knocking him back into the audience. In addition, the bell of the trombone was blown wide open and the slide was launched (From episode 11).

re-busted

The re-test involved placing simulated lips against the trombone's mouthpiece so as to seal that end. This still failed to cause the slide to fly off the instrument. They only achieved the feat by soldering a plug into the mouthpiece, completely sealing it shut.

REVISITED: A sniper can kill another sniper by shooting straight through the scope of his oponent's rifle. (From episode 67)

plausible

Using a period-accurate scope (this myth originates from the Vietnam War) and a .30-06 armor piercing round, Jamie's shot went completely through the sight and penetrated two inches into the target dummy - deep enough to be a possibly lethal hit.

REVISITED: A shotgun plugged by a human finger will backfire and explode injuring or killing the shooter instead of the intended victim. (From episode 43)

re-busted

The re-test used a 19th-century double-barreled shotgun made through Damascus welding. The first barrel was damaged by a ballistic gelatin finger, though not as seen in cartoons. A steel finger welded to the end of the second barrel simply made the whole tip of the barrel shoot off.

SPINOFF: A .30-06 rifle fired while having a boresight still in the barrel will backfire and explode, creating a cartoon-like banana peel effect as shown in submitted photographs. (Spinoff from episode 43)

plausible

The Build Team's test used a brand new rifle. The barrel split several inches when fired with a laser boresight in the barrel. The Build Team surmises that the banana-peel effect could be achieved if this were to happen in an older rifle that has endured more wear and tear from firings.

REVISITED: If two hammers strike each other, at least one hammer will completely shatter with lethal force. (From episode 67)

re-busted

First, the Build Team properly heated two modern hammers to the transition point and quenched them, making them as brittle as possible. The two hammers simply snapped at the necks when struck. Then they tested older steel hammers (predating World War II). Though the heads began to chip when struck, one of them ultimately snapped at the neck as well.

SPINOFF: If a hammer strikes hard against an anvil, the hammer will completely shatter with lethal force. (Spinoff from episode 67)

re-busted

For this re-test, they used a genuine steel anvil and used a rig that would make the hammer strike against the top of the anvil. The pre-WW2 steel hammer suffered cracks and chips from first a human then a superhuman strike, but it did not shatter.

Episode 74: "Dog Myths"

You can get past a vicious guard dog by distracting it with a raw steak.

plausible

The steak successfully distracted the guard dog for several moments. Once the dog finished eating and realized there was no more food, it attacted Kari. After the test, the trainer claimed that the dog could be trained to ignore specific things like steak.

You can get past a vicious guard dog by acting aggressive.

busted

Aggressive behavior did not defer an attack.

You can get past a vicious guard dog by acting submissive.

busted

Submissive behavior did not defer an attack.

You can get past a vicious guard dog by distracting it with a pheromones from a lactating female dog.

busted

The pheromones did not have any effect on the guard dog. They are said to calm puppies.

You can get past a vicious guard dog by distracting it with wolf urine.

plausible

The guard dog hesitated significantly, but eventually attacted Kari.

You can get past a vicious guard dog by distracting it with urine from a female dog.

confirmed

The dog was absolutely distracted by the urine, allowing Tory plenty of time to get past it.

You can get past a vicious guard dog by distracting it with a robotic cat.

plausible

The dog was distracted momentarily but eventually attacted.

You can get past a vicious guard dog by traveling inside a 50 gallon barrel.

plausible

Tory built a wheeled barrel that to use as a protective shell. He nearly got past the dog but his attempt was called off when the trainer thought the dog might tip the barrel over and injure Tory.

You can get past a vicious guard dog by traveling inside of a metal sphere.

plausible

Kari built a metal sphere covered in plastic that she could walk inside of. Kari got past the dog but she did not have a good way to escape.

You can trick a trained bloodhound by backtracking, zig-zagging, and going up a tree.

busted

Adam, acting as a fugitive on the run, had five minutes to run in zig-zags, doubled back, and climb a tree. The blood hound easily found him.

You can trick a trained bloodhound by crossing a river.

busted

The bloodhound found Adam very easily.

You can trick a trained bloodhound by covering part of your trail with ground pepper.

busted

The bloodhound was briefly confused, but it soon rediscovered the trail and found Adam.

You can trick a trained bloodhound by washing your body and changing your clothes.

busted

The bloodhound was initially overwhelmed by the concentrated scent of Adam at the washing point. The trainer knew this and walked the dog in a wide circle until it found the escape trail. The hound then easily found Adam.

You can trick a trained bloodhound by rubbing your body with coffee and cologne.

busted

The bloodhound did not have any trouble finding Adam.

You can trick a trained bloodhound by traveling through an urban environment.

plausible

The bloodhound was overwhelmed by the multitude of distracting smells in the city. It did find Adam after 90 minutes, but did not actually follow his trail. The handler noted that a bloodhound with experience in cities could do better.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

busted

Adam and Jamie each trained a 7 year old Alaskan Malamute five new tricks in just one week.

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