Special 10: MythBusters Holiday Special

Air Date: December 6, 2006

If a frozen turkey falls, it can crush your foot.


The frozen turkey completely crushed a ballistics gel foot, breaking many of the simulated bones embedded in it.

If a frozen turkey falls, it can crush your dog.


Two ballistics gel replicas of dogs were used and were completely crushed. When taken to a vet for analysis, the vet stated that if the dogs managed to survive their injuries, their prognosis would not be very bright. The myth was deemed plausible because the MythBusters were unable to test the myth on real animals.

You can cook a turkey with a microwave radio.


The MythBusters were unable to attach the turkey to a full size radio antenna, though the manager stated that the antenna only used several watts of power compared to the several hundred used by microwaves. The MythBusters then tried to test the myth on a smaller vehicle-mounted microwave dish, but the only heating resulted from sitting in the sun.

You can cook a turkey with a radar antenna.


The MythBusters attached the turkey to a spinning radar antenna, but when measured, they found that the turkey actually ‘lost’ heat. Frustrated with the lack of results, Tory inserted an explosive stuffing into the turkey and put it in a microwave, resulting in a large explosion.

You can keep needles from falling off of the Christmas tree by adding fertilizer.


Fertilized Christmas trees lost the most amount of leaves and its leaves became very discolored.

You can keep needles from falling off of the Christmas tree by adding bleach.


Tied with nitric oxide at least amount of needles lost, but the tree looked sickly.

You can keep needles from falling off of the Christmas tree by adding lemon-lime soda.


Results were similar to the control.

You can keep needles from falling off of the Christmas tree by adding pain reliever.


Results were similar to the control.

You can keep needles from falling off of the Christmas tree by adding nitric oxide (from Viagra).


Tied with bleach at least amount of needles lost, but the tree looked sickly.

You can keep needles from falling off of the Christmas tree by adding hairspray.


Declared the winner for being both the best looking and among the best in terms of controlling needle loss, though the added flammability of the hairspray to the drying Christmas tree could increase the tree’s natural fire hazard risk.

You can keep needles from falling off of the Christmas tree by urethane.


Results were similar to the control.


  1. James says:

    I don’t know what the deal with the radar system was. However the satellite dish that was used on the back of the van, most likely wasn’t actually transmitting. There is a cut off switch inside the transmitter that turns it off if there is no incoming signal. Also, the transmission beam rises upwards at about a 45 degree angle from the dish, not straight out from it. At point blank range the transmission beam is also about the size of a pencil or less. If you apply power to the diagnostic port on the transmitter you can force it to turn on, and eventually burn your way through a turkey. At least I assume you could. I’ve done it with hot dogs, Turkeys are a bit bigger…

    • Tadas says:

      Satellite dish has too low power and beam size is equal to dish size. not nearly comparable to pencil.

      you need to use high performance military radar which has range of nearly 1000km then it may be possible to cook something.

      Russian radar once managed to ignite some piece of trash which fell on its antenna and that caused fire.

  2. Bradley Jones says:

    I like your show; I want you to see if you can make a fire by rubbing two sticks together.

  3. Erika says:

    Bradley Watch Man VS Wild or Survivorman he does it all the time on tv.

    • Murat says:

      LOL, I know how this feels. It seems like every year the decorations get put up eleairr and eleairr in my house. A radio station near us has been playing Christmas songs 24/7 since Oct 1st, ROFL. I think they are taking it a little too far, lol.

  4. Mark Pickens says:

    The best way to keep a christmas tree needles from falling is to drill 3 to 4 holes up in the base of the trunk of the tree about 1/2″ in dia ans as deep as you can and fill the holes with cotton balls. The cotton ball soak the water up into the tree. My tree drinks about a 1/2 to 3/4 of a gal of water each day. By the time i take down the tree it has grown buds on the ends of the branches and they drip from the water.

    • Tarcas says:

      Thanks, Mark, I’ll have to remember that. And if the Mythbusters haven’t revisited this yet, I hope they do!

  5. Gene.K says:

    Not only keeping needles on, but making it look good like the same you do it on hair, lol.

  6. starscream says:

    In response to Bradley Jones.To my experience,you can make a fire by rubbing two sticks.

  7. Geoff says:

    Mythbusters has to be the greatest job on earth! I cut about 3/8″ from the base of my tree. This removes the fresh sap. Sap protects the fresh cut and doesn’t allow good absorption. I get several of the flower additive packs form the florist and pour one per quart of water. Our tree is currently drinking 3-4 cups a day with additive and it looks greener now than it did when we picked it out 10 days ago. It has very little needle loss too. I love your show! Where can one submit an application for employment?

  8. David says:

    What was the official name of that “machine” that they made? I think it started with a “g”.

  9. Kevin says:

    Rube Goldberg

  10. Teacher says:

    I am a agriculture science teacher and I love this idea of how to keep a Christmas tree. I willl turn this into a basic experiement with my middle school students. We will test different additives to keep the Christmas tree (a big ag commodity) alive. Thanks for the idea!

  11. Brandon says:

    That was a great show. I might even try one of those this Christmas. Normally, my family just mix some sugar in with the water and put that in the tree stand.

  12. Jim Rye says:

    was root stimulant tried on the trees?

  13. troy says:

    I once heard of adding vodka to help preserve the tree longer. What do you think

  14. idna says:

    Troy, unfortunately you would just end up with a drunk tree. It will not help keep the tree fresh. It will keep it in the holiday spirit!

  15. Eve says:

    Hi!I would really like to know what kind of dog does Kari hold when she compares it whith the zombie dog?

  16. deltav700 says:

    In the nitric oxide experiments….Viagra will not increase nitric oxide, it is not a nitric oxide donor. Viagra inhibits a phosphodiesterase, an enzyme that breaks down the relaxing factor produced by cells when they are exposed to nitric oxide. I doubt very much that this mechanism exists in a christmas tree. The study should be performed with an agent that releases nitric oxide in the water reservoir.

  17. Lucylui says:

    We have always used crushed aspirin mixed in the water with our fresh cut tree. Sometimes it seems to help, other times no. This year, we decided to forego the aspirin and bought a packet of tree preservative sold at the tree stand for a couple bucks. I wish the ingredients were listed. Just mixed with warm water. Gotta say, the needle loss was MINIMAL. Had the tree up for 4 weeks. It was still dark green in color, you could pull on the branches and the needles stayed on! Even the day it was taken down. We were very surprised. Areas felt dry and tips of needles still killed me taking the lights off, but over areas still felt soft and fresh. But overall, entire tree LOOKED green and in good shape!

  18. Adrian says:

    I used miracle gro houseplant food and my tree looks great and is retaining its needles well.

  19. daffers234 says:

    The best way to keep the needles on a tree is to use an artificial one ;-)

  20. Sean says:

    The turkey falling experiments did not figure in muscle density/reaction. Please explain?

Leave a Reply