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Encyclopedia > MythBusters (season 4)
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The cast/crew of the television series MythBusters performs experiments to verify or debunk urban legends, old wives' tales, and the like. This is a list of the various myths tested on the show as well as the results of the experiments (the myth is Busted, Plausible, or Confirmed). Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... MythBusters is a U.S. popular science television program on the Discovery Channel starring special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, who use their skills and expertise to test the validity of various rumors and urban legends in popular culture. ... An urban legend or urban myth is similar to a modern folklore consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them. ... An old wives tale is a wisdom much like an urban legend, supposedly passed down by old wives to a younger generation. ...



The myths the show has tested for accuracy in Season 4 include:

Contents

Episode 54 — "Crimes and Myth-Demeanors 1: Great Hollywood Heists"

The MythBusters test the validity of some Hollywood heist scenes. is the 193rd day of the year (194th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...


Air Duct Climb

This myth comes from the movie Firetrap.


A person can surreptitiously scale an air duct by using a system of…

Myth statement Status Notes
…magnets. Busted Jamie's "supermagnets" (ten 500-pound (225 kg) strength ones) could hold his weight and allowed him to make it to the top of the duct, but they caused far too much noise on the way up to allow for a stealthy entrance.
…suction cups. Busted Adam's suction cups were able to hold his weight as well and were much (relatively) quieter than Jamie's magnets. However, the mechanics Adam used to control the vacuums often failed, which caused him to slip and fall down the vent, blowing his cover. He did however make it to the top of the vent once he perfected the method of operating the device in sequence to his steps up the vent. However, breaking through the grate of the air duct was much too noisy, thus blowing his cover.

Laser Beam Dodge

This myth comes from the movie Entrapment. Entrapment (1999) is an American film directed by Jon Amiel, and starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. ...


A person can successfully dodge a system of laser beam detectors by…

Myth statement Status Notes
…blowing cosmetic powder across the beams to identify their position. Busted While visible beams can be seen, they are only detectable when the powder is airborne, which is not very long. Also, blowing too much powder can cause enough of the beam to break and set off the alarm. Furthermore, most laser systems use invisible infrared laser trip beams.
…using night vision goggles. Busted None of the beams are visible through the goggles, though a combination of the goggles and the powder was able to allow Tory a brief glimpse of the infrared beams, though not enough to make a difference. Also, wearing night vision goggles decreases the wearer's field of view and may hinder one's ability to move around the beams.
…pointing another laser at the photodetector. Busted While the technique is workable enough with visible-beam systems, the fact that infrared beams cannot be readily detected or traced makes locating the relevant photocells too difficult in a real-world situation.

Experimental night vision goggles. ...

Glass Door Forced Entry

A glass door can be cut open silently by…

Myth statement Status Notes
…gently cutting the glass and removing it with a suction cup. Busted The suction cup could not remove the glass.
…drilling a hole. Plausible The drilling caused some noise, but not enough to trip a sonic alarm. It did, however, cause the entire glass to break, but because it was tempered and laminated, the glass held together. The broken pieces were then pried out until an arm-sized hole could open up, allowing access to the doorknob on the other side.

Fooling the Pressure Sensor

This myth also comes from the movie Entrapment. Entrapment (1999) is an American film directed by Jon Amiel, and starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. ...


A person can successfully fool a pressure sensor under a glass case by…

Myth statement Status Notes
…squeezing in a knife between the glass and sensor and using a piece of gum to hold the sensor in its original position. Busted The sensor is extremely sensitive. Even the slight lifting of the case needed to insert the knife can set it off, and it took three attempts just to get the knife in. Also, the gum is too pliable when chewed to keep the sensor held down once the knife is removed.
…squeezing in a knife between the glass and sensor and using duct tape to hold it in place. Plausible This was "Plan B" in case the movie myth was Busted. If one can get the knife in without setting it off, one can hold the knife in place with the tape to keep the sensor pressed.

A piece of transparent duct tape, left, and of silver duct tape, right. ...

Safecracking

A safe can be quickly cracked by…

Myth statement Status Notes
…using a stethoscope. Busted Modern safes are designed with this old technique in mind, and the tumblers proved too quiet to be heard even with amplification.
…drilling a hole and visually causing the tumblers to fall into place. Plausible With help from a borescope and a length of piano wire, Adam managed to crack the safe, but it would take time that may not be available to a surreptitious safecracker, especially given the fact that the safe for the test was rated to be crackable by a professional safecracker in only 5 minutes. Though the Mythbusters did say that the Safecrackers didn't need to be as quiet as they did.

A borescope is a rigid tube with an eyepiece on one end, an objective lens on the other linked together by a relay optical system in between. ... Safe-cracking is the process of opening a safe, generally without the authorisation or knowledge of the safes owner. ...

Scaling a Building

Myth statement Status Notes
A suction cup system can be used to scale a (23-story) skyscraper. Plausible The concept worked (see the Air Duct Climb section) but Adam did not have the stamina to scale the entire building. Making the climb would require significant physical training and be highly visible.

Episode 55 — "Steam Cannon"

is the 200th day of the year (201st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Cereal Nutrition

A popular saying states that sugary cereal is less nutritious than the box it comes in. This article is about cereals in general. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
A cereal box can have more nutritional value than the cereal. Busted All tests showed that cereal have superior values of calories, fats, sugars, and proteins compared to cardboard. Furthermore, chemicals within the cardboard may be toxic.

A calorie is a unit of measurement for energy. ... Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. ... Magnification of grains of sugar, showing their monoclinic hemihedral crystalline structure. ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ...

Steam Cannon

A diagram by Leonardo da Vinci blueprints a steam-powered cannon that Archimedes supposedly built. The Mona Lisa Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath: scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, and writer. ... Archimedes of Syracuse (Greek: c. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
Archimedes was able to build a powerful steam cannon, using technology available at the time. Busted A flash-boil-powered cannon, built even with modern materials and techniques, was barely able to push a projectile out of the barrel. A more modern pre-boiled, valve-triggered system, like those used in aircraft catapults, was able to project a cannonball a considerable distance, and with far less pressure than the Mythbusters had originally projected required.

A steam explosion (also called a littoral explosion, or fuel-coolant interaction, FCI) is a violent boiling or flashing of water into steam, occurring when water is either superheated, or rapidly heated by fine hot debris produced within it. ... u suk usuk u suk u suk u suk u suk u suk u suk u suk u suk usuk suk suk suk suk suk suk suk suk suk suk suk suk suk suk suk suk{| class=wikitable |- ! header 1 ! header 2 ! header 3 |- | row 1, cell 1 | row 1...

Episode 56 — "Killer Whirlpool"

is the 207th day of the year (208th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Whirlpool of Death

Whirlpools are an ancient maritime fear. According to the myth, a tidal whirlpool can sink… Saltstraumen whirlpool A whirlpool in a glass of water A whirlpool is a large, swirling body of water produced by ocean tides. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
…a container ship Busted In order for this to happen, the whirlpool would have to be significantly stronger than any maelstrom ever recorded.
…a fishing trawler Busted In order for this to happen, the whirlpool would have to be significantly stronger than any maelstrom ever recorded.
…a person Plausible A whirlpool can generate a vortex large enough to pull down a swimmer and, especially if combined with the effects of dizziness and disorientation (which caused Adam to vomit after mere seconds), induce drowning. The MythBusters only tested according to the most powerful maelstrom ever recorded, and did not determine the minimum size needed to submerge a swimmer.

Container ship in Istanbul Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size containers, in a technique called containerization. ... Saltstraumen maelstrom A maelstrom (or malström) is a very powerful whirlpool; a large, swirling body of water. ... A modern Icelandic trawler A trawler is a fishing vessel designed for the purpose of operating a trawl, a type of fishing net that is dragged along the bottom of the sea (or sometimes above the bottom at a specified depth). ... Saltstraumen maelstrom A maelstrom (or malström) is a very powerful whirlpool; a large, swirling body of water. ...

Snowplow Flips Car

A fan claims that he saw a car capsize when a snowplow passed by in the opposite direction at high speed. A small sidewalk clearing plow in Ottawa, Canada A snowplow (or snow plow, US Engish; in UK English, snowplough or snow plough) is a vehicle, or a device intended for mounting on a vehicle, for removing snow and sometimes ice from outdoor surfaces, typically those serving transportation purposes. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
A snowplow passing by at high speed can displace enough air on one side to flip over a passing car. Busted Even a worst-case scenario - an unusually large plow passing by a light, top-heavy sports utility vehicle at highway speed - could not generate the air pressure needed to cause the SUV to even visibly tip. A semi driving at highway speeds only generates about 1/6th of the air pressure needed to make this myth plausible.

A sport utility vehicle (SUV) or off-roader is a vehicle that combines the load-hauling and passenger-carrying capacity of a large station wagon or minivan with features designed for off-road driving. ... semi-trailer truck with sleeper behind the cab. ...

Episode 57 — "Diet Coke and Mentos"

is the 221st day of the year (222nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Diet Coke and Mentos

  • This is the first segment not to be assigned a "Busted", "Plausible" or "Confirmed" rating, as there was no "myth" to be proved or disproved. Adam and Jamie did the tests simply to dissect the process and determine what actually makes a so-called Mentos eruption, such as the ones seen on Kari's FHM shoot and on EepyBird.com. However, they did compare their results to the many differing theories given by experts as to how the geyser works, "busting" all of them. (None of the theories had the full list of contributing factors for the geyser, only partial explanations.)
Question Results
Why does dropping Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke create a geyser effect? Mostly because the (uncolored/unglazed version of) Mentos provides nucleation sites for the dissolved carbon dioxide in the Diet Coke to escape as a gas. Other active ingredients in the cascade-effect reaction include aspartame (artificial sweetener), potassium benzoate (preservative), and caffeine in the Diet Coke; and gum arabic and gelatin in the Mentos. The ingredients seem to have a perfect compatibility with each other and, when mixed together and added to the nucleation, creates a chemical reaction that forces the soda to release all of its dissolved carbon dioxide at once, thus causing a more violent eruption than carbonated water alone.
  • The MythBusters also set a new record for the cola geyser at just over 30 feet (9 metres) by using a nozzle, beating the previous record of 18 feet, set by the person who popularized the phenomenon, Steve Spangler. [1] They extended the geyser to 34 feet (10 metres) by using rock salt, which is more porous and hence provides even more nucleation sites per area than Mentos.
  • In this episode Adam and Jamie also created homemade pyrotechnics using water, liquid soap and methane; smoke bombs from saltpeter and sugar; demonstrated a way to separate Pringles chips from its container by using hydrogen gas; and assembled a dry ice bomb. Adam also implies that more improvised explosives may be tested for a future episode. Despite the "do not try this at home" disclaimers, the MythBusters concluded that Diet Coke and Mentos geysers are safe enough for people to try, even for children (with the exception of getting in trouble by their parents).

A handful of Mentos in a two liter Diet Coke bottle produces an eruption. ... A number of different Mentos flavors Mentos is a popular brand of mints sold in many markets across the world by the Perfetti Van Melle Corporation. ... Diet Coke (sometimes known as Diet Coca-Cola) or Coca-Cola Light (sometimes known as Coke Light) is a sugar-free soft drink produced and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. ... A handful of Mentos in a two liter Diet Coke bottle produces an eruption. ... Bubbles in a soft drink each nucleate independently, responding to a decrease in pressure. ... Aspartame (or APM) (IPA: ) is the name for an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener, aspartyl-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester; i. ... A sweetener is a food additive which adds the basic taste of sweetness to a food. ... Potassium benzoate, the potassium salt of benzoic acid, is a food preservative that inhibits the growth of mold, yeast and some bacteria. ... A preservative is a natural or synthetic chemical that is added to products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, paints, biological samples, etc. ... Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound that acts as a stimulant in humans. ... Acacia senegal plant from Koehlers Medicinal-Plants 1887 Gum arabic, a natural gum also called gum acacia, is a substance that is taken from two sub-Saharan species of the acacia tree, Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal. ... Gelatin (also gelatine, from French gélatine) is a translucent brittle solid substance, colorless or slightly yellow, nearly tasteless and considered foul smelling, extracted from the collagen inside animals connective tissue. ... Effervescence from soda. ... Steve Spangler. ... For Halite Bittorrent client , see Halite Client. ... Methane is a chemical compound with the molecular formula CH4. ... Home made smoke powder burning Smoke bombs are a firework designed to produce colored smoke upon ignition. ... R-phrases   S-phrases   Supplementary data page Structure and properties n, εr, etc. ... Magnification of grains of sugar, showing their monoclinic hemihedral crystalline structure. ... Pringles Logo. ... A dry ice bomb is a simple bomb-like device typically made from a plastic bottle, water and dry ice. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...

Stamp on a Helicopter

Myth statement Status Notes
A stamp placed on the rotor of a helicopter can unbalance the spinning rotors enough to cause it to crash. Busted A stamp in a controlled scale test did not cause any changes to the helicopter rotor's rotation. The Mythbusters immediately ramped up the test to the scale of 8,000 stamps, which destroyed the scale model helicopter. The full-sized test also produced the same results as the stamp did not cause a real helicopter to crash and, according to the pilot, did not cause any significant change in the way the helicopter flew. A stamp placed on the tail rotor also did not cause any noticeable change.

Episode 58 — "Shattering Subwoofer"

is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Shattering Subwoofer

Myth statement Status Notes
One can design an automobile sound system such that the bass can quickly shatter all the windows of the automobile. Busted While the large, diesel engine-powered subwoofer that Jamie and Adam built into a Mercedes-Benz 240D produced sound at 161 dBSPL at 16 Hz (a level comparable to those found in cars specially designed for loudness competitions), it caused the sunroof of the car to jar loose, allowing for the pressure of the sound waves to escape. Because of this leakage, not to mention the fact that the forces behind the oscillation caused the woofer to break apart, the speaker system could not possibly create the amount of intensity needed to cause all the windows to explode as the myth stated. A best-case scenario would involve only one window failing, thus creating a path for the pressure to escape.

a 12 subwoofer driver A subwoofer is a type of driver dedicated to the reproduction of bass frequencies, typically from about 20 Hz to perhaps 200 Hz in cone speakers, and in the case of a rotary woofer, all the way down to below 1 Hz. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... 1982 White Mercedes-Benz 240D Picture taken in 2001 The Mercedes-Benz 240D was introduced in 1973 in Europe (1974 in North America) as a new diesel-powered variant of the W115 chassis, outranking the 220D as Mercedes most powerful diesel car. ... Sound pressure is the pressure deviation from the local ambient pressure caused by a sound wave. ... MHZ redirects here. ... Open sunroof in a Peugeot 206. ...

Rough Road Driving

A spinoff myth was tested in More Myths Revisited

Myth statement Status Notes
A car will achieve a smoother ride on a rough outback road by being driven faster. Confirmed As far as driving on non-washboard roads, there was no solid conclusion due to a conflict of data. However, when they tested a "washboard" road, the build team were able to confirm the theory that driving at a higher speed will indeed cause the body of the car to float over the ridges: the wheels of a car oscillated wildly, but the car suspension allowed for a relatively smoother ride at high speed.

A tourism sign post Yalgoo, Western Australia The Dingo Fence near Coober Pedy Fitzgerald River National Park in Western Australia Outback refers to remote and arid areas of Australia, although the term colloquially can cover any lands outside of the main urban areas. ... Washboarding is a process which results in roads (particularly gravel roads or dirt roads) developing a series of regular bumps with short spacing in the road surface. ...

Episode 59 — "Crimes and Myth-Demeanors 2"

The MythBusters attempt to circumvent some real-world security devices. is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...


Fingerprint Lock

Fingerprint readers take a sample of a fingerprint and match it with an approved-person database. The particular door-mounted scanner tested optically samples the fingerprint, and also had some extra "liveness-sensing" features that supposedly looks for pulse, body heat, and sweat. The optical fingerprint reader Mythbusters installed can be fooled by… At Walt Disney World, biometric measurements are taken from the fingers of guests to ensure that the persons ticket is used by the same person from day to day For the use of statistics in biology, see Biostatistics. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
…a copy of an approved fingerprint etched in latex. Confirmed Licking the latex sample (to simulate sweat) was enough to fool the scanner.
…a ballistics gel copy of an approved fingerprint. Confirmed Licking the gel sample (to simulate sweat) was enough to fool the scanner.
…a paper copy of an approved fingerprint. Confirmed Licking the paper sample (to simulate sweat) was enough to fool the scanner.

Thermal Motion Sensor

Heat detectors note any changes in the temperature gradient within its field of view (as seen in the 1992 film Sneakers). A heat detector can be fooled by… Electro-pneumatic heat detector, rate of rise and fixed temperature operation. ... For other uses, see Gradient (disambiguation). ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... Sneakers is a 1992 caper film directed by Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams), and written by Robinson, Walter F. Parkes and Lawrence Lasker. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
…cooling the body down using a CO2 fire extinguisher Busted Not only was the sensor not fooled, using a fire extinguisher on a person is dangerous.
…a neoprene diving suit. Busted The neoprene suit did insulate body heat from its surroundings, until the suit itself warmed up.
…being covered in mud. Busted Like the neoprene suit, it only worked until the mud warmed up from body heat. Also, Tory left behind mud tracks while attempting this.
…heating the room to body temperature. Busted Heating the room from the ceiling immediately set off the sensor, while heating the room from the ground did not. However, the sensor was still sensitive enough to detect the difference between human body temperature and the ambient temperature.
…wearing a highly insulated fire proximity suit. Confirmed The suit blocked the body heat, preventing the sensor from seeing the wearer. However a small breach in the suit triggered the sensor when pointed towards it.
…placing glass between the intruder and the sensor. Confirmed Glass blocks out infrared light (i.e. heat).

Fire proximity suits (aka silvers or silver bunker suit) are suits designed to protect a firefighter from high temperatures, especially near fires. ...

Ultrasonic Motion Sensor

Ultrasonic motion detectors note any doppler shifts caused by a moving intruder. An ultrasonic motion detector can be fooled by… A Motion Detector is a device connected to a burglar alarm that is used to detect motion. ... The Doppler effect is the apparent change in frequency or wavelength of a wave that is perceived by an observer moving relative to the source of the waves. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
…wearing thick-padded clothing Busted The sensor was still able to pick up Kari's movement.
…holding a bedsheet in front of you. Confirmed The bedsheet absorbed enough of the ultrasonic waves to mitigate any return signals.
…moving extremely slowly. Confirmed Although it took Kari 20 minutes to cross a relatively short hallway, she moved slowly enough to stay below the detector's sampling threshold.

Water Safe

This myth is based on a scene from the movie The Score. The Score is a 2001 crime drama. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
A thief can drill into a safe with a thermal lance, fill the safe with water, and detonate an explosive inside without damaging the items inside or prematurely activating the glass relocker. Plausible Drilling into a safe using thermal rods takes far longer than the myth states. Also, the heat from the thermal rods completely destroyed the items inside. Secondly, the safe was not watertight and had to be sealed from the inside in order to completely fill it with water. Finally, even though the explosion successfully dislodged the safe door, none of the items inside remained intact. It was deemed plausible from historical precedent and police reports, even though the MythBusters themselves could not replicate any of the conditions.

Thermal lance in use. ... A relocker, or more properly a relocking device is an automatic locking device that is activated during an attempted burglary of a safe or vault door. ...

Episode 60 — "Earthquake Machine"

is the 242nd day of the year (243rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Miniature Earthquake Machine

The MythBusters test one of Nikola Tesla's publications. Nikola Tesla (1856-1943)[1] was a world-renowned Serbian inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer and electrical engineer. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
Nikola Tesla invented a machine that when attached to an object and tuned to vibrate at a certain frequency, can cause an earthquake-like effect on the object it is attached to. Busted The MythBusters built several variations of Tesla's "earthquake machine" using modified jackhammers, as well as a specially designed computer-controlled electromagnetic linear actuator provided by Grant. Small scale tests on metal bars were mixed, with the modified tools performing poorly while the more finely-tunable actuator produced significant vibrations in the bar. A scale test with a model of Tesla's lab and miniature motor failed to produce any noticeable result. Finally, a large scale test using an actual bridge was attempted. The MythBusters attached the resonator to the side of a large truss bridge, which are today designed to withstand such vibrations, to see whether the entire bridge would be shaken. While the resonator did match the bridge's frequency and produce a vibration noticeable 100 ft away, it was not strong enough to be considered an earthquake. The MythBusters declared the myth busted.

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943)[1] was a world-renowned Serbian inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer and electrical engineer. ... Mechanical resonance is the tendency of a mechanical system to absorb more energy when the frequency of its oscillations matches the systems natural frequency of vibration (its resonant frequency) than it does at other frequencies. ... A portable jackhammer being used to break up a roadsurface in roadworks. ... Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field: a field, encompassing all of space, composed of the electric field and the magnetic field. ... A linear actuator is a device that develops force and motion linearly. ... A truss bridge is a bridge composed of connected elements (typically straight) which may be stressed from tension, compression, or sometimes both in response to dynamic loads. ...

Stove Myths

The MythBusters tested whether putting the following items on a stove will cause an explosion that could kill a person…

Myth statement Status Notes
…a lava lamp Confirmed All lava lamp tests produced violent reactions. The reactions differed depending on the lamp's design. When lava lamps with safety caps exploded, they vented their contents out through the top of the lamp because of the safety cap popping off (as designed). A bottlecapped lava lamp being tested leaked due to a poor seal, and was helped to explode with a spray of cold water (through the thermal stress caused by the cooling effect of the water on the glass). The explosion lodged a piece of glass deep into a ballistics gel dummy planted near the lamp. A jumbo lava lamp exploded with enough force to pierce the dummy with numerous shards of glass. With the combination of the violent explosion, glass shrapnel in the dummy, explicit warning labels, and a recorded incident, the myth was deemed confirmed.
…a can of beans Confirmed The cans of beans tested exploded with force proportional to the size of the can. Larger cans explode more violently than smaller cans, especially since large cans do not have a weakened pop-open top, but the build team concluded that any can of beans on a stove is potentially lethal.
…a can of potted meat Busted Though the can of potted meat exploded rather violently, the explosion did not have enough force to be deemed lethal.
…a large glass jug of milk Plausible The jar of milk exploded violently, though not with a large amount of force. The build team concluded that an exploding jar of milk can be lethal if a person happened to be standing over it.

A lava lamp is a novelty item typically used for decoration rather than illumination. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Legume, Pulse (legume) and Fabaceae (Discuss) Green beans Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae) used for food or feed. ... A glass of cows milk. ...

Episode 61 — "Deadly Straw"

is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Straw Through a Palm Tree

Myth statement Status Notes
A piece of straw can penetrate all the way through a palm tree if propelled by hurricane-force winds. Busted Propelling a piece of straw at a palm tree at a distance of 50 cm at 320 mph (the world record for recorded wind speed at ground level), the straw only managed to penetrate the tree a quarter of an inch. Even firing at the tree while it was bent (to increase the size of the pores in the surface of the tree) at point blank range added no additional distance into the tree. A piece of reed was tested as the sturdiest organic object that might be mistaken for a piece of straw. At both ranges, the reed only managed to go about two inches into the tree. Additionally, Jamie tried a piece of piano wire, and at 50 cm, it flew not only through the tree but through a sheet of plywood on the wall behind it, partially embedding itself into the cement wall.
Wind alone can blow the feathers off of a chicken. Busted Even wind speeds faster than those ever recorded could not remove any of the feathers of a tethered chicken. The whole bird would more likely be blown away completely.

Bales of straw bundles of rice straw Pile of straw bales, sheltered under a tarpaulin Straw is an agricultural byproduct, the dry stalk of a cereal plant, after the nutrient grain or seed has been removed. ... Genera Many; see list of Arecaceae genera Arecaceae (also known as Palmae or Palmaceae), the palm family, is a family of flowering plants, belonging to the monocot order Arecales. ... This article is about weather phenomena. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

Primary Perception

The Build Team tests world-renowned polygrapher Cleve Backster's theory of primary perception. There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Photo of Basil Plant perception, or biocommunication in plant cells, is a belief that plants feel emotions such as fear and affection, respond to stimuli, and have the ability to communicate with other forms of life. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
Polygraph tests indicate that all living things share some form of interconnected consciousness. Busted Tests were done by connecting plants to a polygraph's galvanometer, and then employing actual and imagined harm upon the plants or upon others in the plant's vicinity. The galvanometer showed some spurious readings (showing some kind of reaction about 1/3rd of the time), so a much more accurate EEG machine was used. When Grant and Tory used a machine that dropped eggs randomly into boiling water, the plant had no reaction. Additionally, Tory's leukocytes had no reaction when Kari shocked him with a stungun.

Polygraph results are sometimes recorded on a chart recorder A polygraph (commonly yet incorrectly referred to as a lie detector) is a device that measures and records several physiological variables such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration and skin conductivity while the subject is asked and answers a series of questions. ... It has been suggested that Tangent galvanometer be merged into this article or section. ... Girl wearing electrodes for electroencephalography Person wearing electrodes for electroencephalography Portable recording device for electroencephalography Electroencephalography is the neurophysiologic measurement of the electrical activity of the brain by recording from electrodes placed on the scalp or, in special cases, subdurally or in the cerebral cortex. ... White Blood Cells is also the name of a White Stripes album. ...

Episode 62 — "Killer Cable Snaps"

is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Killer Cable Slice

Myth statement Status Notes
If a cable snaps, it can cut a person in two (as seen in the movie "Ghost Ship"). Busted A 5/8" cable at 30,000 lbs of tension was unable to cut a pig in two (or even cut into it), but did cause potentially lethal injuries. The MythBusters took the test even further by adding a smaller cable at the end of larger one to create a "whip" effect, and even pre-looped a cable around the pig itself. None of these methods could cut the pig by the pre-tensed cable's inertia alone. The pig was cut in half only when Adam tied a cable around it before tightening the cable. Also, after making inquiries with almost every safety organization imaginable, the MythBusters were unable to find any concrete evidence of a person being cut in half by a snapped cable.

Ghost Ship (2002) is a horror movie, directed by Steve Beck. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

Pottery Record (Archaeoacoustics)

Myth statement Status Notes
Sounds can be recovered from old pottery. Busted The MythBusters were unable to recover any recognizable sound from the pot using a record player with a glass needle (to prevent scratching the clay). Even with professional audio enhancement and the most advanced sound systems available, they were unable to recover any discernible sounds from the straw-made grooves on the pots.

There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

Episode 63 — "Air Cylinder Rocket"

is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Air Cylinder of Death

A compressed air cylinder can… Industrial compressed gas cylinders used for oxy-fuel welding and cutting of steel. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
…blast itself through a concrete wall. Confirmed Once the MythBusters constructed a launch tube and perfected shearing off the cylinder's valve, the cylinder shot entirely through their constructed cinder block wall and damaged the solid concrete wall behind it. The MythBusters were also aware of recorded instances of such a thing happening.
…power a speedboat. Busted The two cylinders could only propel the Mythtanic V 120 feet at a maximum of 5 knots. A second attempt resulted in the boat barely making half the distance, and barely registering any speed at all.

A stack of rectangular cinder blocks A cinder block (also mistakenly called a concrete block), breeze block, or Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU), is a rectangular block or brick used in construction. ... A knot is a unit of speed abbreviated kt or kn. ...

Gunpowder Engine

Myth statement Status Notes
An engine can run on gunpowder alone. Busted Even though gunpowder has a greater energy density than gasoline, none of the three historical designs (by Huygens, Cayley and Paine) worked for more than one cycle; the team could not find a practical or reliable way to feed the gunpowder into the engines without having them backfire and ignite all the powder, most likely because black powder is not a liquid and therefore is not transported as easily; also, gunpowder cannot be ignited while mixed in with liquid (even flammable lubricating oil), so it must be dry for the engine to work. They were also unable to convert a modern lawnmower engine to run on gunpowder, even with gunpowder inserted directly into the ignition chamber.

Energy density is the amount of energy stored in a given system or region of space per unit volume or per unit mass, depending on the context. ... Christiaan Huygens (pronounced in English (IPA): ; in Dutch: ) (April 14, 1629 – July 8, 1695), was a Dutch mathematician, astronomer and physicist; born in The Hague as the son of Constantijn Huygens. ... Sir George Cayley Sir George Cayley, 6th Baronet (27 December 1773–15 December 1857) was an exuberant English polymath from Brompton-by-Sawdon, near Scarborough in Yorkshire. ... Thomas Paine (Thetford, England, 29 January 1737 – 8 June 1809, New York City, USA) was a pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, and intellectual. ... Mineral oil or liquid petrolatum is a by-product in the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. ...

Episode 64 — "More Myths Revisited"

This is the fifth episode where Myths from previous episodes are revisited. October 25 is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...


Sword vs. Gun

Myth statement Status Notes
A sword can cut a machine gun in two (Spinoff of Sword vs. Sword, Mega Movie Myths Special). Busted A machine gun barrel cannot be sliced in two using a sword. Using the barrel from a .30 caliber Browning machine gun, the team heated the barrel until it was red hot and struck it with the sword machine. Even with the barrel red hot, the sword could only make a small gouge in the barrel. What further disproved the myth was the fact that the barrel's outer heat-dissipating shroud was removed and the machine was swinging the sword with power that significantly exceeded a normal human's capabilities. The team then rapidly heated and cooled the barrel to make it more brittle, but when hit by the sword, it shattered instead of being cut. Finally, the team tried to cut a thinner Thompson submachine gun barrel, but only managed to bend it, proving that a sword cannot cut a gun barrel in two.

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: MythBusters The cast and crew of the television series MythBusters performs experiments to verify or debunk urban legends, old wives tales, and the like. ... The Browning M1919 was a . ... For the Clash song, see Tommy Gun (song). ...

Rough Road Driving

Myth statement Status Notes
Bracing a windshield can keep it from shattering (Spinoff of Rough Road Driving, Episode 58). Busted Bracing a window with a hand was unsuccessful in preventing a window from being shattered by a rock or a fired BB.

Automobile windshield. ... It has been suggested that window frames be merged into this article or section. ... The hands (med. ... It has been suggested that window frames be merged into this article or section. ... This balancing rock, Steamboat Rock stands in Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs, CO The rocky side of a mountain creek near Orosí, Costa Rica. ... Steel BBs BB guns are a type of air gun designed to fire spherical projectiles, called BBs, usually from a smoothbore barrel. ...

Salami Rocket

This marks the first time a Confirmed myth was disputed. In this case, the claim was that the rocket launched not due to the two-part hybrid reaction but simply due to the release of the pressurized nitrous oxide. R-phrases S-phrases Supplementary data page Structure and properties n, εr, etc. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
A Hybrid Rocket can be made out of Salami (from Salami Rocket, Episode 51). Re-Confirmed Using Salami as a rocket fuel can create high amounts of thrust with the right nozzle. Readings from the force gauge proved that salami did in fact generate much more thrust than just the released nitrous oxide gas alone, though they do admit that the NOX output alone could have launched the rocket, as may have been the case with the original launch.

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: MythBusters The cast/crew of the television series MythBusters performs experiments to verify or debunk urban legends, old wives tales, and the like. ... R-phrases S-phrases Supplementary data page Structure and properties n, εr, etc. ...

Tailgate Up vs. Tailgate Down

Myth statement Status Notes
It is more fuel efficient to drive a pickup truck with its tailgate down, rather than up (from Tailgate Up vs. Tailgate Down, Episode 43). Re-Busted Using a calibrated fuel flow gauge, Adam and Jamie first Re-Busted the tailgate up vs. down myth, then went on to test various other truck configurations (hard top, mesh tailgate, no tailgate).
A plastic mesh tailgate provides superior fuel efficiency compared to the standard metal tailgate Confirmed Again using a calibrated fuel flow gauge, Adam and Jamie proved that the mesh was the most efficient way to configure a pickup truck.

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: MythBusters The cast/crew of the television series MythBusters performs experiments to verify or debunk urban legends, old wives tales, and the like. ...

Episode 65 — "Exploding Lighter"

November 1 is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 60 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Exploding Lighter

The MythBusters tested the following myths concerning standard disposable butane lighters. A lighter is a portable device used to create a flame. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
A lighter can explode when placed under a welding tool. Confirmed The heat generated from the welding tool was hot enough to cause the plastic lighter to melt and release its fuel which ignited, causing a small explosion.
A lighter can explode when put in a laundry dryer Busted A lighter was left in a running laundry dryer but suffered no significant damage and therefore did not explode.
A lighter can explode when hit with a golf club. Partly Confirmed Hitting a lighter with a golf club did not make the lighter explode, but when the MythBusters decided to hit the lighter while it was lit, it exploded rather violently.
A lighter can explode on a car dashboard. Busted The lighter was put in a toaster oven to simulate the maximum temperature that the interior of a car can reach, around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no reaction for several hours, and the lighter finally exploded when the MythBusters ramped the temperature up to over 350 degrees Fahrenheit, well above any temperature that can be expected in the interior of a car.
A single lighter can be lethal if it explodes. Busted The MythBusters placed a lighter in a pair of jeans on a human stand-in and put it under a welding tool. The sparks and heat from the tool managed to set the pants on fire and burn the flesh, but failed to ignite the lighter.
Five hundred lighters packed inside a car can explode with lethal force. Plausible The MythBusters placed five hundred lighters in a car and slowly heated it up. One by one, lighters began to rupture and release gas fumes. When the MythBusters finally triggered an igniter, the gas fumes exploded, blowing out all of the windows and setting the car on fire. The myth was deemed possible as long as there is a suitable ignition source.

This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

Gunslinger Myths

Using a Colt Peacemaker and a Navy revolver, the MythBusters tested whether an Old West gunslinger could… Colt Single Action Army handgun (Modern Verson) Also known as the Colt Peacemaker or Single Action Army, the Colt Single Action Army handgun is a single action revolver holding 6 rounds of ammunition, that was designed for the US cavalry by Colts Manufacturing Company and adopted in 1875, and... The Colt M1861 Navy revolver was a six shot, single action, percussion weapon produced by Colts Manufacturing Company until 1873. ... The cowboy, the quintessential symbol of the American Old West, circa 1888. ... Gunslinger from The Great Train Robbery Gunslinger, also gunfighter, is a name given to men in the American Old West who had gained a reputation as being dangerous with a gun. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
…drop a coin and fire his pistol five times before it hits the ground. Busted Using replicas of actual Wild West pistols, Grant, Kari, and Tory attempted the stunt themselves. However, Grant and Kari were unable to clear the pistols from their holsters in time and Tory was only able to get off one shot. Grant then built a device which showed that the pistols were able to fire that fast. The MythBusters finally turned to a professional gunslinger, but he could only fire three shots and he stated that firing five in that space of time would be "extremely difficult". With no results, the myth was busted.
…shoot a hole through a silver dollar. Busted The MythBusters used actual period silver dollars for the test. A professional gunslinger proved that hitting the coin was possible (with many tries) by piercing a lead coin. Both the Peacemaker and Navy revolver were only able to dent the silver dollar. While a .357 Magnum could easily pierce the coin, the myth was busted because the .357 was not introduced until the 1930s—gunslingers didn't have access to it. However, re-trying the myth with lead coins instead of silver did yield large holes from both period weapons.
…save a man from being hanged by shooting the rope. Busted Firing at a rope with the pistols, even at point blank range, failed to break the rope. The bullets were merely deflected off the rope. A professional gunslinger armed with a more powerful Winchester repeating rifle managed to shoot and break the rope, but it required multiple tries in order to pull off. With the difficulty involved in shooting and breaking the rope, the myth was considered busted. The gunslinger also commented that it would have been easier to just shoot the executioners.

Marlin Model 1894C — a carbine in . ... This article needs cleanup. ...

Episode 66 — "Concrete Glider"

is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Concrete Glider

This myth is part of a well-known engineering cliche: "Like a lead balloon, you can't make a concrete glider fly."

Myth statement Status Notes
A glider can be made out of concrete. Plausible Adam's glider made a flight of over 34 feet from a height of 9 feet. Jamie's took a nose dive. Also, an expert noted that making a glider out of concrete is possible and that the Germans experimented with the idea during World War II. After the test, the MythBusters decided that making a concrete glider is possible, but highly dangerous and impractical since the brittle concrete would shatter once it hits the ground.

Gliders or Sailplanes are heavier-than-air aircraft primarily intended for unpowered flight. ...

Train Suction

Myth statement Status Notes
The vortex from a passing train can suck a person onto the tracks. Busted Although small scale testing with model trains in a wind tunnel showed a vortex, the more dominant force when running the full size train was the air turbulence running alongside and away from the train. The force caused Ted, a dummy made of ballistics gel, to simply fall down where he stood rather than be drawn into the train's wake, and also violently pushed around an empty stroller tethered onto the platform alongside. Despite the lack of suction, the MythBusters agreed that the turbulence was powerful enough in its own right to make standing that close to the train as it passes very dangerous.

Vortex created by the passage of an aircraft wing, revealed by coloured smoke A vortex (pl. ... It has been suggested that Local trains be merged into this article or section. ... In fluid dynamics, turbulence or turbulent flow is a flow regime characterized by chaotic, stochastic property changes. ...

Episode 67 — "Firearms Folklore"

November 29 is the 333rd day of the year (334th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Firearms Folklore

Myth statement Status Notes
A bullet can be shot into the empty chamber of another revolver. Confirmed The MythBusters were actually able to fire a bullet straight down the chamber of the test revolver. The bullet went in and lodged itself inside the chamber, matching the picture that the MythBusters had.
A sniper can kill another sniper by shooting straight through the scope. (see Carlos Hathcock) Plausible Using a police industry standard SWAT sniper rifle and standard police match ammunition, the MythBusters fired several shots at a scoped rifle mounted on a ballistics gel dummy. Unfortunately, the bullet was unable to hit the dummy. The bullet was either stopped or deflected by the multiple layers of lenses in the scope, leaving the dummy relatively unharmed. Without any clear evidence that a bullet can penetrate a sniper scope, the MythBusters decided to label the myth as busted. During the revisit, the Mythbusters used the correct scope with the gun from the myth, and it did not go down the scope all the way except for one, which had gotten mutilated inside the barrel. When Adam and Jamie tried the Armor piercing round, the bullet went right down the scope and into the head of the molding, lodging about two inches down, giving it the plausible.
During the Civil War, two soldiers' bullets collided in midair and fused together. Plausible The MythBusters first tried to mount two Civil War rifles in front of each other so that when fired, the bullets (lead Minié balls) would collide in midair. However, this proved impossible because they were unable to get the guns to fire at the same time. Instead, they aimed a single rifle at a bullet suspended in the air. The fired bullet hit dead center, and the MythBusters found that both bullets had fused together into a single mass. Though incredibly unlikely, it is possible for two bullets to collide and fuse together in midair.

¹ Original result was later overturned. See "Myths Redux". View through a 4x rifle scope A telescopic sight, commonly referred to as a scope, is a device used to give an accurate point of aim for a firearm. ... Carlos Norman Hathcock II (May 20, 1942 – February 23, 1999) was a legendary United States Marine Corps sniper with a service record of 93 confirmed kills and more than 300 probable kills during the Vietnam War. ... 1855 minie ball design from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia The Minié ball (or minie ball) is a type of muzzle-loading rifle ordnance named after its main co-developer, Claude-Étienne Minié. It came to prominence in the Crimean War and American Civil War. ... // Original Airdate: January 10, 2007 Original Airdate: January 24, 2007 According to the American Automobile Association, an estimated 11,000 vehicles crashed into bodies of water in one year. ...


Hammer vs. Hammer

This myth was brought up by concerned viewers, who feared that Jamie was in risk of suffering from the myth each time he banged two hammers together as part of a build.

Myth statement Status Notes
If two hammers strike each other, or a hammer strikes an anvil, at least one hammer will completely shatter with lethal force. Busted Using a custom rig, the MythBusters repeatedly struck pairs of hammers together, but none shattered. Hammers with wooden handles merely snapped in two and hammers with metal handles bent. The MythBusters then decided to make the steel hammers harder and more brittle by adding more carbon and through heat treatment. In particular, they attempted to case harden the hammers. They heated the hammers to high temperatures and then coated the hammer heads in used engine oil. They also decided to have the hammers strike a more sturdy anvil instead of each other. However, during testing, the carbonized hammers merely bent at the handles without shattering. Though the myth was busted, some hammers come with warnings not to use them to strike another tool or hardened nail with excessive force; although no hammerhead shattered or chipped, high-speed footage showed particle dust flying in all directions, which presents an eye hazard.

Heat treatment is a method used to alter the physical, and sometimes chemical, properties of a material. ... A replica Colt 1873 revolver, showing case hardening colors on the frame Case hardening or surface hardening is the process of hardening the surface of a metal, often a low carbon steel, by infusing elements into the materials surface, forming a thin layer of a harder alloy. ...

Episode 68 — "Anti-Gravity Device"

December 6 is the 340th day of the year (341st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Antigravity

Anti-gravity is a hypothetical force that eliminates the effects of gravity on an object (as opposed to counteracting it). The MythBusters test various devices that claim to produce anti-gravity. Anti-gravity is the idea of creating a place or object that is free from the force of gravity. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
Anti-gravity is possible. Busted (for now) After testing various contraptions that were allegedly able to defy gravity, the MythBusters found that none of them could actually achieve "anti-gravity"; the contraptions (that did levitate) generated an upward force that balanced its downward gravitation. The myth was declared Busted (for now), because although they could bust the contraptions as anti-gravity machines, the idea of anti-gravity itself could not be busted through their tests.

Anti-gravity is the idea of creating a place or object that is free from the force of gravity. ...

Christmas Lights

Christmas tree fires are common during the winter holidays, and cause millions of dollars in damage annually in America alone. The MythBusters test one hypothesis on the cause of a Christmas tree fire.

Myth statement Status Notes
The heat generated by Christmas lights can ignite a Christmas tree. Busted After rigging a tinder-dry Christmas tree with 2500 C9 Christmas lights (for a total of 17.5 kW) and waiting for at least 40 minutes, the MythBusters were unable to get the tree to ignite by itself. Instead, they used an artificially created spark (simulating a short circuit) to set the tree on fire. Though the myth was busted, Adam and Jamie noted how quickly the tree caught on fire once it was ignited, warning viewers to be careful around their Christmas trees. Also, Adam and Jamie proved that you can overload a single extension cord with too many lights and making it short, which they theorize is the primary reason for Christmas tree fires.

Christmas lights (also sometimes called fairy lights, twinkle lights or holiday lights in the United States) are strands of electric lights used to decorate homes, public/commercial buildings and Christmas trees during the Christmas season. ... A Christmas tree from 1900. ... The watt (symbol: W) is the SI derived unit of power, equal to one joule per second. ... For alternate meanings see Short circuit (disambiguation) A short circuit (sometimes known as simply a short) is a fault whereby electricity moves through a circuit in an unintended path, usually due to a connection forming where none was expected. ...

Vodka Myths IV

Vodka can…

Myth statement Status Notes
…cure the pain of a jellyfish sting. Confirmed After receiving a sting from a jellyfish and then treating the wound with vodka, Kari noticed that most of the pain from the sting had disappeared. Vodka-based treatment seem to have worked about as well as the traditional warm water-based solution.

Orders Stauromedusae Coronatae Semaeostomeae Rhizostomae Jellyfish are marine invertebrates belonging to the Scyphozoan class. ...

Episode 69 — "22,000 Foot Fall"

December 13 is the 347th day of the year (348th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

22,000 Foot Fall

During World War II, an Allied airman, Alan Magee, fell out of the underside ball turret of his B-17 at 22,000 feet and survived. The MythBusters test one version of this story. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Alan Magee was an American airman during World War II who survived a 22,000 foot fall from his damaged B-17 Flying Fortress. ... The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is an American four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed for the US Army Air Corps (USAAC). ... Free Fall opens with one of the most stunning first paragraphs I have ever, or am ever likely to, read. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
A 22,000 foot fall is survivable if one falls through a glass ceiling, and a 1000-pound bomb explodes below oneself. Busted In both the small scale and full scale tests, the MythBusters observed that the shockwave from the blast had little effect on the speed of falling bodies. Also, the glass and metal fragments from the explosion would most likely kill the falling person if the fall itself does not.

Lights On/Off

Tory, Grant, and Kari visit the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department in California to see the Centennial Light. Livermore is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. ... Location of Pleasanton within Alameda County, California. ... The Centennial Light hanging in the Livermore, California Firehouse. ...

Myth statement Status Notes
Leaving a light on will save electricity. Busted Through numerous tests, the MythBusters calculated that the power surge from turning on a light would only consume as much power as leaving it on for a fraction of a second (except for fluorescent tube lights; the startup consumed about 23 seconds worth of power). Furthermore, the wear and tear of turning the light on and off repeatedly did not reduce the bulb's total life expectancy enough to offset the increased electricity usage. Therefore, it is far more economical to turn a light off rather than leaving it on.

External links

MythBusters
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Main Crew (The Mythbusters)
Adam SavageJamie Hyneman
Build Team (Junior Mythbusters)
Tory BelleciKari ByronGrant Imahara
Episode/Season Guides
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Pilots, Specials and Mini-mythsList of all episodes
Related articles
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