12 Best Myths Tested By The Great Mythbusters Team

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When this past season of Mythbusters ended, so did an era. Tory Belleci, Kari Byron, and Grant Imahara, the erstwhile “Build Team,” are no longer part of the show. After Mythbusters started as a vehicle for Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, Tory, Kari, and Grant soon became an integral part of the show, handling their own myths in most episodes while bringing a unique energy and dynamic to the show. This trio will be missed, but in their decade on the show they tackled some tremendously fun myths. In honor of the Build Team’s tenure coming to an end, here are the best myths these three ever took on.

1. Can you take someone's hat off with a bullet?

When the team tried this scene, which was often seen in western movies, they noticed that the bullet had pierced directly through the hat. It was not possible to fly the cowboy hat with the gun. When the hat was targeted with a rifle, the bullet cores were also damaging the mannequin wearing the hat. It was, therefore, impossible for this scene to be realized.

2. Is it possible for one sniper to shoot another from the weapon sight?

This is one of the most common scenes in movies. Snipers target each other, one acts first and shoots the other from weapon sight, the bullet enters the other sniper's eye and kills him. Is this really possible? As a result of experiments of the Mythbusters team, it is discovered that the bullet had never actually gone straight after entering the rifle sight. So the bullet could not reach the sniper, it would just break the rifle sight.

3. Are elephants really afraid of mice?

We all know the persistent rumor that "the elephant hates the mouse above all other creatures." The MythBusters tried to scare the elephants by moving mice towards them and the presence of mice could really  startle the elephants.

4. Would mercury fulminate really explode like in Breaking Bad?

In Breaking Bad, Walt's machine gun booby trap could work as depicted. So the Mythbusters team attempted to replicate the explosion in the scene with 250-gram batch with a blasting cap. The resulting explosion completely blew the walls and ceiling apart and burst every rupture disc. However, much more mercury fulminate was required than used in the show and the team declared this myth busted.

5. Could you survive on a desert island with waterproof tape?

Jamie and Adam tried to do what they could do on a desert island with only waterproof tape. They managed to build a boat using tree branches and bands they brought. This kayak, which they made from waterproof tape, enabled them to escape from the island quite well.

6. Is it possible to hold a hand grenade for a long time after the pin has been removed?

As most people know, when a hand grenade's pin is pulled out, it does not fire unless the latch on the side is loosened. The Mythbusters team went out and tried to figure out how long a hand grenade could be held before it exploded. Adam Savage could keep a plastic grenade full of green paint for about 2 hours before it exploded. But after the first hour, his muscles became too tired and he had pain.

7. Could a car be driven through a chain link gate?

In movies, we often see that the chain link gates that are run over by cars open quickly. Is this scene actually possible? Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci, and Kari Byron, who tested it, saw that your car can really break a chain link door.

8. Will lying flat on a bomb protect other people from explosion?

Mythbusters did a video on whether this has any validity in real life science. We can see that the dummy performed better than the other devices in protecting the nearby test targets when put on an exploding bomb.

9. The Count of Monte Cristo: Can a sword cut off the blade of another sword?

The team tested this myth with a specially designed robot. In the end, though some swords managed to break the other, none were able to actually cut through another sword.

10. Can a match be lit by a bullet fired from a gun?

Adam and Jamie set up a .45 caliber pistol and aimed it at a match head. After several shots that either missed the match or destroyed the head entirely, they were able to make the bullet lightly graze the match head and ignite it. They commented on the high degree of accuracy needed to make this shot.

11. Is Leidenforst effect true?

When a liquid comes into contact with a surface or medium that is much hotter than the boiling temperature of that liquid, the surface of the liquid quickly comes to a boil and creates a thin layer of steam (if the liquid is water) that acts as a barrier between the liquid and the surface or medium which is called the Leidenforst Effect. The team confirmed it by sticking their hand into molten lead, by submerging it in water and then directly into the lead. The water on the hand quickly boils in the lead and creates a layer of gas that separates the molten lead from the skin. Of course, if you leave your hand in too long, the water evaporates away and you will most likely be maimed.

12. Could a horse pull the bars out a prison window lie in some Westers Movies?

After some research, Adam and Jamie built a replica of a period prison cell, complete with a barred window. However, when they tied a horse to the bars and attempted the pull them out, the bars did not budge. Two horses could not pull out the bars and neither could a motorized cart that was twice as strong as both horses combined. As a last ditch attempt, the MythBusters tried pulling the bars out using a thirty thousand pound crane. However, the steel beams bracing the wall failed before the prison bars did. Since not even a modern vehicle could pull the bars out of the window, it is unlikely that any number of horses could.

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