6 Questions That Mythbusters Answered (That No-One Asked)

  • August 19, 2011
  • 30,239
  • Misc
  • Image Sources

Mythbusters, if you couldn’t gather from the name of the show, is a factual program about a bunch of scientists who go around busting myths like a real-life version of Snopes. However it may be the case that their definition of ‘myth’ is bit looser than many other peoples, seeing as some myths they test are so weird that you can’t help but think that even lunatics wouldn’t be stupid enough to ask such silly questions. Here are the best six examples of this that we could find. Go on; make up your own mind.


The Windshield-Penetrating Cup Myth

According to some people, if you throw a fully–filled soda cup from the window of a car travelling at highway speed, the cup will travel away from you with enough force to penetrate the windshield of the car behind you and kill the driver or the passenger.

However, it’s hard to actually imagine anybody who would ask such a question in the first place. Are there really groups of anarchists out there trying to destroy America’s symbol of consumerism, the automobile, using nothing more than, ironically, a manufactured cup (which they would have had to pay for) filled with the ultimate expression of the money-loving Western world: Coca-Cola? Do these people know that rocks are free? Or maybe it’s more international than this. Think about it: it’s not like you can trace soda back to its owner, and the chances of needing to attach a silencer to your cup are equally unlikely. The horrific truth, people, is that agents of the US government/Mossad/the New World Order/the Illuminati/Disney are travelling the world in their open-topped cars stealthily assassinating opponents using nothing more than a polystyrene cup filled with soda. And there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

the windshield

It’s either the soda cup or this. One is more subtle than the other.

Unless, of course, you have a windshield. Or skin thicker than air. It turns out that, shockingly, this myth isn’t possible at all and whilst the Mythbusters team did manage to do some damage to the windshield of the car they were aiming at, the cup itself didn’t have enough force to take the head of the driver off in one clean shot.


The Leather Cannon Myth

Man, what is this obsession with killing people with odd materials? If we weren’t thinking after the last entry that Mythbusters was a covert CIA laboratory for creating awesome/ridiculous weapons whose work kept accidentally getting broadcast on TV every week, make no mistake: we certainly are now. Nevertheless, this myth is basically as it says on the tin: is it possible to make a cannon out of leather? Diligently, the team endeavour to answer this question, without first answering the question on the lips of every viewer: what the hell?

the leather

Rather surprising (no, that’s not sarcasm either), they actually manage build a working cannon from leather, but surprisingly (this IS sarcasm), it doesn’t last more than one shot. No doubt a subsequent season will explore whether it’s possible to attach a sniper scope to a single-shot leather cannon, thus making that one shot more important. Until that point though, we guess all of those militant farmers will just have to make do with killing people via the traditional methods.

the leather1

We mean with these, if that wasn’t clear enough


The Exploding Jawbreaker Myth

It is a commonly-held fact of life that everyone, regardless of age, sex, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation, is in need of candy. Blame it on your parents or the candy companies themselves with their seductive commercials which promise that the caramel-coated Gutbreaker chocolate bar will not cause severe damage to every internal organ that it comes into contact with. But what if these tiny, delicious terrors have been trying to kill us for the past few years... in particular, the old schoolyard favourite, the jawbreaker?

the exploding


How, you may ask? What have we done to have candy forsake us in such a cruel way? The answer it seems is... nothing. Because in order to die from candy, you have to categorically be the stupidest person in the entire world, or to put it another way, the sort of person that thinks putting a jawbreaker into a microwave will NOT have unintended explosion-shaped consequences.


The ‘If It Doesn’t Come Off, Dynamite It’ Myth

No, before you ask: Mythbusters didn’t test whether strapping a buttload of TNT to the dirty washing pile of your frat house’s kitchen could miraculously result in everything being cleaned. That would actually have been a useful myth to bust, and this article isn’t about those ones, remember?

The myth basically asks “If you detonate a load of dynamite inside a cement mixer, would the resulting explosion be enough to remove all of the cement that’s solidified inside the truck’s barrel?” Really? Is the inevitable outcome of this not obvious to everybody, least of all the goddamn presenters, who routinely warn people that explosives are dangerous things to mess around with? No? Aw, screw it.

the if

It may come as a fantastically-humungous surprise to you, but blowing up Guy Fawlkes-esque levels of dynamite inside a vehicle (which a cement truck is at the end of the day, cement-mixing capabilities be damned), results in the thing being cleaned. But, that’s only if we redefine the word ‘cleaned’, as ‘blown to smithereens’.

The irony? The piece of cement they were trying to dislodge was found still stuck to what remained of the barrel.


The Immigrant Slingshot Myth

You know what it must suck to be? An illegal immigrant. There’s all that walking across burning hot deserts and trying not to die from exhaustion or dehydration or sunburn. And, to cap it all off at the end, you might not even manage to get into the country!

slingshot myth

This begs the question: how could you make this process 1000% more horrific than it already is? By firing yourself over the US border in a homemade catapult! That’s the myth that was diligently tested in this episode, and for reasons that have yet to be revealed, the whole hour-long episode was dedicated to exploring this one single myth. You may be asking though, how would you have done it quicker, oh great and mighty Weirdworm? Well, we would have simply built a working catapult, fired a dummy from it, and just simply watched as it exploded into a thousand tiny pieces of fake body after we realised that no-one would be waiting on the other side of the border with a goddamn blanket or trampoline to catch these poor crazy bastards.

slingshot myth1

And that’s without even bringing in the effects of wind strength and direction


The Indestructible Tissues Myth

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you were delivering a vast amount of paper to an office complex in a car and that car then crashes, the paper inside will not be shattered or broken in the same way that pottery or glass would be.

Without needing to go into complex discussions about material strength and density and pressure intensities, just accept that paper doesn’t goddamn shatter.

But, apparently not many people know this simple elementary school-era fact. It’s no wonder then that Mythbusters decided to put an end to this myth once and for all by proving that a box of tissues placed in the back windshield of a car will not be destroyed in the event of a crash.

However, note the operative word ‘crash’ there; they weren’t discussing the impact of fire upon a goddamn cardboard box because that, like the scenario they were testing, is a simply foregone conclusion. Oh, and just if you were interested, a tissue box thrown from the back shelf of the car will also be unable decapitate you in the event of a crash. Sorry, assassins. This hasn’t been a good article for you, has it?

tissues myth


Written by Jenna Brockway – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com

Image Sources

Image sources:

  • - The Windshield-Penetrating Cup Myth: http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/3829/imagesca6zjd89.jpg
  • - The Leather Cannon Myth: http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/4875/confusedface.jpg http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/1692/l247b.jpg
  • - The Exploding Jawbreaker Myth: http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/1009/timebombjawbreakers.jpg
  • - The ‘If It Doesn’t Come Off, Dynamite It’ Myth: http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/7755/explosivewarningsticker.jpg http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/7755/explosivewarningsticker.jpg
  • - The Immigrant Slingshot Myth: http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/8690/8408250034large.jpg
  • - The Indestructible Tissues Myth: http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/7858/gun20pointed20at20you20.jpg