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The cast of the television series MythBusters perform 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 either Busted, Plausible, or Confirmed).
Can an airplane toilet create enough suction to cause a person to become stuck on it?
Can a can of biscuit dough explode in a hot car?
Can a person throw himself through a skyscraper window?
Can a person take to the skies using only a lawn chair and weather balloons?
Can someone test positive for heroin by eating a large amount of poppy seeds?
Can being painted with gold paint actually be deadly?
A car with a JATO rocket attached can speed up to 300 miles per hour (480 km/h), become airborne, and impact with the side of a cliff.
Adam and Jamie could not acquire real JATO rockets from the Air Force, and instead used three amateur rocket motors of equivalent power to one JATO rocket. The rockets increased the speed of the car (a 1967 Chevrolet Impala) considerably. Although no speed measurement was made, the speed was clearly nowhere near the 300 mph suggested in the myth. The car also did not become airborne. This myth was revisited in the Supersized Myths special and retested in the 2013 season premiere celebrating 10 years on the air.
Eating and drinking large quantities of Pop Rocks and cola will cause one's stomach to explode.
Not enough carbon dioxide was produced by the reaction to make a stomach explode. However, with six 12-US-fluid-ounce (350 ml) cans of cola and six packages of Pop Rocks, the subject would experience considerable pain. This was also done at a special presentation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Also, in a similar myth dealing with Diet Coke and Mentos, it was learned that the simple act of drinking the soda released most of the carbon dioxide in it, rendering the reaction between soda and Mentos (or Pop Rocks) much less powerful than normal.
The MythBusters were unable to get a perfect seal on a modern airplane toilet, and a properly working toilet provides suction for only a few seconds. Even then, the 3-pound-per-square-inch (21 kPa) suction is not beyond human ability to overcome.
Note: This was the first myth Kari Byron participated in testing, serving as the model for the buttocks which were then supersized for the mold. (Remembered with new comments by Kari as part of the Top 25 Moments special episode in 2010.)
A woman was struck in the head with an exploding tin of biscuit dough, believing that she was in fact struck by a bullet.
The dough can blow out of many types of biscuit cans at a car's internal temperature of 150 °F (66 °C) with enough force to potentially strike the driver of the car in the back of the head, and has a texture and consistency when thawed that can be mistaken for brain matter by the average person. However, no one can actually verify the incident actually occurred. This myth has inspired two spin-off myths: Aerosol Bazooka and Biscuit Bazooka Spinoff.
Adam Savage went up in the MythBusters' rig, which was a lawn chair with 16 plastic weather balloons attached, and went up to the maximum height that could be obtained with the safety ropes attached, 75 feet (23 m). He safely descended by shooting out some of the balloons. The actual event behind the myth was verified by documents provided by the FAA.
Adam tested positive within half an hour of eating a large cake, while Jamie tested positive two hours after consuming three bagels. The two remained positive eight hours after ingestion, but tested negative the next morning (about 18 hours). Heroin is a semi-synthetic opiate made from morphine. If a test is sensitive enough, it can generate a false positive simply by detecting the opium alkaloids from the seeds. Lawsuits have actually been filed and settled due to this phenomenon.
After being covered in gold latex paint from head to toe for over an hour, Jamie reported a slight (and temporary) flu-like feeling and blood pressure increase of 20 mmHg (140/110), but easily surviving. He was denied permission by medical advisers to run on a treadmill, citing blood pressure and body temperature. The myth stated that the actress portraying the gold plated woman in Goldfinger, Shirley Eaton, died as well, although her appearance in the episode busted that part of the myth. Because of the myth, Shirley Eaton was not fully covered in paint, and a section of her stomach was left unpainted, which was concealed as she lay on the bed. This myth was revisited in the 2004 Myths Revisited episode, and echoes a similar aluminum-painted actor health scare included in the 2005 episode "Hollywood on Trial". (That was myth tested about the health scare about The Tin Man's early actor who supposedly died or got sick due to the aluminum paint of the costume. Kari Byron was the test subject for this myth, but she turned out all right.)