The Ultimate MythBusters Summary


The MythBusters tested over 1,000 distinct myths in 271 hour-long episodes spanning 14 years, resulting in a vast amount of information about common myths and interesting phenomena. The following overview attempts to summarize and categorize the results of the entire MythBusters series as succinctly as possible.

Table of Contents

Counterintuitive Phenomena

Idioms

Movie Myths

Hollywood movies were a frequent source of myths for the MythBusters.

Television

Implausible Events

Crime & Criminals

  • Driving at night without headlights is not an effective way to smuggle contraband.
  • A car door cannot be unlocked using a tennis ball to force air into the lock.
  • Some optical fingerprint readers can be fooled by a fingerprint etched in latex, a fingerprint in ballistics gel, and a paper copy that has been licked.
  • A heat detector can be fooled using a sheet of glass or a fire proximity suit. It will not be fooled by cooling one's body or heating the room, by being covered in mud, or by wearing a diving suit.
  • A motion detector can be fooled by moving very slowing or by holding a bed sheet in front of you, but not by wearing heavily-padded clothing.
  • Laser beam detectors cannot be dodged using night vision goggles or cosmetic powder to reveal them, or by pointing another laser at the detector.
  • A thief may be able to fill a safe with water and open it using an explosive, without damaging the contents.
  • A police speed radar/lidar cannot be beaten by: jingling a set of keys, hanging a disco ball or CDs from the rear-view mirror, covering hubcaps with foil, lining the license plate with LEDs, using a magnetron, releasing tin foil as chaff, or painting the car matte black.
  • Climbing an air duct using magnets or suction cups is possible, but too noisy to be useful. Suction cups could also be used to climb a building.
  • Glass cannot be silently cut open by gently cutting a circle and removing it with a suction cup, but drilling a hole does work without too much noise.
  • A pressure sensor under an item could be carefully squeezed with knife and then held down with tape while the item is taken.
  • A modern safe cannot be cracked using a stethoscope, but it could be cracked by drilling a hole and visually aligning the tumblers.

Weather & Natural Phenomena

Physical Sciences & Conundrums

Household & Everyday

Food & Drink

Toilets and Bodily Functions

Germs & Health

Cars & Driving

Aviation & Aircraft

Boats

Sports & Outdoors

Animals

Human Behavior & Physiology

Physical Feats

War & Armaments

Guns & Bullets

Explosives & Explosions

Unusual Materials & Uses

Historical Feats