The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 11: Sinking Titanic, Goldfish Memory, Trombone Explosion

Premier Date: January 25, 2004

A goldfish’s memory lasts only three seconds.


Jamie trained his goldfish to recognize color patterns and complete an obstacle course under water. They remembered what Jamie had taught them over a month later and easily completed the same course without Jamie’s prompting.

A trombonist had put a firecracker into his mute, and at the final note of the 1812 Overture, launched the mute, striking the conductor and knocking him back into the audience. In addition, the bell of the trombone was blown wide open and the slide was launched.


Using a firecracker, the mute hit the conductor (Buster), but did not knock him over. When the equivalent of six model rocket engines were used, he fell forwards after being hit. When even more was used, the trombone was practically destroyed, but the bell still did not peel back, nor did the slide launch. Being completely unable to duplicate even the first part of the myth, the rest could not have followed.

(This myth was revisited in Myths Redux and it was re-busted.)

A sinking ship creates enough suction to pull you under, if you’re too close, as was rumored to occur when the RMS Titanic sank.


Though using a small ship, neither Adam nor Jamie were sucked under when it sank, even when they were riding directly on top of it.

(This result has been debated because the myth was not tested at full scale.)