The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 23: Exploding House

Premier Date: November 16, 2004

Overusing bug bombs can explode a house.


A house actually exploded in San Diego, California because a family used too many bug bombs and an accidental spark ignited the chemicals in the air, as the MythBusters were able to prove in their test.

Talking helps plants grow.


Seven small greenhouses were set up on the M5 Industries roof. Four were set up with stereos playing endlessly looping recordings (as having the MythBusters actually talk to the plants could contaminate the samples with their expelled carbon dioxide): Two of negative speech, two of positive speech (Kari and Scottie each made one positive and one negative soundtrack), a fifth with classical music and a sixth with intense death metal music. A seventh greenhouse, used as a control sample, had no stereo. The greenhouses with the recordings of speech grew better than the control, regardless of whether such talk was kind or angry. The plants in the greenhouse with the recording of classical music grew better, while the plants in the greenhouse with the recording of intense death metal grew best of all.

Modern technology can render the phrase “like finding a needle in a haystack” obsolete.


Adam and Jamie compete against each other in a contest to bust an old adage. While Jamie teamed up with Christine and Scottie in a machine known as Dante’s Inferno which burned the hay to leave the needles behind, Adam, Kari, and Tory used the Needlefinder 2000, a machine that relied on water to separate needles from the hay (in the theory that needles would sink in water while hay floated). Each team had to locate four needles among ten bales of hay – three of steel of varying sizes and one of bone. While it is possible to find a needle in a haystack, even using specialized machines to do so takes a considerable amount of time, particularly since bone needles can’t be picked up by magnets. The task is difficult enough to still make the saying viable.