The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 4: Penny Drop, Deadly Microwaves, Radio Tooth Fillings

Premier Date: October 17, 2003

A penny dropped from a skyscraper lands with enough force to either kill a pedestrian on the sidewalk below or embed itself into the sidewalk.


A penny’s total mass is not sufficient to perforate human skin – let alone penetrate concrete or asphalt – even when fired from a rifle.

It is possible to pick up radio signals through a tooth filling.


The tooth filling did not act as an antenna.

It is possible to cook one’s insides by using a tanning booth too often.


Tanning booths work on UV radiation, which penetrates the body from the outside in, meaning that all one would get is a sunburn.

It is possible to blow up a microwave oven by microwaving metal.


Neither a spoon nor a fork had any effect. Tinfoil scrunched into balls caused a light-show with electric charges, but the microwave did not explode. Microwaving metal can ruin a microwave by arcing against the inner wall, sending electricity back to the magnetron and destroying it.

If a glass of water is microwaved, and then removed, it will explode due to superheating.


If the water had no impurities in it at the time of superheating – if one used distilled water – then any sort of additive placed within will make the water explode.

(The term “explode” is used loosely. The water violently boils over the edge of the container, which can be very dangerous.)

If you put a poodle in the microwave, it will dry its fur.

not tested

Adam and Jamie thought this myth was too cruel to test on a live animal, and did not carry it out.