The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 43: Seasickness – Kill or Cure?

Premier Date: November 18, 2005

Seasickness can be cured by using a cinnamon-flavored tongue spray.


The spray had no effect on Adam or Grant.

Seasickness can be cured by taking a ginger pill.


Both Adam and Grant made it through their spin-chair sessions without feeling ill.

Seasickness can be cured by using magnetized arm bands.


The arm bands had no effect on Adam or Grant. Some celebrities like Barry Manilow claim they work; they nonetheless do not operate on any valid scientific principles.

Seasickness can be cured by using an electroshock wrist band.


The shocks made Adam and Grant feel mildly uncomfortable and they still got sick.

Seasickness can be cured by using a placebo, like a vitamin or a sugar pill.


While Adam didn’t fall for it, Grant was successfully tricked into thinking he had taken a store-bought sea-sickness medication and did not throw up. Unfortunately, by falling for the placebo all his test results had to be thrown out on the grounds of psychosomatic influence.

It is more fuel efficient to drive your pick-up truck with its tailgate down, rather than up.


Driving with the tailgate down actually increased drag on the pick-up and caused it to consume fuel faster than the identical truck driven with the tailgate up. It was later revealed that the closed tailgate creates a locked vortex flow that created a smoother flow of air over the truck. With the tailgate down the trapped vortex was dissipated and the drag increased.

(This myth was revisited in episode 64 and re-busted. However, it was found that mesh tailgates are the most efficient configuration.)

A shotgun plugged by a human finger will backfire and explode injuring or killing the shooter instead of the intended victim.


Both test hands (composed of ballistics gel of varying firmness) were completely obliterated by the shotgun blast. Neither had the volume or strength needed to plug the barrel to create enough pressure to cause it to explode. Even under ridiculous circumstances like having the barrel clogged with dirt, being sealed off by a 4 inch spike welded into the barrel and by being blocked by a simulated squib load, the gun still didn’t explode. The best results seen were minor deformations in the gun barrel.

(This myth was revisited in episode 75 and it was re-busted.)