The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 44: Paper Crossbow

Premier Date: January 11, 2006

A prison inmate can kill another inmate across the hall using a crossbow made of newspaper.


Jamie and Adam built separate crossbows for the myth and fired a few shots each. Testing proved that it is possible to kill someone using a paper crossbow, but it would require a precise shot to a vital spot (like a major blood vessel in the neck), which is difficult with improvised weapons such as a paper crossbow. The crossbows each became useless after a few shots, further showing that the shooter would have only a single shot to hit a vital spot.

Vodka can remove cigarette smoke smell from clothes.


There was a noticeable difference between the control jacket and one sprayed with vodka before washing. Grant described the control jacket as having an “ok smell” to it, while on the vodka jacket he couldn’t detect any such smell.

Vodka can kill bees like an insecticide.


The control water killed more bees (2) than vodka, which failed to kill any. The bees sprayed with water went into a comatose-like state and awoke later the next day when they dried off. The bees sprayed with Vodka showed no ill effects at all.

Vodka can be used as a bathroom cleaner.


Vodka proved to be less effective than a commercial bathroom cleaner, but still serviceable.