The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 59: Crimes and Myth-Demeanors 2

Premier Date: August 23, 2006

The optical fingerprint reader the Mythbusters installed can be fooled by a copy of an approved fingerprint etched in latex.

confirmed

Licking the latex sample (to simulate sweat) was enough to fool the scanner.

(This was the only method that also fooled the Mythbusters’ computer-based biometric sensor.)

The optical fingerprint reader the Mythbusters installed can be fooled by a ballistics gel copy of an approved fingerprint.

confirmed

Licking the gel sample (to simulate sweat) was enough to fool the scanner.

The optical fingerprint reader the Mythbusters installed can be fooled by a paper copy of an approved fingerprint.

confirmed

Licking the paper sample (to simulate sweat) was enough to fool the scanner.

A heat detector can be fooled by cooling the body down using a CO2 fire extinguisher.

busted

Not only was the sensor not fooled, using a fire extinguisher on a person is dangerous.

A heat detector can be fooled by a neoprene diving suit.

busted

The neoprene suit did insulate body heat from its surroundings, until the suit itself warmed up.

A heat detector can be fooled by being covered in mud.

busted

Like the neoprene suit, it only worked until the mud warmed up from body heat. Also, Tory left behind mud tracks while attempting this.

A heat detector can be fooled by heating the room to body temperature.

busted

Heating the room from the ceiling immediately set off the sensor, while heating the room from the ground did not. However, the sensor was still sensitive enough to detect the difference between human body temperature and the ambient temperature.

A heat detector can be fooled by wearing a highly insulated fire proximity suit.

confirmed

The suit blocked the body heat, preventing the sensor from seeing the wearer. However a small breach in the suit triggered the sensor when pointed towards it.

A heat detector can be fooled by placing glass between the intruder and the sensor.

confirmed

Glass blocks out infrared light (i.e. heat).

An ultrasonic motion detector can be fooled by wearing thick-padded clothing.

busted

The sensor was still able to pick up Kari’s movement.

An ultrasonic motion detector can be fooled by holding a bedsheet in front of you.

confirmed

The bedsheet absorbed enough of the ultrasonic waves to mitigate any return signals.

An ultrasonic motion detector can be fooled by moving extremely slowly.

confirmed

Although it took Kari 20 minutes to cross a relatively short hallway, she moved slow enough to stay below the detector’s sampling threshold.

A thief can drill into a safe with a thermal lance, fill the safe with water, and detonate an explosive inside without damaging the items inside or prematurely activating the glass relocker.

plausible

Drilling into a safe using thermal rods takes far longer than the myth states. Also, the heat from the thermal rods completely destroyed the items inside. Secondly, the safe was not watertight and had to be sealed from the inside in order to completely fill it with water. Finally, even though the explosion successfully dislodged the safe door, none of the items inside remained intact. It was deemed plausible for historical precedent and police reports, even though the MythBusters themselves could not replicate any of the conditions.