The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 6: Lightning Strikes Tongue, Tree Cannon, Beat the Breath Test

Premier Date: November 7, 2003

Metal body piercings increase one’s chances of being hit by lightning.


The lightning does seem to strike a pierced body more, but not the piercings directly. It would take a piercing the size of a doorknob to attract lightning.

Under siege from a neighboring clan, a medieval Hungarian town (Paks) built a cannon out of a tree overnight, but wiped out a great deal of itself when the cannon exploded during a test-fire.

partly confirmed

It is impossible to bore a barrel out of a log in a single night using the technology available at that time. The cannon made of a log, loaded with 6 ounces of gunpowder, successfully fired a 1-pound granite cannonball a significant distance (exact measurement unavailable since the cannonball was not found). Loaded with 5 pounds of gunpowder, and with its barrel plugged, the tree cannon exploded violently enough to feasibly destroy part of a small medieval town like Paks. During the test, several blast shields and a tractor were placed between the cannon and the MythBusters crew for protection – large pieces of the gun were sent way behind them.

Using various substances and tricks (eating an onion, eating breath mints, drinking mouthwash, placing a penny in the mouth, etc.) when drunk can allow someone to beat the breathalyzer test.


None of the tested methods worked and a blood sample can always be requested by the police. In addition, mouthwash actually made the breathalyzer give a higher reading than usual because of the inherent alcohol content.