The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 78: Walking on Water

Premier Date: April 25, 2007

Ninjas have the ability to run across water.


To test this myth, Adam tried various special shoe designs, including Mizu gumo, which were meant to increase the his surface area on the water or increase his buoyancy. However, the shoes either failed to keep Adam afloat or made too much noise as he tried to cross the body of water. Jamie then created a Non-Newtonian fluid from a mixture of water and corn starch, which made the water solid enough for Adam to run across unaided. However, it is unlikely that ninjas had access to large amounts of corn starch, so the myth was busted.

Ninjas can catch arrows in midair.


To start off, Jamie fired arrows blunted with tennis balls while Adam tried to catch them. Though it took several tries, Adam did manage to catch the arrows flying through the air. However, these arrows were only moving at a third of the speed as a normal arrow. In order to test a full speed arrow, Adam and Jamie built an artificial hand that could close with both human and superhuman speed. The artificial hand managed to catch the arrow easily in superhuman speed, but the human strength setting was just not powerful enough to grip the arrow in time.

(This myth was revisited in Return of the Ninja and it was busted again.)

Ninjas can catch a sword in between their bare palms.


To test this myth, the build team constructed a machine to swing a sword as well as a pair of artificial hands to try and catch it. However, during their tests, the hands were simply not fast enough to catch the sword, plus they suffered damage as they attempted to stop the blade. When they consulted an expert, he pointed out that it would be more prudent to either block or dodge the sword rather than trying to catch it with your bare palms. He did show that with the use of Ninja Shuko Climbing Claws, he could easily block a sword with a single hand.