The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 88: Trail Blazers

Premier Date: October 31, 2007

If the trail of gas from the leaking gas tank of a moving vehicle is lit, the fire can catch up to the tank and blow up the car.

busted

Through small scale tests, the MythBusters discovered that gas burns at just over 3 miles per hour, which is as fast as a brisk walk. Next, they lit leaking gas trails from both a remote control car and a regular pickup, and the flame did not catch up to either. A car going at the low speed of 20 miles per hour could easily outrun the stream of fire. Finally, they let the gas catch up to the tank, and it did not explode. In order to create an explosion, the Mythbusters filled the tank with enough gasoline to get an ideal fuel/air mixture for combustion. Even so, they could not make the gas tank explode so this myth was completely busted.

One can outrun a trail of burning gunpowder and kick the trail out before the burning powder reaches its explosive destination.

confirmed

In large scale testing, an even trail of gunpowder was laid out on a plywood floor. Adam outran the fire and kicked out the trail with plenty of time to spare. Jamie gave it a shot, but Adam hindered his attempt and the powder reached the end. The tests showed that the igniting gunpowder did not move very fast, with Adam showing that a brisk walk is enough to overtake the flame. The team finished by blowing up a keg of gunpowder. Adam called this explosion “the best we’ve ever done”.

A defibrillator can burn someone if the electricity arcs with an underwire bra.

plausible

Though the bra did cause a burn, it was only when the wire was exposed and the paddles were placed very close together and close to the exposed wire. This would not be likely in normal circumstances as the paddles would never be placed so closely together and medical staff are trained to remove possible obstructions before using a defibrillator.

A defibrillator can burn someone if the electricity arcs with a nipple piercing.

plausible

Though the nipple piercing did cause a severe burn, it was only when the paddles were placed very close together and close to the piercing. This would not be likely in normal circumstances as the paddles would never be placed so close together and medical staff are trained to remove possible obstructions before using a defibrillator.