The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 99: Viewers’ Choice Special 2

Premier Date: February 13, 2008

It is possible to cut down a tree with a machine gun.


The build team obtained large pine tree trunks and set them up in the Mojave Desert. The trees were shot at using a Thompson submachine gun and a M249 SAW, but they remained standing. The .45 bullets were too slow and inaccurate, and the 5.56mm NATO rounds didn’t cause enough damage to fell the tree. However, when Kari used a M134D minigun that fired 7.62mm NATO at 50 rounds per second, the pine trunk fell down within a minute. A much denser mesquite tree was also cut in short order.

The reason baseball players wear black markings under their eyes is to help reduce glare from the sun.


Adam and Jamie put black eye paint under their eyes and took an eye exam, then repeated it with lighter, peach colored eye paint. Their scores were the same each time. Adam then set up a light meter in a dummy’s eye and recorded the lux reading in the eye with and without the paint, but the results weren’t significantly different. Adam then put a baseball cap on the dummy and repeated the experiment, and noticed that with the black eye paint on, the lux reading significantly dropped.

It is possible to escape a ski lift by sliding down the cable using one’s pants to create a zip line.


The build team went to a circus training center and tried to slide down a wire similar to the ones used in ski lifts while hanging onto pants. Tori barely moved, and the pants began to rip apart. Later, the build team tried it on a real ski lift and the friction was still too great. Buster gained no momentum at all and the pants eventually ripped.

A black powder fire can follow a trail of powder from a leaking barrel and travel up into the barrel, much like a cartoon.


Adam and Jamie first confirmed that a black powder trail will burn fully if ignited at one end. Later, they set up a robot to carried a leaking barrel, but when the ignited trail reached the robot it did not continue up the falling powder and into the barrel. It was only when they increased the size of the hole and had the barrel shaking that the ignition followed into the barrel.

One can unlock a car door by having its remote unlocker frequency transmitted though a cell phone call.


All attempts to unlock the car door via a cell phone call failed. In addition, Grant explained that car unlockers and cell phones operate on completely different frequencies.