The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Pilot 3: Larry’s Lawn Chair Balloon, Poppy Seed Drug Test, Goldfinger

Premier Date: March 7, 2003

Covering your body in gold paint can kill you by skin asphyxiation like in the James Bond movie Goldfinger.


Jamie was covered in gold paint from head to toe and lasted over an hour without reporting any major ill effects, besides a slight (and temporary) flu-like feeling, as he described it. The myth stated that the actress portraying the gold plated woman in Goldfinger, Shirley Eaton, died as well. Ms. Eaton did survive the filming of Goldfinger and went on to appear in many more feature films and a segment for the show in which she confirmed she was still alive.

(This myth was revisited and re-busted in Myths Revisited.)

Could Larry Walters have flown a lawn chair by means of weather balloons, and descend safely by means of an airgun?


Adam went up in the MythBuster’s rig, which was a lawn chair with 16 plastic weather balloons attached, and went up to the maximum height that could be obtained with the safety ropes attached, 75 feet (22.5 m). He safely descended by shooting out some of the balloons. The actual event behind the myth was verified by documents provided by the FAA.

Eating poppy seed bagels or poppy seed cake can cause one to test positive for heroin and/or opium on a drug test.


Heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid made from Morphine. If a test is sensitive enough it can generate a false positive simply by detecting the poppy seeds. Lawsuits have actually been filed and settled due to this phenomenon.