The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Special 8: JAWS Special

Premier Date: July 17, 2005

If a pressurized scuba tank is shot, it will explode.


When the tank was punctured by a bullet it simply decompressed quickly, causing it to fly around like a compressed-air rocket. The team was only able to make the tank explode in the end by using explosives.

(This myth was revisited and re-busted in MythBusters vs. Jaws.)

A Great White Shark can pull barrels underwater.


A shark’s maximum striking force is great enough to pull the barrels under.

A Great White Shark can pull barrels underwater and hold them there.


The force a shark can generate in a continuous pull is insufficient to keep the barrels under water for a significant amount of time.

A Great White Shark can ram a dive cage with enough force to damage or destroy it.


The “ShaRammer”, a machine designed to simulate the force of a Great White Shark, penetrated the cage with enough force to rip a significant part of it loose and carry it away on its body. The cage was completely destroyed.

A Great White Shark can ram a boat with enough force to punch a hole in it.


A Great White has enough power to punch a hole in the side of a wooden boat under the right circumstances, but an example of this happening has never been documented.

A Great White Shark can pull a boat backwards with great enough speed that waves break over the rear end.


The same reason why the shark cannot hold the barrels underwater continuously.

Punching a shark in the nose, eyes, or gills will cause it flee or at least back off briefly.


The sharks punched by both a specially modified Buster and Jamie were driven off briefly and were hesitant about making repeated approaches. Strikes to the gills were noted to be more effective than strikes to the nose.

Sharks can be caught using a special piano wire. (from a deleted scene in Jaws)


Piano wire doesn’t have the tensile strength needed to be used as an adequate shark-catching lure.

The sequel to this episode has more shark myths: MythBusters Shark Week.