The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 133: Antacid Jail Break

Premier Date: December 2, 2009

It is possible to bust out of a jail cell by trapping the gas released from a large stockpile of antacid tablets and water.


Adam and Jamie began with small scale tests to measure the volume of gas created by antacid tablets and the pressure that the gas would exert in a confined space. They were able to observe pressures of 20-40 psi and explained that even though that may not seem like a lot, it could create a tremendous force when distributed over a large surface. For the full scale test, the MythBusters built a mock prison cell using cinder blocks and mortar. The roof was concrete with steel rebar and the door was 1.25 inch bullet-resistant, transparent plastic. Adam and Jamie used plastic sheets and tape to create a bubble that would trap in the carbon dioxide gas from the antacid reaction. They used 22,000 antacid tablets (calculated as 2 tablets per meal over 10 years) and a standard water faucet. They soon released that their plastic bubble had a leak and the pressure inside the cell was not increasing. They decided to try one more time and upped the ante by using the equivalent of 100,000 antacid tablets of raw chemicals. They also installed a large water pipe in the ceiling to speed up the reaction. This time, the pressure in the cell rose to about 4 psi and the cell door was deformed enough by the pressure that a large leak opened. Although this result was somewhat promising, there was also the issue of whether this situation would be survivable. Adam explained that the prisoner would likely suffocate if inside the plastic bubble or be crushed by the pressure if outside the plastic bubble, so the myth was declared busted.

It is possible to smuggle contraband across borders by driving at night, at speed, without headlights.


Grant, Tori, and Jessi went to an indoor go-kart course to see if they could drive in the dark. They added some signs and obstacles to better simulate a real road. Each of them first drove the course with their headlights on to get a control time. Next, they each attempted to drive the course in darkness. They sat in the dark for 20 minutes beforehand to let their eyes adjust. The results were not good: Grant went the wrong way, Jessi crashed, and Tori finished but had to drive extremely slowly. Tori also tried driving the course while wearing night-vision goggles. Although he could drive fairly well, his lack of peripheral vision and depth of field allowed him to be caught by the police (played by Jessi).