The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 124: Car vs. Rain

Premier Date: June 17, 2009

Driving a convertible with the top down in the rain at a high speed will ensure that no water can enter the driver compartment.

plausible (but not recommended)

The MythBusters first performed several small scale tests, using a model car and a wind tunnel, and found that at higher speeds, a sort of air bubble seemed to form around the driver compartment, giving credence to the myth. In their full scale test, they used an actual convertible as well as a 200 foot rain bar to provide the rain. In a control test, they stopped the convertible in the middle of the rain to put up the top, and the interior was soaked. Then they drove through the rain at 70 mph (113km/hr), and saw that the interior was significantly less wet than the control. Next, they then drove the car through the rain at 90 mph (145km/hr) and saw that the interior was not wet at all. The MythBusters attributed this to the car’s windshield, which served its function as well as creating an air bubble over the interior of the car. However, they decided to declare the myth “plausible, but not recommended” due to the inherent danger of driving at such high speeds on wet roads.

You can pop popcorn instantly by detonating a propane tank.


The Build Team placed popcorn kernels on top of the propane tank and detonated it with high explosives. The explosion failed to cook or pop any of the popcorn kernels because the blast blew the kernels away before they could absorb enough heat.

You can pop popcorn instantly by igniting dairy creamer.


The Build Team loaded popcorn kernels into a cannon filled with flammable dairy creamer and ignited it, but this failed to pop any of the kernels. As with the propane, the speed and energy of the fireball dispersed, but did not cook, the popcorn kernels.

You can use a plane-mounted 5 megawatt laser to cook popcorn, and when using enough popcorn, it can expand with enough strength to break open a house. (Based on a scene from the movie Real Genius.)


Since a 5 megawatt laser doesn’t currently exist, the Build Team used a 10 watt laser and still successfully popped a kernel. Even though this proved that lasers could pop popcorn, there currently isn’t a laser powerful enough to cook such a large amount, so the Build Team resorted to using a large pan to cook popcorn through induction. They then placed a panel representing the wall and window of a house over the pan to see if the popcorn could break through it. However, the popcorn lacked the power to push through the window. They also tested the expansion potential of already-popped popcorn by loading popcorn into a small model house and using a piston on the floor to push up on the popcorn until the house’s roof broke. This, however, required several tons of force, much more than the popcorn can create itself via popping.