The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 126: Duct Tape Hour

Premier Date: October 14, 2009

It is possible to lift a 5,000 pound car using nothing but duct tape.


They MythBusters used many rolls of duct tape to attach a car to a metal beam, which was then hung from a crane. The car was lifted successfully, and was left suspended until the tape failed. The MythBusters pointed out that the tape tore before its adhesive properties failed.

It is possible to seal leaks in a boat using duct tape.


The MythBusters patched a damaged boat with duct tape and then floated it in San Francisco Bay. The tape managed to keep the boat afloat, with only minor signs of damage after forty minutes of use. Adam then decided to test whether duct tape can seal an existing leak while the boat is still in the water. Adam noted that it was more difficult to get the duct tape to stick underwater, but successfully patched the leak. However, the “emergency” fix wasn’t nearly as effective and the duct tape quickly failed. The MythBusters concluded that duct tape was a viable temporary repair method when applied in dry conditions.

It is possible to build a working sail boat out of nothing but duct tape.


The MythBusters built an entire sailboat using 690 square feet of duct tape for the hull and sail. They then took the boat, dubbed the Stuck on You, into San Francisco Bay. The duct tape boat showed no signs of failure, confirming the myth.

It is possible to build a working cannon out of nothing but duct tape.


The Build Team created a small scale test cannon using inch thick tiles of duct tape. Tests confirmed that the duct tape was strong enough to withstand a cannon blast. Next, they built a larger duct tape cannon having a two inch thick barrel. They compared the performance of this cannon to a conventional steel cannon. While it didn’t perform as well as the steel cannon, the duct tape cannon stayed intact and managed to successfully fire a cannonball.

A potato cannon constructed using duct tape will fire as well as one constructed with glue.


The Build Team took a regular potato cannon and cannon constructed with duct tape and fired them repeatedly to compare their performance. After measuring the average velocity of the potatoes as well as the distance traveled, the Build Team concluded that the duct tape and glue potato cannons were essentially identical.