The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 25: Brown Note, Water Torture

Premier Date: February 16, 2005

A person will be propelled violently backwards if hit by a bullet.


A bullet fired by a gun cannot hold enough momentum. According to Newton’s third law, if the bullet were to knock the target 20 feet (6 m) back, the similarly-sized shooter would have to be knocked back the same distance.

(This myth was revisited in episode 38 and it was busted again.)

The infrasonic brown note can cause a human to lose control of their bowels.


Even after testing a wide range of sub-audible and near-sub-audible noises on him, not once did Adam lose control of his bowels. Some discomfort was reported however, due to the effects of low-frequency sound on the lungs.

Chinese water torture can cause one to become insane.


The required torture equipment (and involuntary movement restrictions) is highly effective even without adding the discomfort of the water drip. The water drip itself, without the equipment, is almost negligible.