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MythBusters Episode 27: Exploding Porta-Potty, Car Pole-Vault

Premier Date: March 2, 2005

Lighting a cigarette in a porta-potty filled with methane gas will cause an explosion.


Not enough gas is produced by the decomposing waste in the porta-potty for it to possibly be flammable. A person would need to be in a tightly sealed porta-potty filled with thick methane gas in order for it to be flammable. By the time the gas was thick enough in the air to become flammable the person would have long-since passed out from asphyxiation. Larger amounts of decomposing waste can produce more gas, and sewer gas explosions are a known safety hazard.

A broken drive shaft dragging on the ground can cause a car to pole vault end-over-end if it strikes a pothole.

partly busted

A car cannot be made to go end-over-end by striking a pothole with the drive shaft. The back end of the car can be lifted, but the likelihood of an event like this happening is extremely improbable. More likely is that the drive shaft would be forced into the trunk.