The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 5: Hammer Bridge Drop, Buried Alive, Cola

Premier Date: October 24, 2003

A high fall over water can be survived by throwing a hammer ahead of oneself and breaking the surface tension.


Dropping a hammer in front of you may break the surface tension, but it will not save your life because water is still too viscous to move out of the way quickly.

Cola is able to remove bloodstains.


The cola was able to emulsify bloodstains.

Cola is able to clean rust.


The cola was unable to break down rust deposits.

Cola is able to clean chrome.


It surprisingly cleaned the chrome better than the commercial chrome polish used for comparison.

Cola is able to dissolve a tooth overnight.


The tooth did start to dissolve, indicating that with enough time it could be completely dissolved. However, the acidic solution used for comparison was much more effective in dissolving the tooth.

Cola is able to dissolve steak.


The cola just gave the steak a soft, pasty consistency.

Cola is able to clean a penny.


Results were good. The only part of the coin that was not cleaned was an area where a bubble had formed.

Cola is able to clean battery terminals.


It works, but it was hard to tell if plain water did not perform just as well. The cola did not do anything spectacular.

Cola is able to remove greasy stains in your laundry.


No effect at all.

Cola is able to degrease engines.


The cola did not remove any of the grease.

Cola is able to kill sperm.


The MythBusters added cola to some slides and saline solution to others. They counted the number of live sperm they could see through a microscope camera in one minute, and found that the number of live sperm in both saline and cola was relatively the same. With the help of Dr. Turek they determined that cola doesn’t do much more than dilute the sperm.

It is possible to stay alive when you are buried alive.


Jamie risked his own life for this myth. While without the dirt Jamie stayed in the coffin for 50 minutes, he maintained just thirty minutes when the dirt was factored in. Suffocation from the lack of outside air would have claimed the life of anyone buried alive. There is also the possibility of the coffin being crushed by the weight of the dirt pressing down on it. The risk of sudden collapse was the main reason the test was aborted after only 30 minutes. After the coffin was uncovered, it was found to have buckled significantly.