The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 96: Lead Balloon

Premier Date: January 23, 2008

You cannot fly a lead balloon.


Adam and Jamie constructed a cube-shaped balloon with approximately 2 meter edges using lead foil. Even without pure helium inside it (a mixture containing air was used), the balloon had enough buoyancy to lift a basket weighing several pounds.

You can surf on a wave generated by explosives.


The Build Team tried several depths and found that you get the best waves from an explosion at a depth of 12 feet. They then used a couple hundred pounds of TNT and a mechanical surfer (built by Grant) to see if you could generate a wave large enough to be surfed. Even with two hundred pounds of high explosives, the wave wasn’t large enough for surfing. A consultant they asked about the survivability of the explosion stated that an explosion of that magnitude would likely kill you (from internal bleeding) within 24 hours if you were submerged in the water at the time.