The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Special 19: Jawsome Shark Special

Premier Date: August 13, 2012

In this episode Adam and Jamie counted down their 25 favorite shark myths and trivia, some of which had not previously aired.

25. Fighting Back

Myth: Punching a shark in the nose will deter an attack.


Buster, then Jamie, then Adam each had a chance to drive sharks away by punching the snout and trying to gouge the eyes.

24. Super Senses

In addition to possessing acute senses, sharks can detect electromagnetic fields from their prey by using the ampullae of Lorenzini located in their snouts.

23. Chili

Myth: Spicy Salsa Shark Shield


Testing hot peppers as a shark repellent.

22. Magnets

Myth: Animal Magnetism


Magnets proved effective at repelling baby sharks, but not full-grown ones.

21. Dolphins

Myth: Supersize Shark


The presence of dolphins will deter sharks from attacking prey.

20. Super Strength

Myth: Jaws Special


A diving shark tethered to flotation barrels can pull them underwater and keep them submerged.

19. Super Strength

Myth: Jaws Special


A large shark swimming at maximum speed may be able to ram a boat with enough force to punch a hole in its hull.

18. Shark Stop

Myth: Sharks will die of asphyxiation if they do not keep moving at all times.


Although some can die in this manner, most cannot.

17. Ancient Relics

Myth: Sharks have existed for 400 million years with no changes in their body structure.


Although sharks have existed for that long, their current form emerged roughly 100 million years ago.

16. The Smell of Fear

Myth: Sharks can detect a single drop of blood


The sharks did not respond to human blood, but did notice a drop of fish blood diluted 1 million times. However, the volume of water in a typical pool would dilute the blood billions of times and make it even harder to detect.

15. Matching Sharks

Myth: All sharks have the same streamlined body shape and carnivorous feeding habits.


Adam and Jamie presented facts about shark species that do not fit one or the other of these traits.

14. The Yummy Hum

Myth: Supersize Shark


A particular sound frequency did not strongly attract sharks.

13. Dog’s Breakfast

Myth: Dog Bait


Building a robotic dog that could swim and release scents to match a real one. A dog owner volunteered to let the cast use his pet, but they decided not to take the risk of having a shark eat it.

12. Flapping Fish

Myth: Sharks are attracted to the sound of a flapping fish.


This test was stopped early for Jamie’s safety; he was in a child’s rubber boat with increasingly aggressive sharks closing in.

11. Untitled

Myth: Jaws Special


Jamie’s first time in a shark cage, testing the myth that it could be damaged or destroyed if a shark hit it at high enough speed.

10. Shark Bite

Various claims about the strength of a shark’s bite. Adam and Jamie built a bite force tester, but could not get any sharks to bite on it.

9. RC Shark


Inspired by the results of #22, Jamie tried to use a system of magnets to control the movements of a baby shark, without success.

8. Sandpaper Shark

Myth: Shark skin can be used as sandpaper.


The cast was able to use a piece of shark skin to smooth pieces of wood, first by hand and then with a rotary sander.

7. Black Powder Shark

Myth: Black Powder Shark


A myth inspired by the film Deep Blue Sea.

6. A Knight’s Tale

Myth: Full plate armor can protect a diver against sharks.


When Adam put on the armor and dived in, many sharks were attracted to him, possibly drawn by the electromagnetic fields due to the metal.

5. Yum Yum Yellow

Myth: Sharks are attracted to the color yellow.


The cast dropped several containers of bait painted in different colors, and ultimately found no difference in the number of sharks drawn to each.

(*This myth was originally shown as an online mini myth and described as “plausible.” The change in status was not clearly explained.)

4. Night Dive

Myth: Fatal Flashlight


The Build Team discussed having to dive at night.

3. Exploding Jaws

Myth: Jaws Special


Although the scuba tank failed to explode, the air pressure caused it to rocket around the test chamber in a way that could injure a shark or drive it away.

2. Play Dead

Myth: Playing Dead


Adam’s favorite shark moment, in which Grant and Tory had to jump into heavily chummed waters

1. Sharks Are Awesome

Adam and Jamie commented on the popular belief that sharks are evil creatures to be avoided at all costs. They pointed out the natural behavior of sharks, the high improbability of being attacked, and the large numbers that are killed every year to make shark fin soup.