The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 213: Mythssion Impossible

Premier Date: February 15, 2014

It is impossible to herd cats.


Adam and Jamie visited a livestock farm to learn about the basics of animal herding. They were each able to guide a flock of six sheep along a course laid out in one of the pens, but noted that sheep’s natural instincts cause them to move in groups, while cats do not possess such a herding tendency.

At an indoor facility, they set up a small enclosure and tried to move 8 cats into it, but neither man could get them to move as a group. Adam resorted to carrying them one by one, only to have a cat escape as he brought the last one in; Jamie worked by intimidating them, but could only move 5 into the enclosure. Further attempts, using only 3 cats and a combination of toys, catnip, and startling noises/movements, also failed. A final test, with all 8 cats and a sheepdog, failed when the cats became aggressive and refused to move away from the dog’s advance.

It is impossible to catch a greased pig.


At a pig farm, the Build Team applied grease to several pigs and each member took a turn trying to catch one and move it into an 8-foot (2.4 m) diameter circle at the center of the pen. Kari completed the task in 55 seconds with a 25-pound (11 kg) pig, Grant in 2 minutes with one weighing 40 pounds (18 kg), and Tory in just under 5 minutes with a 150-pound (68 kg) pig.

The team declared the myth busted at this point, then started to design portable devices that could safely pick up and move the pigs. Kari formulated a feed mixture to use as bait and made a pair of fur-lined gloves to improve her grip; the pig ignored the bait, but she was able to easily grab and move the pig in 24 seconds. Grant’s device, consisting of long-handled pincers operated by a compressed-air tank on his back, proved unwieldy and difficult to aim; he took nearly 4 minutes to complete the task. Tory attached two suction cups to a vacuum-cleaner backpack, but was unable to get a strong enough grip to hold on to the pig within 5 minutes.

It is impossible to fit 10 pounds of poop into a 5-pound bag.


Adam weighed out 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of horse manure and sewed together a bag to hold that amount, while Jamie built a rig to compress the material, adding a long handle to an engine hoist for extra leverage. They were able to squeeze a large amount of water out of the manure and reduce it to nearly half its original volume.

Through a combination of compression and manual adjustments, they were able to squeeze a 10-pound (4.5 kg) quantity of manure into Adam’s bag and close it. However, the compressed material only weighed 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg), indicating that 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg) of water had been removed. Jamie considered this result to be in support of the myth, since the bag’s contents no longer weighed 10 pounds.