The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 245: Reddit Special

Premier Date: February 27, 2016

In this episode, the MythBusters investigated myths suggested by users of the social news website Reddit.

A fart can be seen using thermal imaging technology. (This myth was based on a viral video.)


Adam built a “fancy fart maker” consisting of an air chamber surrounded by a human-temperature water bath. When triggered, the machine would emit a burst of the warm air from a whoopee cushion. Jamie observed with a thermal camera and noticed a heating of the whoopee cushion but he was unable detect the gas due to its low density. Adam and Jamie judged the myth busted and explained how the original video was likely faked: by triggering a container of compressed gas hidden between the legs, which would cool upon entering the atmosphere and register on the camera. They further explained that it could have been a better fake if steam was used, which would have more realistically registered as warm.

A person inside an inflatable zorb ball (A.K.A. hamster ball) can survive a 1,000-foot (300-meter) fall.


Adam and Jamie attached “shock watch” stickers to Buster calibrated to register fatal impacts of 50 g to the head and 100 g to the chest. For the control test, Jamie watched from the ground as Adam rode with Buster in a helicopter. Adam kicked (an unprotected) Buster out of the helicopter onto a target area. Buster hit the ground at an estimated 120 miles per hour (190 km/h), tripping all the stickers and indicating a lethal impact.

Adam and Jamie then loaded Buster into the inflatable ball and suspended it from the helicopter by a tether with a quick-release latch. When Busters was dropped from the same height as the control, his impact velocity was reduced to 56 miles per hour (90 km/h) due to the increased air resistance, but all the shock stickers were tripped again. A final attempt with Buster further cushioned by layers of bubble wrap stuffed inside the ball gave the same result and led Adam and Jamie to call the myth busted.

It is easy to punch one’s way out of a paper grocery bag.


Jamie constructed an oversized paper bag with the same proportions as a normal grocery bag but tall enough for Adam to stand in. Adam conducted experiments with a load cell to determine the force needed to break through a piece of paper. When the paper was held rigidly in place, he needed 35 pounds-force (160 N) to break it. However, with the paper left hanging from one edge, he was unable to deliver more than 0.5 pounds-force (2.2 N) because the paper simply swung away on contact.

After taking introductory lessons on punching technique at a boxing gym, Adam was able to deliver a maximum of 593 pounds-force (2,640 N) with his punch. In a boxing ring, the oversized bag was placed upside down over Adam. Wearing boxing gloves, Adam attempted to punch his way out as quickly as possible. He found it surprisingly difficult because the bag deformed around his punches rather than breaking. After three attempts he recorded times 1:22, 1:04, and 1:14 to break free. A fourth trial without the gloves resulted in a time of only 2 seconds because the force of his punches was concentrated over the smaller surface area of his bare knuckles. This last result led him and Jamie to declare the myth confirmed.

The MythBusters blow up a giant glitter-filled Snoo.


For the episode finale, Adam and Jamie chose to combine two suggestions: detonating a glitter bomb, and blowing up the Reddit mascot Snoo. At the bomb range, they set up a giant inflatable Snoo, packed it with 300 feet (91 m) of detonating cord along with bags of glitter and paint. The explosion quickly destroyed the Snoo and provided colorful high-speed footage.