The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 138: Soda Cup Killer

Premier Date: March 24, 2010

A Styrofoam cup filled with soda, tossed from a car moving at highway speed, is capable of piercing another car’s windshield and killing its driver.


Adam and Jamie first fired several different mixes of soda and ice out of an air cannon to measure which was capable of delivering the most force. They found that slush was the most effective mix. To simulate an oncoming vehicle, they built a test rig in front of the air cannon with a windshield and with Buster as the driver. In a test shot at 40 miles per hour, the cup was able to crack the windshield. At the full 60 miles per hour, the cup pierced the windshield, but did not retain enough momentum to be lethal to Buster. Finally, they decided to repeat the test using aluminum soda cans. While the cans pierced the windshield more effectively, Adam was unable to hit the windshield accurately enough to hit Buster. They also tried using a shoulder mounted air cannon, but still could not hit the windshield accurately enough. With only one windshield left, the MythBusters fired at the windshield at point blank range, “killing” Buster. However, since the cup lacked the power to harm Buster, the myth was declared Busted.

A person can hang off the edge of a building or cliff indefinitely.


The Build Team first tried to hang off the edge of a building with three inches of space to hold on to. All three members could only hold on for roughly one minute. They then reduced the grip space to one inch. Now Jessi could only hold on for thirty seconds, while Grant could not get a grip at all and instantly fell. Aaron, an expert, showed that he could hold on to an inch of space for roughly forty seconds and half an inch of space for fourteen seconds. However, nobody could hold on to the edge indefinitely. The Build Team concluded that the only way one could be saved in this situation is if help arrived very quickly.

A person can hang off the landing skid of a moving helicopter and successfully climb into the helicopter.


Because hanging off of an actual helicopter was deemed too dangerous, the Build Team decided to simulate the experiment. They first tested the downward force generated by a helicopter to see whether it would affect a person’s ability to hang off the skid, but found that it would at most only exert 130 grams of force, which was negligible. For the experiment, they built a fake helicopter and hung it over a swimming pool for safety reasons. To simulate movement, they set up a large fan that could create winds of up to 95 miles per hour. Jessi, Tory, and Grant all took turns hanging off the skid and succeeded in climbing into the helicopter. Though a success, the Build Team was quick to point out that it was much harder than the movies would make it seem.

A person can single-handedly rescue another person who is hanging on a ledge.


The Build Team members took turns rescuing each other from hanging off a ledge. They succeeded, but found it to be a difficult and awkward process.