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10 MYTHBUSTERS EPISODES THAT DID NOT MAKE IT TO TV

 

The end of the Mythbusters in 2017 was the end of an era. After Mythbusters premiered in 2003, it became one of the most popular shows on the Discovery Channel. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman explored uncountable myths. Soon, they were joined by Tory Belleci, Kari Byron, and Grant Imahara who all very soon became an indispensable part of the show. They handled their own myths apart from the main duo and brought dynamic energy to the show. Even though the Mythbusters busted or confirmed many myths, there are a few that never made it to the screen. We bring to you 10 such Mythbuster snippets which did not make it to the US TV Screens.

1. In 2006, the Mythbusters tested the myth that the cereal boxes themselves are healthier than the cereal inside it. Two groups of mice were given either item. While the Mythbusters were making remarks about it, the mice who ate the cereal box ended up eating each other!

As kids, how many times have we created tantrums for a handful of sugary cereal? There’s no counting, actually! Kids absolutely love the sugary cereals such as fruit loops. But parents have always been critical of the nutritional value of such foods. This seed of suspicion was planted when Paul A. Stitt, a biochemist, published a study in 1982. He mentioned that rats surviving on cereal boxes lasted longer than the rats who were eating only cornflakes.

So Mythbusters went ahead to test this. In a Q&A talk, Adam Savage disclosed their experiment. The team had three categories of lab mice. The first was served normal mice food, the second was served sugary cereal, and the third was served cardboard pellets. Everything was fine for almost five days. But soon after, the team noticed that the mice who were eating the cardboard were getting restless. When they checked on the mice, they found that one of the mice eating cardboard had eaten the other mice in the group!

Due to the graphic animal violence involved in this experiment, Discovery refused to air this episode.  Moreover, they made Adam swear that he would never show the tape to anyone. (12)

2. Mythbusters was supposed to air an episode on how hackable and trackable RFID chips on credit cards are. But they got bullied out of it when credit card companies threatened to boycott their show.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Mythbusters was all ready with an RFID-busting episode when they received a call from Texas Instruments warning them not to air the episode. Adam and Jamie had tested the publicized vulnerabilities of RFID chips and were ready with their verdict for the world. In the Last Hope conference in 2008, Adam Savage recalled, “Texas Instruments comes on along with chief legal counsel for American Express, Visa, Discover, and everybody else (co-host Tory Belleci and a MythBusters producer) were way, way out-gunned.”

The lawyers made it clear that Discovery Channel should back down from airing this segment and never talk about how hackable these chips are. And being a large corporation that relied on revenues from these advertisers, there was nothing that the channel could do.

But the story was a little different according to Texas Instruments. Their spokesperson claimed that the call was not to “threaten” them but was to answer a few technical doubts that the Mythbusters team had. The call comprised of a few product managers and a representative from only one, contactless, payment company. Later, even Adam Savage changed his statement saying, “If I went into the detail of exactly why this story didn’t get filmed, it’s so bizarre and convoluted that no one would believe me, but suffice to say…the decision not to continue on with the RFID story was made by our production company, Beyond Productions, and had nothing to do with Discovery, or their ad sales department.” Makes one think there might be a conspiracy there! (source)

3. There was supposed to be a test that a truck full of liquid oxygen spilled on a roadbed has the potential to turn into a life-threatening bomb. The Mythbusters decided to leave this dangerous one out as they realized that if they are going to spend a ton of money on something that would just explode, it’s better to leave it out!

Image Credit: TV.com

On a Reddit AMA, Adam talked about a myth where they were trying to test with a truck full of liquid oxygen. The test was to find out if the oxygen got spilled on a roadbed would it turn the entire road into a life-threatening bomb. The team had already played enough with liquid oxygen to know how dangerous it could be. Adam called it “some of the scariest stuff on earth.”

Liquid oxygen has the potential to turn a simple, oily rag into a bomb. So, the team thought maybe dealing with an entire truck of the material might not be such a good idea. Plus, to shoot the segment, they would have to spend an enormous amount of money. And if at the end of all the hard work everything just explodes, then there might not be a reason for doing it! Considering the danger and unpredictability of liquid oxygen, the Mythbusters took the correct decision. (source)

4. The upside-down race car is a myth that a formula one or IndyCar has so much downforce that it could drive upside down and still hug the road. The Mythbusters have been wanting to do this since the first season, but they never did as the cost for this single myth would exceed the cost of the entire episode.

Image Credit: PNGTree

There is an urban legend that a formula one or an Indycar is built with so much force that they can drive upside down. The cars have so much power that they would just hug the road even when upside down. The Mythbusters team has been wanting to test this myth since the first season. But the problem was that they could never do it on a full scale with a road.

So, the team thought maybe build a tunnel just for this segment. But that too turned out to be impossible as it would cost thousands of dollars for this single segment, exceeding the budget for an entire episode. They then started looking for a wind tunnel but were unable to find one that would go fast enough.

Moreover, no one was willing to give them a formula one or an Indycar to hang it upside down a wind tunnel. And even if they got the car and the tunnel, the budget would still be a problem. Hence, they decided not to shoot this sequence. (source)

5. There was another experiment that involved a baseball player and a train. Basically, the player throws the ball in the opposite direction as the train and at the same speed, then the ball would just drop down straight as the velocity would get canceled.

Image Credit: Wikipedia, Wikipedia

This was an interesting one. So, if a baseball player was traveling in a train and decided to throw a ball out in the opposite direction of the train, what would happen? Let’s say the player decides to throw the ball in the opposite direction as the train and at the same speed as the train. Then, the velocities would just cancel each other and the ball would drop straight down.

The Mythbusters team wanted to test this out but wanted to portray it in their own style. According to Adam Savage, “I actually wanted to do was be the baseball. I have this concept of building this reverse-facing slingshot outside of a bus. You would press the trigger and it would go off, so you would end up – bang – on the side of the road, dead still. For some reason, they won’t let me do it.”

Praise God they did not allow it! (source)

6. The Mythbusters once wanted to test the explosive strength of a bomb made out of commonly available materials. They were successful in building a very powerful explosive with easily available material. Considering how effortless it was, they swore to never release the information. 

Image Credit: ORI

Once the Mythbusters team decided to test out a very common urban legend that explosives can be created out of widely available materials. Surprisingly, the legend turned out to be true. The team also found out that the materials they used were very easily available. Since such easily obtainable materials can lead to a powerful explosion, the production team decided to not showcase the snippet.

It was wise on their part as it would have been really irresponsible to have taught the people how to make bombs. The team decided to destroy all the footage that they shot and they agreed never to talk about it again. Years later, Adam Savage contacted DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, regarding their discovery. DARPA was requesting information from the public regarding unknown but potential bomb risks. (source)

7. Adam Savage of Mythbusters wanted to test out the myth on pumpkin duck hunting. But the narrative for the particular episode turned out to be so long that he and the team decided to scrap the myth from the episode and never aired it.

Image Credit: Flickr, Wikipedia

In a CNET Magazine interview, Adam Savage revealed that they wanted to test out an urban legend but never got around to do it. He said, “Apparently if you want to hunt ducks, a great method is to float pumpkins in a duck pond so the ducks become acclimatized to pumpkins floating around. Then, you put a pumpkin on your head, presumably with a couple of eyeholes in it, and you swim up to the ducks. They don’t even notice because it’s just another pumpkin.”

Although Adam was very keen to wear a pumpkin and catch a duck, they would not have been able to show the same on television due to the animal rights violation. Plus, it would have been difficult to shoot. So they started putting the difficult parts into narratives. They ended up with so many narratives that it was difficult to accommodate the same into the episode. (12)

8. In the unaired 2010 episode “Testing Grant’s Bones,” Jamie Hyneman announced that they would be performing a series of experiments to find out how strong Grant Imahara’s bones are. The sequence was so cruel that Discovery refused to air the episode.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

If aired, this episode might have led to many casualties across the world. The year was 2010 and the episode was to be named “Testing Grant’s Bones.” Jamie Hyneman, one of the co-hosts of the show, announced that they would be testing out how strong are Grant Imahara’s bones. Grant was another co-host in the show.

According to the information available on the Internet, Jamie brought a sledgehammer for the experiment. He then started hitting Grant’s legs repeatedly. It is said that the experiment shattered Grant’s femur and Jamie did not stop even when Grant asked him to. Eventually, he passed out from the pain.

Discovery Channel refused to play this episode on air which was the right decision on their part. Jamie apologized for his actions and claimed that he thought Grant’s bones would have been able to resist the blows. Grant went through an emergency kneecap transplant and had to go through vigorous rounds of physical therapy. He returned to the show six months after the incident. (source)

9. The MythBusters Teeth Challenge was more of an inside joke than a challenge. In the episode, the Mythbusters tried to confirm/bust the myth that Adam had the brownest teeth. This was not aired in the US.

Image Credit: Dental Health Tips

This specific experiment was also known as “Which has the whitest teeth.” This was more an inside joke. Apparently, the team had received numerous emails from viewers across the world complaining about Adam’s brown teeth. So, the team took the myth that “Of all the MythBusters, Adam is the one with the brownest teeth.”

To perform the experiment, Kari had to check the teeth of Jamie, Adam, Tory, and Grant. The first result was that Jamie had the brownest teeth. So, the myth was busted at first. But then Jamie went ahead and got his teeth bleached! So after this, Adam indeed had the brownest teeth. The myth was first busted and then confirmed.

This segment was not aired in the Discovery US version but was aired on the Discovery Europe version. (source)

10. Once the team filled a van with gas containers and rigged them for a slow leak. They were testing the myth that the van would explode after it receives a signal from its keyless remote. The myth was confirmed in the first try and gave the team no chance to expand on the myth’s background or the processes involved.

Image Credit: YouTube

This segment was called the “Vanishing Van.” The team loaded a van with flammable gas containers. They then created a few leaks in those containers. They wanted to test whether the van would explode in case it was triggered by a signal from a keyless remote.

The experiment turned out to be “too” successful. In the first try, the team was able to shatter the van to bits and pieces. But everything happened so fast that they never got a chance to either record it properly or even provide the explanation behind it. So they decided to not air it instead. (source)

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