A Look Back at the Mythbusters Explosions That Moved Us

Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara, collectively known as the M7 Build Team, won't be back on MythBusters next year. The news came rather abruptly from show hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage by way of a video released on the website today, which included no statement from any of the three cast members who won't be returning.

The video feels a little weird, honestly, but the show is "going in a different direction" (it sure is!) next year. Byron's Twitter feed is particularly terse:

A source says that Discovery is still talking to the three about future work (let's face it, MythBusters is old), but it's important to celebrate the past. So let's pour one out for the M7 team, and in doing so, let's remember some of the most interesting things they've blown up over the years.

5

A Piano

For this one, the team wanted to figure out if an overheated piano's strings would snap in a hail of twisting wire and discordant pinging, delighting children forced to take piano lessons across the globe.

But alas, the idea failed.

Consensus seems to be that you need MORE tension, not less, to make metal wires break, and heating them up just causes them to stretch out.

So this was very disappointing to the M7 team, and they decided that, in the interests of science, they would see how big a fireball a piano makes if you, say, decide to fill it with TNT, instead.

It's pretty big, turns out.

Science!

4

A Cement Mixer

And who can forget the time Kari, Tory and the team had to try to get cement out of a cement mixer after it had dried? They tried everything—jackhammers, small amounts of explosive, medium amounts of explosive... what else was left, we ask you, except large amounts of explosive?

The resulting kaboom was so serious you can actually see the shockwave in the aerial footage of the bomb blast. Again, all in the name of education and learning.

3

A Drug-Dealing Pumpkin

This was a fun one: for MythBusters' Breaking Bad special, the show tried a number of different experiments Walter White had used over the course of the hit AMC show. In the first season, we all remember, Walter isn't exactly welcomed into the open-minded drug dealing community, so he shows up to a meeting that's more or less guaranteed to go bad with crystals of fulminated mercury, throws them at the floor, and they go off like a grenade.

Walter used 50 grams; the MythBusters guys, with the help of an actual chemist in a hazmat suit and tent, put 5 grams of the stuff in a pumpkin, presumably a pumpkin that had ruined its life by selling methamphetamine to high schoolers, and it gets blown to pie filling. When they try throwing the stuff, they need 250 grams to make it go off, and 250 grams ends up killing the dummies representing Walter, Jesse, Tuco and pretty much everyone else.

2

A Water Heater, Through a Roof

For this experiment, the MythBusters revisited an old experiment: What happens when you put so much pressure on a water heater that it explodes? These trials feature prominently in Adam's "favorite explosions" when he gets asked about the show by fans ("You can feel it in your taint," he explained to a Comic Con crowd), and because the things go off like rockets when you overload them, the guys decided they'd see if you can shoot a water heater through three stories' worth of roofs and floors, a la the end of The Shining.

You can!

1

Socks

The expression "knock your socks off" was the impetus for this experiment. Can you literally knock off a person's socks, if you hit him really, really hard?

No.

You cannot.

You can build a rocket-powered fist and punch him with it super hard to see if maybe that's what was missing from your knocking capacity. It isn't, but it sure looks cool.