Top 10 Biggest Explosions on MythBusters

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Top 10 Biggest Explosions on MythBusters

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Matt Klem
The biggest "MythBusters" explosions blew our minds... for different reasons than usual. Our countdown includes tree cannon, exploding toilet, RV no more, and more!
Transcript

Top 10 Biggest MythBusters Explosions


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Biggest Mythbusters Explosions

For this list, we’ll be looking at times when the show took the art of blowing stuff up beyond any reasonable expectations.

Do you think we missed one of their best explosions? Let us know in the comments.

#10: Tree Cannon
“Lightning Strikes/Tongue Piercings”


Hailing all the way back to their first season, this eruption of wood and fire came from Jamie himself. After losing his handmade granite projectile to a fully working tree cannon, Jamie takes his revenge in style. They seal the cannon with five pounds of gunpowder and detonate it, producing one of the more memorable explosions from the show’s early seasons. The blast obliterates the cannon throwing splinters in every direction, leaving only black scorch marks on the ground. Planks of wood flying everywhere in slow motion give viewers the best sense of how only 5lbs of gunpowder can still destroy their launcher. Or as Jamie puts it.

#9: RPG vs. Trailer
“Bikes & Bazookas”


It took Mythbusters eight years to finally have a shot at trying out a rocket propelled grenade. Testing the myth that a single bullet could set the rocket off, Grant, Kari, and Tori take the RPG out for a test run. What follows is a delightful combination of firepower and camera work. The beauty of this explosion comes from the high-speed footage as the rocket passes through the trailer. Between the giant fireball in the front, and the horizontal blaze out the back, an explosion never looked so good.

#8: Exploding Toilet
“Exploding Toilet”


Talk about being in the hot seat. Buster gets his pants blown out during his debut in Adam and Jamie test to see whether explosive materials poured down a toilet could be accidentally ignited. After several failed attempts, Jamie pours black gunpowder on Buster’s lap then drops the match to reveal the results. From the wobble of the protective glass, to a giant ball of smoke, this freshman season entry lights the match for an explosive future for the show. From here on in, Mythbusters would push the boundaries of “bigger is better”, but it all had to start somewhere.

#7: Water Heater Rocket
“Exploding Water Heater”


In this fan favorite episode, Mythbusters showed us that even your basement can be highly explosive. After removing all the safeties from a household water heater, the team more than doubles the pressure inside the tank - pushing it far past the limit. What follows is a discharge that sends the water heater into orbit. The pressure blast demolishes the miniature house, while Adam & Jamie stare into the sky wondering when the tank will return. With an absence of fire and smoke, you’re not expecting to see something from your basement have such destructive power. It’s the surprise combined with the blast that makes this such a worthy entry on this list.

#6: Rocket Sled Compact Car
“Demolition Derby Special”


Wait, did The Flash just blow up a car? After crushing a compact car between two trucks, but failing to fuse them together, Adam and Jamie decide to go bigger. They theorize that a set of two stage rockets on a railbed might fuse metal to metal. Flipping the switch, they watch as a red streak of fire obliterates the automobile. What makes this entry so memorable is watching the rocket sled shoot down the rail, and abruptly coming to an end in a ballooning ball of smoke. Since we’re so used to seeing the boom go sky high, this sideways shenanigan makes for a nice, unexpected delight.

#5: One Million Match Heads
“YouTube Special”


Who would have thought something so small could produce something so large? In this viral video special, the team confirmed that 30,000 match heads could yield a barrel sized flame. But in true Mythbusters fashion, they dial it up to a million to see what happens. A small flash is then followed by a pillar of fire that lights up the nighttime sky. Adam’s reaction to the tower of flame describes it best. What makes this blast better is knowing that it came from the same thing that lights your campfire.

#4: Coffee Creamer Cloud
“Viral Hour”


After replicating a viral video about a cannon powered by sawdust, the build team decides to try non-dairy creamer as a replacement fuel. They pack 700 pounds of the powder into a barrel and blast it into the air. What initially looks like a cloud of white dust quickly ignites into a truly frightening ball of fire. It’s enough to scare Kari into running up a hill to avoid the outer reaches of the flame. It doesn’t have the blast force of some of our other entries, but the sheer size of the fireball is enough to scare anyone. Remind us to keep the coffee creamer away from the stove.

#3: Catch Me If You Can
“22,000 Foot Fall”


Can an explosion really cushion a fall from 22,000 feet? That’s what the Mythbusters tested in this episode. After the test subject is dropped from the air, there’s a pause before the blast goes off. But when it does finally go, it’s quite a sight to see. You can see streaks of dust sprout out in all directions like tentacles on some sea creature. That quickly dissipates as it’s followed by a mushroom cloud reminiscent of a nuclear bomb test. The blast is so intense that it sets fire to the surrounding landscape while wrapping shrapnel around tree branches. This 1000lb bomb illustrates how even early in the show’s run, they weren’t messing around!

#2: RV No More
“Grand Finale”


With an RV in the middle of the New Mexico desert, this episode rang familiar to fans of Breaking Bad. But this time it wasn't a case of trying to cover up a meth lab on wheels. Instead, the Mythbusters packed 855 pounds of ANFO into an RV to capture an epic blast at 50,000 frames a second. What makes this so memorable is the detail captured on the high-speed camera. We can see the vehicle light up from underneath as the flame slowly expands devouring everything in a giant ball of fire. Combine that with the noticeable ripple effect caused by the shockwave, and you have one of the best visuals ever captured on Mythbusters.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Painting with Explosives
A Beautiful Blast of Paint in Every Color

JATO Revisited
They Can’t Seem to Get That Car off the Ground

Manhole Madness
No Ninja Turtles Were Harmed in the Making of This Episode

Thermite vs. Ice
Who Knew Hot & Cold Were So Explosive?

Making Diamonds
That’s a Lot of Boom for a Little Bling

#1: Cement Truck
“Salsa Escape”


In testing a myth about cleaning a cement truck out with explosives, the team literally obliterated the vehicle into nothing but dust and smoke. Often referred to as the most iconic Mythbusters moment, no detonation in the history of the show even comes close to this 2005 original. From a quiet countdown, to a deafening bang, the truck is vaporized in this astonishing “blink and you’ll miss it” moment. The show often had massive fireballs, but nothing ever came close to the instantaneous vanishing of that truck. Even their revisit in the Grand Finale didn’t have the same sense of surprise the original gave us.
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