When the Discovery Channel first aired the first season of Mythbusters back in 2003, I wonder if they knew what a huge phenomenon the series would be. Starring Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, the dynamic duo has done everything from test to see if a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building would kill someone to exploding dang near everything they can get their hands on.
Now in their eighth season, Adam and Jamie have taken a bit of time out of their busy schedules to answer a few questions...
How many myths are submitted during a particular year and how many do you get to test? What are the top three criteria you use when deciding whether or not to use a particular myth? What is your favorite myth of the new season?
Jamie: The number of myths that we come across in a year varies - there are usually 60 or 70 in a list that are ahead of what we are doing at present. We look for stories that require hands-on physical activity or builds - we can't just talk about something - and we look for things that we can have fun with or are funny. We also like things that are unusual or have unexpected qualities to them. The new season has a story that involves pulling a tablecloth out from under a large banquet table full of settings without breaking anything. That was really fun and involved a lot of broken dishes and a really fast motorcycle.
Adam: We test, on average, about 20-24 myths per year. Anything where we can find some testable hypothesis is something we'll tackle. I don't have a favorite, but building a wooden, repeating arrow machine gun from 2000 year old designs was pretty cool.
What has been the surprising myth you've tested (whether plausible, busted, or confirmed) in eight seasons?
Jamie: Are elephants afraid of mice? Turns out, they are! At least the ones we tested.
Given all the skills and talents you bring to the fore during each episode, what's your favorite skill to put into use?