Mythbusters Blow Up A Shark and Tear Up Some Phonebooks

Thursday, September 11 by

Season 7, Episode 4: "Phonebook Friction" With seven seasons under their tool belts, the Mythbusters don’t have it as easy as they used to. This week Jamie and Adam test to see if two phone books, attached by simply intertwining the pages, can be impossible to pull apart. The other team try to re-enact the final scene from Deep Blue Sea. Science and LL Cool J are finally doin’ it well.

The phonebooks:
Now that the internet exists, the primary job of phonebooks seems to be sitting in people’s driveways, turning into puddles of yellow mush. But the Mythbusters got a video from some guys saying that if you took two phonebooks and stuck them together by laying the pages on top of one another, it would be impossible to separate them. It sounds boring, but I think it was one of the more satisfying experiments they’ve done in a while.

They tried all sorts of tug-o-war tactics and even hooked the books up to two rental cars, but still couldn’t pull them apart. Finally, they got some tanks, which put 8,000 pounds of pressure on them and ripped them like a porn star on her first day of work. There was something pathetically satisfying about seeing those books finally tear apart. That might be the first time science has ever made me feel that way. If, of course, you consider pulling on phonebooks with tanks science.

Deep Blue Sea:
This is where they seem to be getting a little desperate. I don’t know a lot of people who have even seen Deep Blue Sea, let alone actually giving a crap about whether or not Thomas Jane and LL Cool J could explode an evil genius shark with a makeshift harpoon gun, a car battery and the black powder from a couple flares.

Ultimately, it turns out to be a complete load of crap. There’s not nearly enough black powder in the flares, and even if there was, you couldn’t shoot that much of it with a harpoon gun. Plus, the battery wouldn’t have ignited it anyways. Oh, and there’s no such thing as evil genius sharks. When they ramp up the explosion to match what you see in the movie, there’s no way anyone could survive the blast if they were closer than 150 feet. That’s funny, I’ve heard the same thing about standing within a quarter mile of a TV playing Deep Blue Sea.

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