The show Mythbusters (filmed right in the same Bay Area that I happen to reside in) is all about testing myths and legends from all over the world using scientific methods, and incontrovertible proof. If you haven’t already seen it, its a great show, and wildly popular among the nerd community. The only reason the show isn’t a bigger phenomenon than it all ready is, is because the team on the show tends to test seemingly random stuff that’s either not seen in everyday life, or myths you wouldn’t be familiar with. (Like sticking your hand in molten Lead.) But some of the most interesting myths they’ve gotten to the bottom of, are some of the simplest. Check some of these 5 below.
5.) You Can Actually Slap Sense Into Someone
Who hasn’t seen a groggy character in some movie get his faculties restored by a good, hard SMACK? But, since we’re all rational, intelligent people, it is our default position to disbelieve everything the world of cinema presents us, and to show disdain to anyone who falls for this crap… only it’s true. A sharp slap was shown to improve alertness and mental acuity, information I’m certain no one would think of using as an excuse to smack the taste out of irritating individuals mouth… right?
4) Nervousness Can Cause Cold Feet
Apparently not everyone who came up with these expressions back in the old-timey days was zonked out on opium-laced cough syrup. This old saw proved to have some honest veracity to it: They had Tory, Grant and Kari face their worst fears and monitored the temperature of their feet — Grant and Kari showed a significant decrease, but Tory’s results were inconclusive, thus the determination of “Plausible.” Gotta love the video, I’m not even particularly arachnophobic, but the conetent creeps people the hell out.
3) Elephants Are Really Afraid of Mice
This was the very myth that inspired the creation of this list in the first place. To buy into an absurd cartoon stand-by like this would be akin to believing rabbits tend to cross-dress and hit on speech-impaired hunters. And yet, when presented with the meek little rodent, the formidable beasts not only took notice, but did their best to avoid the tiny creatures. True, they didn’t freak out, jump up on their hind legs and go “EEK!” But the very fact that they didn’t simply ignore the mice, as Adam and Jamie predicted, makes this quite a humbling entry.
2) An Ultrasonic Motion Sensor Can Be Thwarted by a Bedsheet
This was one of those myths where upon hearing the “logic” behind how it’s supposed to work, the viewer suspects it’s the product of a poor understanding of the device in question, but nope, this one’s totally accurate: A simple sheet draped over the head was able absorb the sound waves emitted by an ultrasonic motion sensor. It seemed to kinda cut down on visibility, but I assume one could always cut eye holes, if they don’t mind sneaking through the lair of a supervillain looking like a Peanuts cartoon ghost.
1) Cursing Aloud Helps People Tolerate Pain More than Not Cursing
This is pretty f*cking cool. This test makes you wonder what it is about those words? Screaming “fiddlesticks” at the top of your lungs won’t produce the same effect, so it can’t simply be the yelling. Regardless, this myth isn’t just a convenient excuse for the use of “colorful metaphors,” it’s backed up by the experimental data. And you have to admire the clever apparatus they designed so the viewers wouldn’t be scandalized by watching Kari’s spew obscenities. So, I’ve so far shown the values of physical violence AND obscene language — who says blogs aren’t informative.