At Explosive Exhibition, we're all MythBusters (photos)

At new show, which opens this weekend in San Jose, Calif., fans of the hit Discovery Channel show can explore some of the most famous myths, and try busting a few for themselves.

Daniel Terdiman
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
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C4 explosion

SAN JOSE, Calif.--For years, fans of the hit Discovery Channel show "MythBusters" have enjoyed watching its hosts take on one myth after another. But those fans have never had the chance to try their own hands at busting some of those myths. Until now.

Starting Saturday at the Tech Museum here, fans will be able to check out MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition, a showcase of some of the program's most popular myths, and a chance for members of the public to see for themselves what it's like to be a MythBuster.

At a press day at the Tech Museum yesterday, the MythBusters and their guests -- including San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed -- pretended they couldn't open the gates to the exhibition without a little help. To solve the problem, they employed a little C4, one of the world's most explosive substances. One giant explosion later, the gates were open.

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MythBusters speaking

MythBusters co-hosts Kari Byron (speaking), Tory Bellici (left), and Grant Imahara, address the gathered press and dignitaries prior to the opening of the exhibit.
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Champagne Gatling Gun

This is the Champagne Gatling Gun, from the MythBusters episode that aired on May 4, 2011. In that episode, co-host Tory Bellici attempted to hit his fellow host, Grant Imahara with corks fired from this contraption.
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Jet Pack

On June 9, 2005, MythBusters fans watched host Jamie Hyneman attempt to fly with the help of this jet back. Unfortunately, while the jet pack was functional, it wasn't powerful enough to lift Hyneman off the ground.
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Wiring up the C4

Bellici wires up the C4 that the MythBusters detonated just seconds later during the opening of the exhibit.
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Arrow Machine Gun

This is the Arrow Machine Gun, a contraption that the MythBusters demonstrated was capable of shooting arrows up to 230 yards
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Rocket Car mount

In an experiment from the very first episode of MythBusters, on January 23, 2003, hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman strapped three rockets on top of a Chevrolet Impala to see if they could get the car to take off. They were not able to get the car moving, making this one of the first-ever busted myths on the show.
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Duct tape canoe

This is the Duct Tape Desert Island Escape Outrigger Canoe, made for 2012's season 8. "If you were marooned on a desert island and a box of duct tape washed up on shore, could you make a boat that would survive your long paddle back to civilization?," asks a sign at the exhibition. "Will a duct tape and palm frond outrigger canoe persevere on the open ocean? Of course."
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Dodge a bullet

This is one of the interactive exhibits in the show. Rather than just being an artifact from an old MythBusters show, this one invited fans to try it for themselves. So, they would lean against this wooded frame and try to "dodge" a representation of a bullet. It was really just measuring how fast visitors could move, however.
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Paintball protection

Another experiment allowed visitors to see if they could avoid getting hit by actual paintballs fired at them.
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Tossing cards

MythBusters co-host Tory Bellici tosses a playing card at a target. The experiment measures the speed and accuracy of a card toss, exploring the question of whether it is possible to kill someone with a playing card.
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Chicken Gun

In a January 18, 2004, episode of MythBusters, viewers watched as this compressed air tank was attached to a 12-foot-long pipe in order to shoot thawed and frozen chickens through airplane windows at more than 140 miles an hour. Neither the chickens nor the windows survived.
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Walk and run in the rain

This is one of the major parts of the exhibit that visitors can experiment with themselves: determining if they get wetter running through rain or walking. They choose one lane or the other, pass through, and then compare how wet they are with someone who went through the other lane.
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Running in the rain

A MythBusters staffer demonstrates by running through the rain lane.
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Pulling a tablecloth of a table

Another chance for visitors to participate was this one, which let them see whether it's really possible to pull a tablecloth off a table without having everything on it fall to the floor. They could choose to do with both one made from silk (less friction) and one made from cotton (more friction). A very unscientific examination of these choices showed that it's easier to achieve with the silk.
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Hidden nasties

Viewers watching the December 16, 2009, episode of MythBusters got to see hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage determine which item -- a toilet seat, a shopping cart handle, a kitchen sponge, a cell phone, a hotel remote, a light switch, cash, or a keyboard was the dirtiest. The answer: The kitchen sponge.
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A viral video had suggested that 200 pounds of dynamite could make waves large enough for a surfer to surf. But during the January 23, 2008, episode of the show, the hosts demonstrated that the video wasn't realistic, and that, worse, "an explosion of that size would probably kill you if you were in the water anyway," according to a sign at the exhibit.
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Pirate Swing

Another busted myth on display was the so-called "Pirate Swing." According to a sign at the exhibit, the show's hosts "replicated a movie scene where daring pirates, held captive in a spherical bone cage, swung their prison back and forth to safety using only their body weight. That turned out to be a tall tale: despite their efforts, our heroes stayed trapped."
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Visitors to the exhibition are given the opportunity to see how long they can hang off a ledge -- either a novice-level one, or one for experts.
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Everyone knows about the 1937 explosion of the Hindenburg. But the MythBusters wanted to know if it was possible for a flammable compound in the zeppelin's paint to cause the airship to burn so quickly. They determined, by building a 1/50 scale model Hindenburg, that the hydrogen keeping it afloat, not the paint, was to blame for the disaster.
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Buried Alive

Yet another busted myth on display was the idea that someone could survive a long time buried alive. Host Jamie Hyneman lasted just 30 minutes buried in this coffin before needing to escape.
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Don't try this at home

They MythBusters are very popular, but they always offer this disclaimer: No matter how cool what they do is, "Don't try this at home."

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