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Top Gear Philippines

MythBusters

Thirteen years ago, two special-effects experts teamed up to host a TV show centered on debunking various misconceptions and urban legends using nothing but ingenuity and scientific method. A total of 248 fact-filled episodes later, the dynamic duo of Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman has tackled just about every myth in the book--a good number of them related to cars.

Over the years, MythBusters has taught us how to do everything--from escaping a sinking vehicle to cooking a meal using nothing but the heat from your car. The best part about the show was that it was just as fun as it was informative, thanks to all the stunts, explosions and wisecracks between the hosts. So you can bet we were devastated when the show aired its final episode earlier this month.

In celebration of one of the most universally loved programs on television, we've come up with a list of 10 motoring-related things MythBusters has taught us. To be honest, narrowing down the list to just 10 was incredibly difficult. We left out a lot of good stuff in favor of the more practical (and hence useful) subjects. So, if you think we missed anything, hit us with a comment or two.

 

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How to escape a car submerged underwater. This episode was literally a lifesaver. In the show's final season, the MythBusters team got emotional after learning that their experiment had helped save the lives of a young mother and her daughter when their car slid off the road and fell into a body of water.

 

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Is maneuvering through traffic faster than sticking to your own lane? We would have loved to see Adam and Jamie try this experiment in the Philippines. Considering the traffic here, it probably would have taken half a season to finish filming.

 

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Do hands-free devices promote safer driving? So a lot of cars have been coming out with Bluetooth phone connectivity lately. But do the feature and those similar to it actually make it safe to talk over the phone while driving?

 

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Can you cook a decent meal with the heat of your car? The team attempted to cook a Thanksgiving meal using nothing but some foil and the heat of their vehicle. Honestly, an edible meal cooked with a car's hot temperature doesn't sound too far-fetched. A decent meal, on the other hand, we're not so sure about.

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Is a human faster than a car at the starting line? The answer to this question isn't as straightforward as you think. Can a human's sprint really match the power of a vehicle's engine?


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Are cellphones really a fire hazard when used next to a gas pump? We see "no cellphone" signs at fuel stations all the time. But are they really as big a risk as they're made out to be?

 

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Can a small car carry enough construction material to build a house? Frankly, we wouldn't try this with our own car even if it were doable. The ground clearance on the vehicle used in the experiment is the stuff of nightmares.

 

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Is precision driving in reverse really possible? We've seen it in movies: The protagonist comes to a halt right in front of the bad guy's vehicle. Is he trapped? No. He shifts into reverse and escapes, dodging oncoming traffic along the way. But just how hard is it to pull off in real life?

 

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Is driving with your windows down more fuel-efficient than having your air-conditioning on? Will turning off your A/C system help conserve your fuel?

 

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Will used cooking oil make a viable substitute for diesel fuel? The gang ran a diesel vehicle on nothing but used fryer oil from a fast-food establishment. Did it run? Or did they mess up the engine in the process?

 

Drei Laurel
Online Editorial Assistant
Drei's passion for driving began not behind the wheel of a car, but in front of a keyboard and computer screen, playing 'Need For Speed' for hours on end with his twin brother.
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