Mythbusters will always be remembered as one of the greatest television programs dedicated to promoting science to the masses, but it turns out the show was also dedicated to making sure its work couldn’t be exploited for nefarious and deadly purposes. Which is why everyone involved in one experiment erased any proof of their lethal discovery.
At the first ever Silicon Valley Comic Con this month, Adam Savage was asked by a fan about the biggest behind-the-scenes disaster the show ever had. After laughing about how specific he should be, Savage didn’t share some lighthearted tale about an argument or fight the cast had, but instead told the frightening story about how Kari, Grant, and Tory were investigating an “easily available material and its supposed explosive properties.”
According to Savage “what they found out was so explosive” that they actually destroyed the footage of what they made and everyone involved agreed never to discuss it again. It was so dangerous that when DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) recently asked the public to help their research by designing homemade bombs that might pose an unknown risk, Savage contacted them with the information he had from this particular incident. Though he did point out that they probably already knew, as some bomb techs are aware of it.
You can watch his full panel in our player above, but if you just want to see this segment, you can skip to the 32-minute mark.
It’s obvious why everyone on the show wouldn’t publicize a highly dangerous and readily available explosive, but destroying the tapes assured that it could never accidentally pop up online to make its way around the darker side of the Internet.
So what could it possibly have been? We’re not guessing; some truths are better left as myths.
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Relive the best parts of Mythbusters in our SDCC interview: