Sneak peak of Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition, opening Friday
The first thing the Mythbusters say before starting an experiment on their television show is, "Don't try this at home." Fans of the show will finally have an opportunity to disregard this advice and try their favorite experiments at Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition. The interactive exhibition opens this weekend at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where guests will have the opportunity to test the myths themselves. Westword got a sneak preview of the exhibition; here's what we saw:
Photos by Nathalia Velez
The journey into mythbusting begins with an exhibition of props from the show -- like the animatronic shark they used to test whether it's possible to poke a shark in the eye while being thrashed in its jaws -- and an introduction video. "If you're not a huge fan of the show, that's okay. You can still come and see the exhibit and have the same experience," says Charlotte Hurley, public relations manager at the museum. "The video and this room are kind of meant to bring those who don't know about the Mythbusters up to speed so everyone is at the same level as you go through the exhibit."
Next is the Blueprint Room, which showcases the process the Mythbusters go through before trying to bust a myth. The hosts of the show, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, are well-known for their work in special effects, and explosions are a staple on the show. But the exhibition tries to show the importance of scientific experiments. "One thing that people sometimes misunderstand about the Mythbusters is that they think that they're just out to blow things up, and they do blow a lot of things up, but a big part of what they do is they investigate things scientifically," says Brian Hostetler, educator and coordinator at DMNS. "They're really thinking about the whole process, they're eliminating variables, they're testing new variables, they're trying out a bunch of different ways to make the myth work."
The animatronic shark used in an episode of Mythbusters to test whether a person can poke a shark in the eye while being thrashed between its jaws.
Past the Blueprint Room, the fun begins. Visitors get to become Mythbusters and try out various experiments. "For me, this is what really makes this a crazy exciting exhibit, is the ability to do stuff," Hostetler continues. "It's not just looking at the props. Really the excitement for me is visitors getting into this area and getting to experiment and go through the scientific process, and play, and try different things."
One of the first experiments is Big Bad Wolf, where visitors can build structures out of blocks of different weights, representing straw, sticks and brick. Then the structures go in front of a vent that blows a gust of air. "Either your structure will stand, if you built it really well, or it will fall down. Three quarters of the people who try this, on the first try they fall down," Holstetler says. "But what we want is people not to be like, 'Oh, it fell down,' and then move on to the next experiment. We want it to fall down and then try it again."
Continue reading for photos of some of the experiments at the exhibition.