Ask Adam Savage: How Lead Balloon Changed MythBusters

Adam Savage’s Tested

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    Tested member Jeffrey McCullough asks Adam, "My favorite myth is lead balloon. I've heard you talk about it before, but the other day you mentioned the problems you had with the suppliers equipment failing the day you were to get the materials. Any other stories about this bust?" So, SO MANY! Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, like asking Adam a question:
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    күнү жарыяланды Ай мурун


    1. Adam Savage’s Tested

      Watch MythBusters on DiscoveryPlus: Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, like asking Adam a question: More MythBusters-related videos here:

      1. Robr8a23 Dogg

        @DAN Oh

      2. Jay Means

        RIP Grant a awesome mind that was taken too soon

      3. Pyraminxium


      4. Joe

        What was your most disappointing outcome of a myth? Either a failure in execution or a lame outcome

      5. Jeff Moore

        Adam that part where your doing the first mental calculation. I had the answer earlier but I was thinking in metric like the rest of the world. The fact that I was .025 mm out is that I'm no good at maths. Always loved both yours and Jamie's work. Aussie Jeff

    2. Liam Harris

      I don’t think people get how small a thousandth of an inch really is. I repair various instruments and sometimes use shim stock for my work, shims are a thousandth of an inch pieces of steel that are so thin that they have the consistency of paper, or even softer, I use them to clear debris and burrs between the reeds and reed plate of harmonicas, the gap between them is so small it’s barely visible to the naked eye even with backlighting, yet the shim stock still goes through it with room to spare. A flu shot needle is 25 gauge, that’s 200 TIMES THICKER than a thousandth of an inch, and the lead foil they used was 30% smaller than even that. That’s the size we’re talking about. Absolutely insane that they pulled it off.


      Why am I just now noticing the big moving Swiss Army knife in the background

    4. atrumluminarium

      Man the nostalgia just hit me hard

    5. Bo Dan

      "It's the singer not the song"... is a saying I've heard.

    6. Robert Scott

      Can some one translate these measurements to real measurements? What's 1 thousandth of an inch in millimeters?

    7. R Cort

      Lead balloon episode is one of the best. My all time favorite was the hot water heater. The surprising energy stored up and the fact that, instead of exploding in place, that thing took off as straight as a Polaris missile, busting through 2 stories of framework, like it was paper mache, was simply jaw-dropping.

    8. Frank Palladino

      .007 of an inch thick. There's a bond joke in here somewhere.

    9. Aaron Macy

      To anyone wondering why he seems to struggle to speak, we are mere mortals, as where he is a god who can translate smart science people math brain into our language. Doing that on the fly is hard AF. My grandfather was a physicist who had no idea how to translate anything in his brain into terms that mouth breathers like you or I could understand, which is why he abandoned teaching and went on to help make GPS a thing. He was eloquent AF when it came to emotional aspects of life but if I asked him why the light came on when I flipped the switch, ..his pupils would widen and he’d go silent as he disappeared behind his clipboard with its inch of note filled graft paper clipped to it.

    10. Lagiacrus

      Moral of the story: If you need something engineering related, go to the Germans.

    11. Skaatje

      "And that lead too" I see what you did there :)

    12. daniel cairns

      Adam, you are the coolest guy on the Internet. Your enthusiasm is infectious.

    13. Adam Jones

      I would kill to spend a day with Adam just picking his brain and listening to his genious ideas. Mythbusters set me off on a path of fabrication, engineering and just plain fun jobs. I miss spending days on end in a welding hood making cool stuff. An injury took me out of the field and after 7 spine surgeries left me disabled, depressed and financially struggling, but hey I am still kicking. Be safe out there everyone, I lost almost everything due to one tiny error by a coworker.

    14. shadebug

      Wait, Richard Hammond is your first pull for great reality host? As in the one that wanted to be cool from middle era Top Gear?


      is it weird that he gives me Gale Boetticher (Braking Bad) vibes. No offense to Adam Savage btw, I just keep getting this vibe.

    16. SweetSideOfFries

      I admire your comfort in silence while you are thinking of how to explain, rather than filling the space with um's. Something I always wish to work on.

    17. Moto Stories with Unkie Phil

      Lead balloon was my favorite as well! Man I miss this series!

    18. Eric Prosser

      When did this man start looking like a clone of Colonel Sanders?

    19. CsStoker

      When you want to design something crazy always bet on the Germans to build it, they always deliver

    20. Keef

      Richard Hammond,a legend in his own hamster cage..

    21. Andreas Willumsen

      I just realized that Mythbusters shaped one of my core philosophies, everything is interesting if the person communicating is interested in the subject.

    22. TheMoosenugget

      moral of the story German efficiency is no joke

    23. Do Med

      The wide-eyed prose numerically entertain because drizzle phenotypically pour via a fearful fearless wish. labored, spotty charles

    24. Pronto

      Email from Jimmy Page: "Expect a call from my lawyer."

    25. Drew Wilkins

      Your Wilton vise is so much nicer than mine.

    26. Steven Nault

      In the infamous words of the Savage..."I reject your reality and replace it with my own...

    27. Brandon Dasher

      telling stories about pointless things but being super involved is the whole basis of youtube. I was wildly into and super excited about Jimmy Broadbent getting a fast lap in a sim racing car in a video game. It was like a 30 min video.

    28. Fish Er Man

      Great video, but the damn adds are coming fast and furious these days.

    29. Seth Darby

      i miss mythbusters it was one of my all time favorite shows

    30. Simon Brunning

      I loved the build, and the episode, but... In British English at least, "go down like a lead balloon" does not mean something is impossible, it means something is unpopular. Is that different in US English?

    31. Cole Lawton

      That is the most German shit I have ever heard of in my life. "We need you guys to make thinner lead than the thinnest lead ever made. We're short on time." "Nein. We will make it thinner than thinner than the thinnest lead ever made. Also we're done."

      1. Cody Deutsch

        @Curious Haakan Did you watch the video...? A german company is the one that finally made the lead they needed and they made it 30% thinner than requested. Adam said it... In this video.

    32. madjob8

      have you taken your medications today?

    33. James Yanchek

      So. You're saying your lead balloon did NOT go over like a...lead balloon?

    34. Shannon Hamilton

      The Mythbusters successfully proved that making a balloon out of lead is not impossible, merely extremely difficult. By the way, what happened to that balloon? Was the lead it was made from recycled?

    35. Winter Coder

      Looks like you had a few Joe Biden moments there, Adam.

    36. Sultan Reyhan

      How about make a mini tank from a paper like in the dr.stone anime

    37. Sultan Reyhan

      Hi i from Indonesian your show in my television

    38. jimmyboy163

      I see it's still floating in the background to the left of your head (as seen by the viewer)....great stuff!!

    39. Antnee

      I always assumed the "lead balloon" was just that it wouldn't float well, not that it was impossible 🤷‍♂️

    40. Nature and Physics

      Neunundneunzig Ledballons Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont Hielt man für Ufos aus dem All Darum schickte ein Hyneman

    41. Nick Scassera

      These talks sort of encompass the magic of what I felt when watching the show when I was younger. It's a feeling I miss and appreciate!

    42. jammiecg0001

      I like the hands on experimentation of the shows, trying to do the impossible, doing stuff most of us would like to do but don't have the time, knowledge, or money to do, even if it didn't seem that exciting.

    43. Hermeshoes

      Another good example of this type of myth was polishing poop

    44. MadMike 83

      Do you and Jamie still associate?

    45. Neda Nother

      a question you've probably never been asked. Have you provided for what happens to your shop when you are no more. Ive worried about my garage and all the stuff, projects and tools. Yours is a virtual museum. Is it left for your family to deal with or do you have a plan. Sorry for the dark question. It just came to me as I was doing nothing but listening to the video while watching nothing but the back ground stuff. an athiest praying in a foxhole "just in case".....I CALL DIBS. Cheers brother

    46. Kendall McRay

      Wow people find value in this ad lib about a random episode with no clips just hand gestures and rambling tangents. Spend the money you make from this video on a shiny butt-plug made of whatever precious or semiprecious metal the revenue will allow - this is the only appropriate and honest use of this money. Anything else is an acknowledgment that you are nothing more than past-your-prime time thieves. Good day.

    47. Michael Moore

      Adam telling this story is equivalent to an adventurer retelling their tale.

    48. LeaveMeAloneGoogle

      I hate to say this - and I went back and watched it several times to make sure (and I'm *not* a medical or mental health care provider) - but: (how do I put this politely).... this immediately struck me as ... not-sober speech. It's rambling, it gets "lost", it's a little emotionally flighty, and a little over the top...etc. There's also a lot of face touching, arm/hand movement (like crossing arms, tucking into armpits, waving hands, all within short time), dramatic gestures, and other cues. You said "lead is one of the most *volatile*" - comparing to wet toilet paper - materials... c'mon. "volatile"? Then when you get to where you lose it on what a thou is and glaze out " sorry... " "that's the translation I was doing in my head". "and and and contingencies". OK, if only because I've always been a massive fan, don't know if I've been even slightly dancing around it here out of respect but if so, forget it 'cause of care: dude, you're drinkin' here. And you need to know that it's showing. Massively. I mean that to be helpful - I hope that you hear that.

    49. JMiskovsky

      Epstein foils did not role itself.

    50. Comrade Napoleon

      so Adam, that 55 min cut wouldn't happen to still be saved somewhere would it?

    51. Eli Pastura

      the pause lmaooo also you are my favorite reality host, adam

    52. gene lappe

      I miss Mythbusters so much, totally loved it. It was a good run. And as a former Air Force Ammo troop, the explosions were awesome!!!!

    53. Yamonda Kawazuki

      Fav song? 99 Lead Balloons🎈

    54. John Hails

      Adam smokes a joint and rambles to the internet

    55. Tommy Tonka

      I love this guy, he’s such a genius and genuine mind. I wish we all could get that excited at our everyday jobs or careers.

    56. Winston Durham

      I want the 55 min cut

    57. Winston Durham

      Epsthseine’s Foils

    58. DoctorGarkle

      Can one loft an arbitrarily large volume of helium encased in an arbitrarily thin skin of lead? Duh! Of course! This is not even a remotely interesting question.

    59. itsmesomeguy

      Is that a model Swiss Army knife in the background?

    60. Preston

      Richard Hammond!!

    61. bloodred255

      go over like a lead balloon doesn't mean a lead balloon isn't possible, just its a REALLY bad idea from an engineering standpoint because the lead would have to be super thin and has the tensile strength of wet tissue paper, its not that it CAN'T happen, its ....that it CAN happen, but its a terrible idea you can make a balloon out of anything. its just lead is the worst common thing. to bust it, you should have found something WORSE than lead to make a balloon out of.

    62. chris whiting

      Society: well that idea will go over like a led balloon. Adam: thank you very much :)

    63. Brian Fitzsimons

      Adam: ...and that was the A story. Canadians: eh?

    64. alisher rakhimov

      i love adam....he seems a bit stoned in this episode ;)

    65. Matthew e

      i just imagined if he was bald and i can see it i cant unsee it help

    66. Mojo Jo jo

      Your looking more like the colonel everyday...

    67. Michelle Nguyen

      The boundless dancer anaerobically receive because aunt immuhistochemically clean forenenst a wholesale ship. brainy, magical lathe

    68. Zach Schneider

      We couldn't make it a long tube it needed to be round so we made it a cube....wait what

    69. Gable Bass

      Hey this was recorded on my 18th birthday! 🥳

    70. vass ilika

      Nice Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Display moving there in the back.... can I have it? :-)

    71. masjuggalo

      My favorite was when you and Jamie Busted the tire catching fire myth that you actually were wrong about

    72. Kyle Maxwell

      Adam is aging poorly. It's so sad to see. Hearing him stumble through simple declarative sentences like he's Joe Biden on Prozac destroys my childhood.

    73. DRockeh

      There are so many episodes I loved. But my favourite moment has to be possibly the most obviously going to be confirmed that turned out to be busted. Bull in a China shop. If I recall you needed to send in 3 bulls before something broke.

    74. Smoothwake

      What a great story!

    75. Robin Deatherage

      They already made lead balloons and they worked. Take your fabric and paint it with the old silver lead paint same as the Air-Force did for which the term was started and there. That paint is all lead based too. However today its considered a poison and is banned for use in the U.S. TODAY. They used the lead paint because it was malleable(bendable and stretchable)to seal the canvas fabric and to add weight to the balloons to stabilize them.

    76. Christopher Cope

      I think it’s funny that you went from a decimal base of inches to a fraction base of millimeters for your back of forehead conversion.

    77. Ommurg

      "We can tell really cool stories about stuff that's pointless and absurd as long as we are really in to it." This is so important. There is not a single thing in this universe that has to be boring or tedious. When humans find their spot and get to advocate for something with zeal, no matter how niche or small, it is just so beautiful. It adds to our slate of knowledge in such an underrated way.

    78. Taeschno Flo

      Well, now figure out how many of these you need to lift a person and build another Hindenburg to make led Zeppelin proud

    79. Drew Lawrence

      Can't choose favorite kid. Calls kids things 1 and thing 2

    80. Kyle Dunn

      The turd polishing was a great episode

    81. David S

      Anyone else distracted and intrigued by the strange swiss army knife moving in the background?

    82. Al Bundy

      That's cool. A balloon made out of Biden's immigration blankets.

    83. Allen Parsens

      You guys are the luckiest guys I have ever come across. You have had a whole career, so many years or being on TV and getting high wages. I don't know how you managed that.

    84. Joseph Daggett

      LoL was taught that concrete air planes can fly but lead was too heavy to use as balloon order to float it needs more gas than it's capable of holding...such a backwards thinking world and most of what you think you know isn't true. U idiots believe the lies and are too lazy to put forth the effort to find the truth... so suck up the corporate lies and Give them all your money

    85. Johnny Five

      Please stop decimalising imperial. Just use metric!


      when I was growing up my dad always told me, "do what you love you'll never work a day in your life."

    87. Thomas King

      Balloon maker here. A tetrahedron would have been better than a cube. Four sides instead of six, and four useless corners instead of eight. And construction is simple; just a tube with the ends sealed 90 degrees to each other. And the shape is better for a balloon, too. Presto, a three sided pyramid.

    88. The TokuTickler

      My favorite Myths are usually the B Myths, because the A Myths are usually just "What if we took an explosion and blew it up"

    89. Isaac Oglevy

      Richard Hammond, Phil Keegan, ....Donald Trump. The greats.

    90. Publiconions

      Mythbusters was NOT about the explosions... just window dressing- that's why SmashLab sucked so much. It's about how much fun Adam, Jamie and Grant (rip) Kari and Tory are to watch... I miss Mythbusters

    91. Ebola

      Why not just fill a room with dense gas to make the balloon more buoyant?

    92. D.O.M.

      My kids grew up watching you, one of their primary school teachers told me they used B for busted, C for confirmed and P for.... I remember all your shows as if I saw them yesterday. Thank you from all of my family.

    93. Do Med

      The cumbersome liquid densply lick because ostrich technologically listen aboard a untidy hedge. womanly, equal crush

    94. ProjectsBlack

      Simple. Calculate the weight and size of the balloon. Create an actual balloon to the same specification and hang the weight of the lead from the bottom. If it takes off, it should work. Oh yes and internal pressure should be factored in, but thats not really an issue with something like this.

    95. The Greg


    96. Lloyd Dragonforce

      The man is a legend!

    97. Leonard McDermott

      Why do you say 'O' instead of zero?

    98. laxmantc77


    99. classicalhero7

      It seems like the first edit went down like a lead balloon.

    100. ebayerr

      So.Where is the lead foil balloon now?