Experiments

You Can Make A Candle Out Of Earwax

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Mini Myth Mayhem".
DCL

Finding: BUSTED

Explanation:In the movie Shrek, the eponymous green monster pulls a mound of wax from his animated ear and molds a candle from the gunk. Typically, candles are made out of paraffin or beeswax, which both burn evenly. MythBusters Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara rounded up a host of crew members and collected enough earwax to fashion their own Shrek-style candle and see how it stacked up.

Set on fire, earwax will snap, crackle and pop, but the MythBusters' candle didn't hold a flame to its paraffin and beeswax competitors. The skin cells, hair, fatty acids and cholesterol contained in earwax combust quickly and at different rates, which means the icky substance won't stick around long enough to keep the flame on the wick.

The busted myth is really a blessing, too, since our ears need some of that waxy filling. Earwax lubricates, moisturizes and protects the auditory canal from infection, so removing a substantial amount of the stuff like Shrek did would be asking for an earful of trouble.

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