Lethal Playing Card

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Exploding Jawbreaker"

Finding: BUSTED

Explanation: To get to the bottom of whether playing cards can transform into lethal flying knives, MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage went straight to the source: Rick Jay. Jay is a sleight-of-hand ace and author of Cards As Weapons, which includes anecdotes of people who may have been killed by playing cards.

But although Jay can hurl a joker up to 90 miles (145 kilometers) per hour, could a 1.7-gram (0.1-ounce) card really deliver a death blow?

For maximum lethal potential, the MythBusters built a mechanical tossing machine that lobbed the cards at a rip-roaring 150 miles (241 kilometers) per hour. However, the playing cards cut only a half-inch (1.3 centimeters) into a ballistics gel dummy — a far cry from a lethal injury. Even a pellet gun didn't do too much damage.

So when a shirtless Jamie took a card for the team, it left little more than a paper cut. With the card lacking the mass to inflict significant injury, the lethal playing card myth turned up busted.

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