Runny Nose

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Flu Fiction"


Explanation: Ever wonder how fast a nose runs? Around 4 tablespoons per hour. But when you're trying to contain your cold, there's more than just speed to worry about — distance matters too. MythBusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman chased down the path of a runny nose and found that mucus travels far and wide.

To track the whereabouts of nasal secretions once they part ways with the body, the MythBusters rigged up a nose drip full of clear fluid that fluoresced under a black light. Jamie strapped on the drip and helped Adam host six guests for a MythBusters get-together to see how many people could inadvertently come in contact with the imitation snot.

Some guests were instructed to behave like overzealous germaphobes, and the rest carried on as usual. After just 30 minutes of mixing and mingling, the black light evidence exposed the makeshift mucus on the hands of everyone except Kari Byron, from the germaphobe group. The globe-trotting gunk even speckled the table, chairs and plates. That means if Jamie actually had the sniffles, his germs would've hopped around the party like a social butterfly.

In other words, the MythBusters' snotty shindig confirmed that it's nearly impossible to run away from runny nose germs.

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