Bulletproof Water

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Bulletproof Water"


Explanation: When you're being shot at and find yourself fresh out of bulletproof vests, is jumping into water your next best defense? Makers of action movies seem to think so. To find out if their theory holds water, Mythbusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage fired away at this cinematic escape method, in which characters dive into rivers, pools and other aquatic environments to dodge bad guys' bullets.

Since Jamie and Adam weren't willing to take a bullet in the name of science, they molded a ballistics gel target with the same consistency as human flesh. Then, they suspended it in the deep end of a pool and unleashed the Mythbusters armory on it, taking aim at the gel from a roughly 30-degree angle.

Both the 9-millimeter handgun bullets and the 12-gauge shotgun shells came to a halt after penetrating a few feet into the pool. But perhaps most surprisingly, even bullets from a supersonic M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle — which shoots at a lightning-quick 2,800 feet (853 meters) per second — disintegrated after submersion. The bullets decelerated in the water so quickly they burst, leaving the ballistics gel target intact and confirming the myth.

So, the next time bullets start flying, you can plan to swan dive to safety — just make sure you dive deep enough to dodge any type of bullet.

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