Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of the Discovery Channel's MythBusters are coming to town with their live science show Behind the Myths.

Fans of the show will know the MythBusters team aims to uncover the truth behind popular myths and legends by mixing scientific method with curiosity and wit.

Some of the myths the team have tackled include:

• Can combining Diet Coke and Mentos make your stomach explode?


• Would a bull really cause destruction in a china shop?

• Is it possible to beat a lie detector test?

• Can plugging your finger in a gun barrel cause it to backfire?

• Is there a way to beat police speed cameras?

These are some of the more popular myths that have been busted.

1. 5 second rule with food on floor

Clumsy eaters, there is some bad news - even if something spends a mere millisecond on the floor, it attracts bacteria. How dirty it gets depends on the food's moisture, surface geometry and floor condition - not time.

2. AC vs. windows

Is driving with the windows down or with the air conditioning running more fuel efficient? Hyneman and Savage used identical cars to test the theory that driving with air conditioning is more fuel efficient than having the windows down. Hyneman's air-conditioned SUV stopped first, while Savage's window-cooled car ran for 24 kilometres more.

3. Will drinking alcohol help you feel warmer?

Turns out, just one alcoholic drink could make you feel warmer, but it actually lowers your core body temperature. A nip or two causes blood vessels to dilate, moving warm blood closer to the surface of your skin, so you feel warmer temporarily. However, those same veins pumping blood closer to the skin's surface cause you to lose core body heat - the heat you need to survive, especially if you're stuck in a snowdrift.

4. Are the Apollo moon landing photos fake?

Sceptics believe NASA's photo of an astronaut taking a moon stroll with some rocks in the foreground isn't real because the astronaut's shadow isn't parallel to those of the moon rocks. However, in Hyneman and Savages's own lunar photo shoot, uneven, non-parallel shadows appeared on the moon-landing scene. This was created to scale and adjusting the topography to mimic the moon's.

5. Beer goggles make a person more attractive

This myth was found to be plausible as one finding was certain: As you go from buzzed to drunk, people definitely start to look more appealing. One reason for this may be that alcohol works as a depressant, meaning that it slows down your body's central nervous system. This can change your perception, increase sexual arousal and impair your judgment.

- nzherald.co.nz