An old clip from the TV show Mythbusters looking at the impact of intense pressure on the human body has gone viral following the announcement that those aboard the missing Titan submersible have died.
In a press conference on Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that the Titan suffered a “catastrophic implosion.” The Coast Guard confirmed they had found debris from the submersible 1,600 feet away from the Titanic wreckage.
“An implosion is the opposite of an explosion, matter and energy collapse inward and all implosions are caused by some form of pressure acting from the outside on an object,” explained a report by Hawkins, an organization that specialized in forensic root cause analysis.
The five confirmed passengers were Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate; French submersible pilot Paul-Henry Nargeolet; multi-millionaire British explorer Hamish Harding; Pakistani-British businessman Shahzada Dawood; and his son Suleman Dawood.
A clip from episode 19 of season 7 of Mythbusters, a show dedicated to investigating whether common myths have any validity, has gone viral with over 340,000 views since it was posted on the ChudsOfTikTok Twitter page.
I keep hearing reporters ask about bodies, well.
This is the effect on a “a human shaped dummy made of pig parts w/ bones muscle fat skin & mid section of guts.” at 135psi in comparison, the depths of the titanic would be around an implosion at 5,600-6,000psi.
Thanks mythbusters? pic.twitter.com/fndcfZQWbH
— ChudsOfTikTok (@ChudsOfTikTok) June 22, 2023
In the episode, hosts Jessi Combs, Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara investigated the myth that while using an old pressurized suit during a deep sea dive, a failure in the air supply could cause a rapid depressurization, resulting in swift and grisly death.
The myth alleged the rapid change in pressure would be so great the individual’s body would be pushed into the helmet.
Investigating this myth resulted in an experiment that saw a meat mannequin, filled with organs, put in to a deep dive pressure suit and placed 300 feet deep in the ocean. The team then cut the air supply line, used to counteract the pressure, being pumped down into the suit.
“I keep hearing reporters ask about [recovery of the Titan] bodies, well,” the Twitter page captioned the clip:
“This is the effect on a “a human shaped dummy made of pig parts w/ bones muscle fat skin & mid section of guts.” at 135 [pounds of pressure per square inch] (PSI) in comparison, the depths of the titanic would be around an implosion at 5,600-6,000psi.”
The clip showed the suit rapidly depressurize and compress in on itself, resulting in the meat dummy breaking and squeezing itself into the helmet. Showing that, at that 135 PSI, while not instantaneous the pressure forced the “meat man’s” body into the helmet, confirming the myth.
“So I definitely expected the juices to be flowing but I didn’t expect to see them slowly rise up through the helmet and then it was like an explosion inside the suit,” Combs said, reflecting on the experiment’s findings.
“The name of this game is differential pressure, they can withstand a huge amount of pressure when they are equalized, but as soon as you take away all the pressure on the inside, crush,” Imahara, who died in 2020, added.