MythBusters: the Explosive Exhibition

The Experience: Do you get less wet running through the rain or when you walk at a steady pace? With approximately 37 inches of rainfall in the Rose City annually, this is a question Portlanders need answered. Lucky for us, the MythBusters exhibit at OMSI offers an opportunity to find out. Bring a friend and discover the truth for yourself. Who will walk and who will run? Choose your path, pick your pace and then stop beneath black lights which make the water droplets glow to determine who is wetter. The MythBusters exhibit runs now through May 5th.

You don’t need to have seen the Discovery Channel’s award-winning show to appreciate MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition, though fans of Adam, Jamie and the rest of the crew will be thrilled to get a close-up look at the gadgets, props and gear used on the program. Interactive exhibits provide an opportunity for visitors to raise questions and then figure out the answers. Just like on the show you get to ask is the myth probable, plausible or busted?

Each display asks a different question. Does toast land butter side down? Test your hypothesis here. Can you really pull a tablecloth out from beneath a set of dishes? Friendly staff members assist with this display to keep chaos to a minimum. Are you as fast as a superhero? Grab your caped crusader costume and leap into a telephone booth to time your transformation.

The MythBusters television show combines science with entertainment, and the exhibition does the same. Grab a seat on a crate beside the stage and get ready for the MythBusters live show. Enthusiastic MythBusting Facilitators use volunteers from the audience and walk visitors through the scientific method. Can a human dodge a bullet – or in this case a paint ball? What happens if you vary the distance the paint ball travels? As soon as they gather enough volunteers, the show is announced and visitors are encouraged to gather. And remember, don’t try this at home!

With a name like “The Explosive Exhibition,” parents might be worried about car crashes and scenes of things blowing up. In fact the pyrotechnics are kept to a minimum, confined to a few television screens beside displays. Visitors have an opportunity to have a photo taken in front of a green screen. The resulting images show a massive explosion in the background. Photo packages and digital images can be purchased at the exit. At another kiosk by the exit you can submit a myth to be busted. Suggestions will be considered for future episodes of MythBusters.

Insider Information: A skeleton in a coffin, from an episode about survival after being buried alive, greets visitors at the entrance to the exhibit. Parents concerned that this will upset little ones may want to steer children toward the duct-tape canoe on the right as they go in.

The 411:
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 9:30am-5:30pm
Prices: MythBusters price for Members: $5 adults, $3 youth and seniors. General Admission + MythBusters: $18 adults, $13 youth and seniors.
Location: 1945 SE Water Ave
Contact: (800)955-6674; omsi.edu

-Heather Lee Leap




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