Review: Mythbusters ‘Newton’s Crane Cradle’ Episode

Continuing our reviews on the new Mythbusters season, I present you with episode 172, “Newton’s Crane Cradle

With the new season starting only last week, the Mythbusters have decided to take one of their biggest build yet. They have decided to build a super-sized Newton’s cradle out of wrecking balls.

Now for those of you who are not sure what a Newton’s cradle is, it usually look something like this:

This myth started off with this video:


We can all see that the wrecking balls are computer generated and this is just a gag for an ad campaign, but to the Mythbusters, it is a challenge to see if it would actually work in real life. As per Mythbusters fashion, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman starts with a regular desktop model, and then step by step enlarged it to the enormous wrecking ball size.

The guys with the balls

The build team,  Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci and Kari Byron, tackles the classic myth that a bird landing on a perfectly balanced car that is about to fall off a cliff will actually send the car over the edge. It might not sound as fun as the wrecking balls, but this time, Grant and Tory will both be inside the car when it tips over the edge. For this myth, they have went down to the bomb range, build a dirt ramp leading off of a shipping container and use the edge where the ramp leads up to as the cliff edge that the car will balance on.

Here is a clip of what the build team is up to:


This episode is one of those where every member of the family can enjoy. Also, it is good for the kids since it has some great physics lessons for them to learn. As for me, I have always enjoyed the build process and the way that both teams solves the problems at hand. Remember, do not try anything you are going to see at home, they are what you call “experts”. This is an episode that you will not want to miss, so be sure to catch it on Discovery channel on Wednesday, October 5th at 9pm PST

Grade: A+  

To learn more about Mythbusters be sure to log on to their website at for clips from previous episodes.

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Benson Chen
Benson Chen 71 posts

Benson Chen is a contributing writer for Nerd Reactor. <a href="">Meet the Nerd Reactor Team</a>