Extreme science enthusiasts and special effects gurus Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, along with a team of experts in a range of applicable fields, put rumors, truths, myths, lies, and heresy under the microscope to see if they hold up under close scientific scrutiny.
In twelve years of airing on Discovery Communications' flagship Discovery Channel, the topics of experimentation have ranged from things as practical as whether a cell phone can really interfere with commercial airliner instrumentation enough to cause a crash, to notions as conceptual as if a sewer explosion is as capable of sending a city manhole cover soaring up into the air as has been depicted in so many a Hollywood movie.
The studies are conducted from Hyneman's workshops located in San Francisco, California, and often pit the two stars against each other when their hypotheses about the topics don't align. Myth ideas are sourced from a mix of areas including the guys' personal life experience and the show's rabid fan base by way of the Mythbusters forums on The Discovery Channel online platform.
Through a step by step breakdown and recreation of the real world conditions the experiment is examining, Adam, Jamie, and company put the subject through varying degrees of difficulty that meet, and often exceed (just for fun), the calculated assumptions of the hypothesis. By way of these tests, one of three verdicts is reached about the myth in question; a "busted" takeaway means the test revealed that there is no realistic way the myth holds up in the world as we commonly understand it, "plausible" is assigned to myths that could potentially be viable if certain conditions are favorable for it to do so, and lastly "confirmed" myths are inarguably valid without a shadow of a doubt being cast on it.
With their background in special effects, many of the topics covered steer in directions that allow them to flex those particular muscles - ballistic weaponry, high-powered explosives, and top-speed car chases are factored whenever possible into the experimentation that Savage and Hyneman elect to carry out. Hollywood personalities and performers are also not shied away from, as well as entire episodes being themed towards buzzed about pop culture topics, television shows, and films.