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On June 8th, 2005, a Mythbusters episode was aired entitled Jet Pack, where they claimed to have "busted" pyramid power.  They made four pyramids, about 2 feet wide, made out of wood dowels in the Giza dimensions.  They aligned the four pyramids to magnetic north, and used 2x4s, cut at the proper length, to act as stands to raise the items to be experimented upon inside each pyramid one-third up from the base, at the geometric center of the pyramid.  They did four experiments with these pyramids.  One was with milk; another was with a rose; another was with a razor blade; and the last was with an apple.


For the milk, they poured about 2 tablespoons in each small-sized glass measuring cup, open to the air.  One was sitting on the 2x4 stand inside one of the pyramids, the other on a similar 2x4 stand outside the pyramid.  After 16 days, both apparently had milk maggots crawling in the samples and stank to high heaven.  They declared it "busted."


For the rose, they cut it in half, and placed one half inside one of the pyramids on the 2x4 stand, and the other half outside of the pyramid on a similar 2x4 stand.  After 16 days, both halves of the rose dehydrated without any evidence of mold or decay.  They declared it "busted."


For the razor, they scraped it on a rough surface to make it dull, and then broke the blade in half.  One half was placed on a 2x4 stand inside a pyramid, and the other half was placed outside the pyramid on a similar 2x4 stand.  After 16 days, they looked at both halves with an electron microscope at the California Academy of Sciences to see whether the blade that was inside the pyramid had a sharper edge than the one that was outside the pyramid.  They couldn't see any difference, and declared it "busted."


I will address the results of these first three experiments before moving onto the experiment with the apple.  It is my understanding, based upon what I have read, that there are many factors that can affect the results of an experiment with a pyramid:  Its alignment, how precise the pyramid was built, whether it was made of metal or not, how big it is, whether it was placed in the geometric center of the pyramid or not, the environmental conditions, and how much water is in the sample that is trying to be preserved.  It is my understanding that for a non-metallic pyramid to be the most effective, it should be aligned to true north.  The pyramids that they used were made out of wood, and they aligned them to magnetic north.  This doesn't mean that they were not effective, but they were probably less effective than if they were aligned to true north.  It appeared that the pyramids they made were well-built and had no metal in them, and they placed the samples on stands in the geometric center of the pyramids, so overall, they seemed to place enough attention to other details that would make their pyramids have some effect on the samples that they experimented with.


For the milk experiment, I believe that due to the size of the pyramid and the fact that it was not aligned to true north, there was simply too much water in the sample for the pyramid to effectively preserve it without signs of rot or decay.  I will say, though, that when I review the video, there is question in my mind as to whether both samples were the same.  At 33:33 into the episode, they show what the milk outside the pyramid looks like:

Mythbusters Pyramid Experiment: Milk outside pyramid crawling with maggots.

You can clearly see the maggots crawling around both on the inside and outside of the cup.  To me, it looks like the cup is full of them.  Then, a few seconds later, they show the milk sample inside the pyramid, which one of the people on the show claimed also had maggots in it.  They show it at a different angle than the control sample, and only for a brief second, so if you are just watching the show normally, it is really hard to know for sure.  I freeze-framed it at 33:38 into the episode, and this is what they showed:

Mythbusters Pyramid Experiment: Milk inside pyramid has only two dead bugs.

While it looks like there may be a couple of dead bugs, I can't see any live maggots crawling all around the cup like in the one outside the pyramid.  Can you?  And I have to wonder whether the couple dead bugs were actually some luckless maggots that happened to crawl their way over from the other one and then died.  Notice in that in the control sample in the first picture that there were no dried up brown maggots, only plump white ones.


As for the experiment with the rose, contrary to milk, roses have much less water in them, and would be much more likely to be able to dehydrate on their own without molding or decaying.  The experiment with roses that was done by Nancy Nelson described earlier was done with the roses covered in a glass container.  While they were not hermetically sealed, they had lids on them that significantly reduced the amount of dehydration that could have naturally occurred with them. Conversely, in the Mythbusters experiment, not only were both samples exposed to the open air, according to the humidistat that they briefly flashed upon, the relative humidity in the air was 20%--which is bone dry.  So it is no surprise that both halves of the rose dried out without any signs of mold or decay.


As for the razor blade experiment, I need to first talk about Karel Drbal's pyramidal sharpening device, for which he was given a patent in Czechoslavia in 1959, after ten years of giving scientific explanations and evidence to the patent examiners.  First, according to the specifics in the patent on how it works, it is actually not meant to be a sharpening device, but a regenerating device.  By placing a new razor in a non-metallic pyramid (like cardboard), preferably in the Giza dimensions, it supposedly strengthened the bonds of the crystalline structure on the edge of the blade, increasing its resilience.  After shaving with it, it would be placed back inside the pyramid, which supposedly allowed any elastic deformations that might have occurred on the edge of the blade from the shaving action to return back to its original condition (perhaps like memory foam).  Supposedly, the pyramid energy increased the speed of the elastic resilience of the blade, requiring only about 24 hours instead of 15-30 days.  If a blade has been dulled because of mechanical destruction, as in if the blade was scraped on a surface harder than the metal itself, chipping away at the edge of the blade, then it wasn't supposed to fix that--or if it did, it would be to a much lesser degree and take much longer, something like 40 days versus only 24 hours.   


So, getting back to the experiment at hand, first, they scraped the blade on a hard surface to dull it down with the assumption that the pyramid was supposed to re-sharpen it again.  Second, the blade was only left inside the pyramid for 16 days.  Even so, I question their assessment that there was no noticeable difference between the two halves of the blade.  Here is the picture taken by the electron microscope of the half of the blade that was outside the pyramid:

Mythbusters Pyramid Experiment: Electron Microscope image of razor blade outside pyramid rough and jagged.

And here is the picture taken by the electron microscope of the half of the blade that was inside the pyramid:

Mythbusters Pyramid Experiment: Electron Microscope image of razor blade inside pyramid not as jagged.

Maybe it's just me, but it looks like the grooves (from scraping the razor on a hard surface) are not as deep in the picture of the razor in the pyramid.  Notice the difference between each ridge on the top part of the photographs:  You can actually see a discernible ridge for the one inside the pyramid; whereas, for the one that was outside the pyramid, the ridge at the top of the picture looks like a good rendition of the Himalaya mountain range.


They then very briefly show a comparison shot of the two razors:

Mythbusters Pyramid Experiment: Electron Microscope images compared: the control is much more jagged.

Based upon these two pictures, they determined that there was no significant difference between the two photos and declared the razor blade experiment "busted," meaning that it showed no evidence that pyramid energy was having any effect upon this experiment.  Hmmm.


For the last experiment, the apple, they cut it in half with a chop saw, and placed one half inside a pyramid on a 2x4 stand, and the other half outside the pyramid on a similar 2x4 stand.  After 16 days, they inspected both halves of the apple.  For the half that was inside the pyramid, this is what they saw:

Mythbusters Pyramid Experiment: Apple half inside pyramid has some signs of browning and oxidation.

It seemed to show some signs of oxidation, but apparently there was no mold on it.  And this is what the half outside the pyramid looked like:

Mythbusters Pyramid Experiment: Apple half outside the pyramid is rotten.

Even they, extreme skeptics as they were, could not deny that something unexplainable seemed to be going on here.  One lady on the show commented, "I'm so bummed.  This oogie-boogie stuff is actually working."


When they reported their findings to one of the main characters on the show, he determined that because the apple was cut with an non-sterile saw blade, it must have caused a bigger bacterial load on the half that was outside the pyramid than the one inside the pyramid.  


OK...anything is possible.  So, when encountering anomalous results that can't be explained in a scientific experiment, proper protocol is to try to determine if there were any hidden variables causing the anomaly, eliminate those variables, and then repeat the experiment.  In this case, if the theory was that the non-sterilized blade had caused the problem, then you would repeat the experiment, cutting the apple in half with a blade (preferably not a saw blade) that has been sterilized.  Did they do that?  No.  Instead, they took whole apples, sterilized the outside surface with bleach, bombarded them with UV light, and then placed them, uncut, one in the pyramid and one outside the pyramid.  They also placed a third sterilized apple in a cube structure as part of the experiment.  After sitting there for four months, they inspected all three apples.  The one in the cube looked the worse by far.  The other two, the one in the pyramid and the one outside the pyramid looked about the same, showing some signs of browning flesh when cut open.  Based upon this, they declared the experiment with the apples "busted," proving once and for all that pyramid power was just a myth.


My response to that is:  Why didn't you repeat the experiment?  When you cut an apple in half, you break the hermetic seal of the skin surrounding the flesh, exposing it to the air, and consequently, mold and bacteria.  At the same time, it gives it an opportunity to start to dehydrate.  It is a very different experiment than using whole, uncut apples.  Since pyramids seem to have both a dehydrating and sterilizing effect on the items placed inside of them, cutting the apple in half seems like the perfect experiment to show the potentials of what pyramid power can do.  Also, apples have more water in them than roses, so there is less of a chance of both the control and the pyramid samples drying out without any signs of mold or decay.  Conversely, they have a much less moisture content than the milk samples, giving the pyramid sample more of a chance to dehydrate and preserve the sample.  In other words, the cut apple experiment is an ideal experiment to test pyramid power on because it is in the "Goldilocks zone" in terms of moisture content and the size of the pyramids that they were experimenting with.


So, in my opinion, based on the fact that you did a completely different experiment instead of following proper scientific protocol by repeating the cut apple experiment using a sterilized blade, I am going to declare to you:

"MythBusters, you're busted."

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