Grant Imahara Once Shared the ‘Most Disgusting’ Myth He Ever Tested on ‘MythBusters’ Came From ‘Shrek’

The TV series, MythBusters, debunked all sorts of myths and urban legends in its 18-season run. Every episode, the show’s cast tested a handful of myths to see if they were true or not. But sometimes MythBusters got proven wrong. No matter the outcome, fans could always count on hosts Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage, Grant Imahara, Kari Byron, and Tory Belleci to make the show entertaining.

In the wake of Imahara’s July 2020 passing, we’re looking back at the roboticist and electrical engineer’s time on the program. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Imahara suddenly died at the age of 49 following a brain aneurysm. Keep reading to check out what Imahara deemed the “most disgusting” myth ever featured on MythBusters

Grant Imahara joined ‘MythBusters’ in season 3

Grant Imahara poses for photographers as he arrives at the 2014  Geekie Awards
Grant Imahara arrives at the 2014 Geekie Awards | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

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After studying engineering in college, Imahara landed a job at filmmaker George Lucas‘ Lucasfilm’s THX labs. He worked there for nine years contributing to major films such as the Star Wars prequels, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Lost World: Jurassic Park

From there he went from a behind the scenes role to an on-camera one when he signed on for MythBusters Season 3. Replacing Scottie Chapman, Imahara designed and built robots for the show. When he wasn’t showcasing his engineering skills, he participated in some of the show’s tests.

The ‘most disgusting’ myth? An earwax candle inspired by ‘Shrek’

According to IMDd, Imahara’s “most disgusting” myth appears in MythBusters Season 7 Episode 23: “Mini Myth Mayhem.” As the title suggests, the cast tested some mini myths. Among them, a candle made of human earwax. The idea came from the 2001 animated movie, Shrek, where the title character uses his own earwax to create a candle. 

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In a Discovery Channel video, Imahara deemed the earwax candle experiment to be “far and away the most disgusting myth I’ve ever worked on and perhaps the most disgusting experience of my life.” 

He explained the MythBusters cast attempted to make a similar candle using earwax with a wick in the middle. They collected wax from the crew and enlisted the help of a local doctor to get enough wax to make a candle. 

Melting the earwax caused ‘instant dry heaves’

One detail from the earwax candle experiment made it an extremely unpleasant experience. According to Imahara’s remarks in the video and what he told The Atlantic in 2012, they used infected earwax. This made for a truly nasty smell when they melted it down to make a candle. 

“We found out later on that the reason that the doctor had removed all the earwax from people’s ears was because it was infected,” he said. “And the smell that emanates from infected human earwax being heated caused instant dry heaves.”

“I just could not deal, so I had to walk away from it,” he said. “Everybody else formed it into a candle and then we tried to light it, but it didn’t really work. That one was busted, and it was probably the grossest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

Imahara appeared on MythBusters until 2014 when he, Byron, and Belleci exited the program. They reunited in 2016 for one season of Netflix’s White Rabbit Project.

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