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+ - Mythbusters "Peeing on 3rd Rail" Busted!-> 3 3

n0tWorthy writes: Mythbusters stated that the myth that you could be electrocuted by peeing on the 3rd rail was "busted" as the stream would be broken up due to distance and there wouldn't be a continuous path for the electrical current to follow. This seems to be refuted by a Monsanto Washington man that was found electrocuted after urinating into a ditch that had a downed power line.

"...there will be an autopsy but burn marks indicated the way the electricity traveled through Messenger's body." Ouch!

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Mythbusters "Peeing on 3rd Rail" Busted!

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  • -being short
    -being a boy and not a girl
    -having a lot of salt in your diet (lowers resistivity of urine)
    -having a large body with a high capacitance
    -standing on a grounded rail
    -pissing out a car door or otherwise being in contact with a car acting as an electrical ground
    -humidity in the air (affects sparking)
    -voltage carried by third rail (750 VDC)

    I assume your bladder keeps emptying after you've been electrocuted through it, but I guess the point is moot.
  • Mythbusters specifically tested peeing on the 3rd rail which runs at about 600 volts. They found that the urine stream broke up before reaching the rail.

    The man in TFA probably peed on a 7200 or 15Kv line. As voltage increases, so does the minimum safe air gap. That could easily be enough to jump the breaks in the stream that protected the dummy in the 3rd rail tests.

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