'MythBusters' tackle 'Breaking Bad's' bathtub meltdown

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By Anna Chan

Who could forget the liquefied human remains crashing through the ceiling on the second episode of "Breaking Bad"? It's one of the most memorable scenes in recent TV history, and Discovery's "MythBusters" are tackling the chemistry head on in the show's "Breaking Bad Special." To be specific: Can hydrofluoric acid really destroy a body, ceramic tub, floor and ceiling?

While the gang at "MythBusters" often do their tests on a smaller scale, there will be no tiny dead criminal or miniature bathtub for them to run the experiment on. In an exclusive look at the episode that Discovery is sharing with TODAY.com, buster Adam Savage explains to "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan and star Aaron Paul (the man behind the former screw-up Jesse Pinkman) that the team would first be checking to see if hydrofluoric acid would even eat through the materials in the scene. (Don't worry: No human remains were melted into a glob for this event. Pigs, however ...)

Before they started, Gilligan reminded the guys, "There's one thing you need to remember: HF is really, really dangerous!"

"Yeah, and that's an understatement!" buster Jamie Hyneman agreed. "We're really going to have to lock down our safety procedures." (Translation: Don't try this at home.) 

The stuff is so toxic that Savage and Hyneman took their experiment to UC Berkley, where the university's chemists have access to the corrosive liquid and can safely and exactly apply it to the materials in question.

Should the smaller-scale experiment work — and even if it fails — the busters promised Paul to "ramp it up to full scale." (But still no human body.)

See whether hydrofluroic acid can really create the mess it did on "Breaking Bad" when "MythBusters" airs its special on Monday at 10 p.m. on Discovery. "Breaking Bad" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.