This Is Adam Savage's Biggest Fear

Adam Savage, one of the intrepid busters of myths on MythBusters, doesn't get scared a lot. He always seemed more excited than fearful of many of the show's insane and dangerous stunts. But every so often, viewers do see Savage scared, mostly because of the higher possibility of dying during certain experiments. What might have topped the list? Mythbusters fans learned what Savage's biggest fear was in one of the show's episodes. And no, it had nothing to do with explosions. Savage, it turns out, has an irrational fear of bees.

The story is told on the show's website. In the 13th episode of the 2007 season of MythBusters, the build team of Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, and Tory Belleci were testing out myths about self-hypnosis. They wanted to see if self-help CDs, the kind that lull you into hypnosis, can cure someone of a phobia. Belleci was supposed to be the team's test subject for this one, but they quickly realized he wasn't the best one for the job; he just didn't have a lot of the kinds of fears that self-hypnosis could address effectively. The team decided to bring in Savage who, viewers then learned, had apiphobia — the irrational fear of bees.

Savage said in the episode he has no idea why he's afraid of bees: "I don't know why. I've been stung plenty of times. I'm not allergic. I just can't stand those things, they freak me out."

The team made him stick his hand in a box full of bees

For the test, Savage needed to listen to the self-hypnosis CD for a week and basically tell himself he wasn't afraid of bees. The CD was something the producers bought on the internet. In usual MythBusters fashion, they needed to get a baseline heart rate in order to compare it to the results following the self-hypnosis. The Build Team asked Savage to stick his hand into a box swarming with bees while they measured his heart rate and his perspiration.

Savage's heart rate was spiking even before he inserted his hand. Another requirement: He had to keep his hands in the box for a full 10 minutes. He bravely faced his fear, though, because, as he said, he wanted to do it for science. In the episode, Savage said he believed self-hypnosis could work, after a fashion, and that concentrating on the idea of a bee sitting on his arm and not stinging him could benefit him after the self-hypnosis test is over.

Unfortunately, he was wrong. Despite feeling much better about sticking his hand in a box full of bees the second time around, his heart rate still spiked to the same levels as before the self-hypnosis. The myth is busted. Savage is still afraid of bees.

He's still not over his bee phobia

Hypnosis can be used as a method to let someone get over their fears, wrote Bustle, in that it allows a person to confront their fear in a controlled manner. It's like exposure therapy, but on a more unconscious level. Most hypnotherapy to cure phobias is done with the help of a professional, especially since the technique can be dangerous without someone safely guiding you through thinking about your fears.

As Bustle pointed out, it can take several sessions before someone successfully confronts their fear, making it highly unlikely that Savage, with just a week of self-hypnosis, could effectively manage his fear of bees. At the end of the episode, it was proven that you couldn't just buy a CD and tell yourself you're not afraid of something. (So save your cash.)

Since the episode aired in 2007, do you think Savage has since overcome his fear of bees? Think again. Earlier this year, Savage tweeted that he's still not a fan of flying stinging insects. Those stories of murder hornets are probably extremely terrifying for him. Maybe he can blow them up MythBusters style?