Mythbusters Reveals If You Can Make Someone Pee In Their Sleep By Dipping Their Hand In Water

Beginning in 2003, Discovery Channel's longest-running show, "MythBusters," ran for a total of 20 memorable seasons. The show followed special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman as they attempted to prove or disprove urban myths. Some of their antics included attempting to fly with balloons, testing out scenes from "Breaking Bad," and even investigating how many times a piece of paper can be folded (tested using a jumbo paper and a hydraulic press). Other myths that the duo worked to debunk were rather dangerous, such as escaping from sinking cars and using JATO rockets on a 1967 Chevy.

Along with co-hosts Grant Imahara, Kari Byron, and Tory Belleci, Savage and Hyneman tackled some more obscure and gross myths as well. Taking inspiration from the film "Shrek," the team tested the ability of human earwax to make a candle and investigated the effects of molten lead on human flesh (via Myth Results).

The Mythbusters tried out the myth on each other

Keeping with the theme of human biology, the team also once tested whether dipping a person's hand in a bowl of warm water will cause the person to urinate involuntarily. In other words: can one be forced to unconsciously wet the bed? Leave it to "MythBusters" to answer this question so no one makes a mess at summer camp or at a sleepover.

Myth Results details the episode in which Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman attempted to prove or disprove this old wives' tale. They enlisted the help of the California Center for Sleep Disorders and set up an alarm to ring if it detected moisture. Both guys tested it out on each other once each had reached a deep sleep. The test did not go smoothly, as Savage's sleep apnea got in the way of him sleeping long enough to conduct the test well. Hyneman was only able to pour the water over Savage's hand, which woke him up before the alarm could sense anything.

Is there any science behind this myth?

The "MythBusters" tests were quite inconclusive and the sample size was not large enough to produce concrete results. How Stuff Works writer Nicholas Gerbis looked into more theories surrounding the prank. Gerbis explained that the human bladder holds in liquid by relaxing the muscles attached to it and releases liquid by contracting the same muscles. Heat makes these muscles relax, but images or sounds of water are known to make people feel the need to urinate. Given these biological reactions, is the sensation of water strong enough to force bladder contraction even while asleep?

Gerbis remains unsure, as did the Mythbusters. Immersion diuresis is a water-based urination phenomenon in which urination is spurred on by the temperature and pressure changes that occur when immersing oneself in water. However, the whole body — or at least a large part of it — needs to be submerged. Just one hand will not likely do the trick, as reasoned by Matt Soniak for MentalFloss. Maybe this myth will take more risk-takers and prankers to figure it out.