Modern Marvels

Season 16 Episode 14

Breaking Point

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM May 13, 2010 on The History Channel



  • Trivia

    • The most expensive cars ever crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are the Mercedes E500 and the Lexus LS, both priced around $60,000.

    • Since children could be trapped inside refrigerators if their doors reach the breaking point, Underwriters Laboratories opens and closes test models 300,000 times.

    • In 1989 engineers determined the breaking point of the Tower of Pisa. It would collapse when its tilt reaches 5.4 degrees – but inexplicably it was already leaning 5.5 degrees. A $25 million project set it a little straighter.

    • The human eardrum can register a rock concert at 110 decibels but at 160 decibels it reaches its breaking point, perforating instantly.

  • Quotes

    • Narrator: Everything from a house to an eggshell has its point of failure. When we study that instant of destruction the lessons we learn are invaluable, because knowing can spell the difference between life and death. Now, Breaking Point, on Modern Marvels.

  • Notes

  • Allusions