If you're a Simpsons fan -- or even just have a basic knowledge of pop culture -- then you must know that Bart Simpson loves a good prank. For 28 seasons Bart has pulled off a countless amount of pranks on the citizens of Springfield, some of which affect the whole town. One memorable prank involved Bart lining up 10 megaphones and unleashing a soundwave that broke all the glass -- including Homer's Duff bottles -- in Springfield. Cartoon science rarely translates to real-life, but one Simpsons fan decided to see what would happen if someone tried to do this in real-life. Check it out.
YouTuber The Backyard Scientist is a fan of both The Simpsons and science, two passions that find themselves colliding in the video above. The Backyard Scientist has always enjoyed Bart's megaphone prank ever since he first saw it as a kid, and decided to find out just what would happen if he spoke through 10 megaphones at once. Obviously, it won't create a giant sound wave that ruptures all the nearby glass, but just how loud is one megaphone versus 10 at the same time?
As it turns out, it's not so loud at all. Using a sound level meter to measure various sounds for comparison, The Backyard Scientist found that one megaphone is 79.7 decibels while using 10 only rose to 81 decibels. That's not even louder than a standard vacuum cleaner (87 decibels). That's...pretty disappointing, but that doesn't mean the megaphone line didn't make a ton of noise. When lined up in a circle, the megaphones created a literal feedback loop that rose off the charts, reaching nearly 120 decibels -- the highest the sound level meter can go. So, when it comes to talking with megaphones, it's better to just stick to one. The video explains it a lot better with big important science words as to why that is.
It is possible to break glass with a megaphone though, as The Backyard Scientist attempts to demonstrate. With the proper speakers (which he did not have) and by measuring the right frequency, a wine glass will shatter; one can shatter said glass by blasting the megaphone at high frequencies. Again, cartoon science beats real world science.
For comparison, here's how Bart's megaphone experiment went, which worked out a lot better for him.
The Simpsons is currently in its 28th season, and you can check out a new episode on April 30. The Simpsons airs Sunday nights on Fox.