Were MacGyver real, the world would be a safer place. And not just for people with mullets. Of course, you'd think that MacGyver's almost supernatural resourcefulness has about as much place in the real world as a guy who shoots spider webs out of his wrists. You'd be wrong.
Apparently, people with preternatural resourcefulness exist in real life. Here are five that would have made the bemulleted-one himself beam with the pride of a makeshift heart made out of Popsicle sticks, a timing belt and gum.
5A World War II Pilot Used Jell-O to Copy a Map
So it's World War II. You've been sent into a secret Axis meeting room to obtain top-secret maps of the enemy's troop movements. You can't steal the maps because that would raise suspicions and you can't write down the coordinates because you're retarded. Or you don't have a pencil. Whichever is easier for you to believe.
All you've got is a wooden tray and a pocket full of Jell-O you snuck out of the mess tent. You don't know why you stole a handful of Jell-O, and you especially don't know why you stored it in your pocket, but there's no turning back now. You can hear guards moving in and you've only got a few minutes to get what you came for. What should you do other than have the most pathetic last meal of all time?
According to the book, Colditz--The Definitive History: The Untold Story of World War II's Great Escapes, a group of British pilots in the Colditz prisoner camp were in that exact same situation. The boys gathered together some of the gelatin they had as rations, put the map face up on a wooden tray and poured the Jell-O (lemon-flavored) over them. They then took the Jell-O and pressed it on a sheet of clear greaseproof paper.
It worked. They were able to make 30 copies of the map and enjoyed a tasty meal of lemon-flavored Jell-O because the British were clever, smart and have no taste buds.
Could MacGyver Have Done it Better?
According to MacGyver, a map "can get you in and out of places a lot of different ways" other than just getting yourself from point A to point B. As this video clearly shows, a map can help you unlock doors, distract women in burkas and beat an armed guard senseless:
If the video ran just a little bit longer, MacGyver also could have showed you how a map can help you break up with your pregnant girlfriend, pay off your student loans and establish a Palestinian state. So, yes, while the Jell-O thing was impressive, with 30 copies of a map we're thinking MacGyver could have ended the war.
4Two Inmates Escape Prison With Dental Floss
Apparently, flossing is extremely dangerous. We at Cracked have held a rabid anti-floss position for years now and it looks like our cause will finally gain momentum. Admittedly, we only took this stance due to equal parts of laziness and cheapness, but it's nice to learn that we've been unconsciously avoiding accidentally flossing our faces off all this time.
According to The London Telegraph's "Quite Interesting" column, Italian mob boss Vincenzo Curcio had been convicted of murder and was facing further prosecution for seven more murders. Desperate to flee, he escaped from his cell in 2000 in Turin by sawing through the bars with nothing more than simple dental floss. You know, the stuff your dentist tells you to put in your mouth every single night? That stuff.
The same year, the Associated Press reported that Antonio Lara escaped from a state prison in Palestine, Texas by coating the bars with toothpaste and cutting through the bars with dental floss. He didn't escape from the jail, just his cell, so he could kill a rival inmate. Whether or not it was with the floss, we don't know, but we can always dream.
Metal bars that may or may not have been cut with a piece of floss
How were they able to cut through steel with floss? Floss is unbelievably durable, apparently almost magically so. According to the book Extraordinary Uses for Everyday Things, floss can replace the hanging wires for pictures frames, replace the threading in outdoor backpacks and tents, and remove a stuck ring off of a finger. We're assuming this is done by sawing your finger off with the floss.
Could MacGyver Have Done it Better?
When imprisoned in a basement (by Tia Carrera, in episode 320) he didn't settle for floss or any combination of dental hygiene products. Instead, he uses a set of cables and a pair of hi-fi stereo speakers to act as a sonar detector to find a secret door.
Wait, why couldn't he have just knocked on the wall like Indiana Jones would have? How much of MacGyver's overly elaborate gadgetry was just him showing off?