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The Bamboo Torture Method: Fact or Fiction

    The Dark History of Bamboo Torture Method: Bamboo, celebrated for its strength and natural beauty, also carries a grim legacy intertwined with the horrific practice of bamboo torture. While revered for its versatility and rapid growth, this very characteristic has been weaponised to inflict excruciating pain, leaving an indelible mark on human history.

    This article is an extract from our video featuring the MythBusters reality video series – watch it on YouTube.

    World War II Reality of Bamboo Torture

    During World War II, Japanese soldiers inflicted unimaginable suffering on Allied prisoners of war, particularly Americans and Filipinos, using bamboo torture as a barbaric method of torment.

    Victims were bound to young bamboo shoots, their bodies pierced and impaled by the relentless growth of the plant, enduring a slow and agonizing demise.

    These harrowing accounts, documented in historical records and personal testimonies, continue to serve as chilling reminders of human cruelty.

    Bamboo torture method

    MythBusters Bamboo Torture Method

    Driven by scientific curiosity, the popular television show MythBusters embarked on a daring experiment in 2008 to uncover the truth behind this macabre practice.

    Their mission: to determine whether bamboo torture was a horrifying reality or a mere legend.

    Through meticulous research, Hyneman and Savage investigated the force required to puncture human flesh with bamboo. They conducted tests with specialised tools that revealed a force exceeding 4.3 kilograms. More than enough to pierce flesh.

    Fueled by scientific rigour, they constructed a lifelike dummy and observed as the rapidly growing bamboo shoots impaled it, replicating the horrific ordeal victims endured. This chilling experiment delivered undeniable evidence. Bamboo torture methods, once dismissed as a myth, were a terrifying reality.

    Acknowledging the Duality of Bamboo

    While bamboo torture casts a dark shadow on human history, it is important to acknowledge the plant’s numerous positive qualities.

    Renowned for its rapid growth, sustainability, and strength, bamboo offers diverse applications. It contributes to soil conservation, construction, and even providing a source of nutritious food. This underscores the multifaceted nature of this remarkable plant.


    Bamboo, once shrouded in myth, became synonymous with torture thanks to MythBusters. Their experiment exposed the chilling truth: bamboo’s rapid growth could inflict unimaginable pain.

    Though a dark stain on history, this plant also offers sustainable solutions. Let bamboo serve as a reminder: understanding both the darkness and the light within is essential for building a better future.

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