Woman reaching into muffler(l), Hands in muffler(c), Boy looking in disbelief(r)


‘I have never heard of this’: Driver freaks out thinking they found criminal ‘evidence’ in their car. Then they learn what it really is

‘I had so many guesses, all of them wrong.’


Amelie Allen


If you’re a big fan of true crime podcasts, maybe you should consider switching your morning listening to NPR’s Car Talk. A sign of increasing paranoia, one woman was concerned her car was the site of a crime after finding something she thought to be unusual in the exhaust pipe. 

TikTok user Kimberly DeFisher (@arcticfoxdaily) found a frightening string of matted hair stuck in the bottom of her aunt’s car that, upon thorough investigation in a viral video, turned out to be the car’s “muffler hair.”

The video opens with text onscreen stating that DeFisher and her aunt “decided [they] should call the police. This was so creepy…” Behind the text, DeFisher plays footage of her aunt pulling a string of matted hair from her car’s exhaust pipe.

The next sentence reads, “My Aunt called me over because she was freaked out about what we had assumed were the remains of an animal coming out of her vehicle’s muffler…”

In the footage, DeFisher’s aunt continues to pull hair out of the exhaust pipe. DeFisher guesses that the hair might be from a decomposed animal, and her aunt motions at a piece of hair that looks like it might have dried blood in it.

“This is human hair, Kimberly,” her aunt says. She continues to turn the hair over in her gloved hands. “I’m really scared, like, seriously.”

DeFisher’s aunt reaches back into the exhaust pipe, and grabs another piece of hair, confirming there is still more left. “This is like, chock full,” she observes.

“I just don’t know what animal that would be,” DeFisher says. “The only thing I can think of is like a skunk, or cat, that would match that, but…” Her aunt cuts in by saying that she can’t feel any extremities left over from an animal, and DeFisher suggests taking the car apart, but her aunt shoots the idea down.

“I wish, but see, you can’t take that apart,” her aunt motions to the car’s muffler. “Because it’s all full.” 

DeFisher’s camera follows her aunt’s hand, zooming in on the muffler, and the text on screen says that they’d “started to wonder if somebody had stuffed ‘evidence’ in [there].”

The pair eventually consult DeFisher’s teenage cousins, stating that the boys “def. know more about vehicles than us…” Her cousins establish that the pipe with the hair is attached to the muffler.

What is the “hair” inside an exhaust pipe?

As DeFisher’s aunt pulls out another segment of hair, one of the teenagers, Willie, cuts in: “Are you sure you’re not just pulling out the muffler?” DeFisher’s aunt asks why all of that hair would be in the muffler, and Willie responds “Because that’s what all mufflers have in them.”

The duo was shocked. “Are you serious?” DeFisher asks.

DeFisher’s aunt responds even louder, turning to Willie and yelling, “Are you kidding me right now?!”

Willie suggests they start the car, and if it’s loud, then they will know that they pulled out the muffler. As he goes around to start the car, DeFisher starts to laugh with her aunt. “This is a great video,” she says. “I got all this.”

The video ends with a screen recording of DeFisher searching “muffler hair” on Google Images, and showing countless examples that matched their experience.

The comments were equal parts surprised and amused.

“I had so many guesses, all of them wrong, and not a single one came close to muffler hair,” one person said.

“What I’m 54 years on this planet and I’ve never heard of muffler hair. Are we supposed to take it to get a haircut or something?” another joked.

A couple of commenters pointed out that DeFisher’s cousins were there the whole time, watching her aunt pull out the hair without saying anything.

“Love how he watched you do this before saying anything,” someone commented. “We all learned something today.”

Finally, one commenter got to the root of the problem: “I think we watch too much true crime.”

Is “muffler hair” a real thing?

Muffler hair is not a new phenomenon. Car Talk hosts, mechanics Tom and Ray Magliozzi, have addressed the issue on their show multiple times. 

Once, in a 2008 column for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Ray stated, “It’s not hair. It’s probably fiberglass, or some such thing. It’s used to keep the baffles in the muffler from rattling when the muffler starts to get old and the parts loosen up.”

Tom added on a warning: “But when the interior of the muffler really begins to disintegrate, the baffles no longer hold the insulation (i.e., muffler hair) in place, and it gets pushed out the tailpipe.”

So, if you see hair in your exhaust pipe, you should probably worry about getting a new muffler, not about being roped into a murder case.

The Daily Dot reached out to Kimberly DeFisher for comment via TikTok and Instagram direct message.

The Daily Dot