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MIT student blogger Melis A. '08

Think YOUR research is crazy? by Melis A. '08

Why doesn't spaghetti break in half? There is an answer, because someone has dedicated their life to figure it out...

Ever find yourself sitting in lab, thinking “What in God’s name am I doing? Does this research even matter?” Have no fear! Check out this list of the 20 Craziest Scientific Researches.

Some of the Craziest Scientific Researches:

«Blink-Free Photos, Guaranteed» (2006)
Presented by N. Svenson and P. Barnes (Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization)
It calculated the number of photographs you must take to (almost) ensure that nobody in a group photo will have their eyes closed.

«Fragmentation of Rods by Cascading Cracks: Why Spaghetti Does Not Break in Half» (2006)
Presented by B. Audoly and S. Neukirch (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris).
It explaines why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces.

«Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses and Thermal Comfort in the Cold» (1994)
Presented by M. K. Bakkevig (Sintef Unimed in Trondheim, Norway) and R. Nielson (Technical University of Denmark).
Investigates the significance of wet underwear and compares any influence of fibre-type material and textile construction of underwear on thermoregulatory responses and thermal comfort of humans during rest in the cold. The tests showed that the thickness of the underwear has more of an influence on the thermoregulatory responses and thermal comfort, than the types of fibres tested.

«On Human Odour, Malaria Mosquitoes, and Limburger Cheese» (1996)
Presented by B. Knols
It shows that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.

»Rectal Foreign Bodies: Case Reports and a Comprehensive Review of the World’s Literature» (1986)
Presented by D. B. Busch and J. R. Starling (Wisconsin).
Includes reports of, among other items: seven light bulbs; a knife sharpener; two flashlights; a wire spring; a snuff box; an oil can with potato stopper; eleven different forms of fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs; a jeweler’s saw; a frozen pig’s tail; a tin cup; a beer glass; and one patient’s remarkable ensemble collection consisting of spectacles, a suitcase key, a tobacco pouch and a magazine.

10 responses to “Think YOUR research is crazy?”

  1. Jay says:

    wow, very interesting. i guess the trick to avoiding malaria is to not make your feet smell like cheese.

  2. Kevin says:

    Did anyone see the article in Popular Science, How 2.0 that featured the disco floor that First East created??
    http://web.mit.edu/storborg/ddf
    it’s pretty awesome stuff!

  3. Meagan says:

    wow! i love how science is so pointless and then so necessary at the same time….i wonder if any mit professors or alumni performed one of the top twenty craziest scientific researches

  4. Steele says:

    WOW! people really do think like me lol. I love spending hours on the net trying to find answers to random questions!

  5. Sarab says:

    Interesting. So any up for the IgNobel yet?

  6. Minh says:

    That’s so awesome. Melis, are you going to ZBT for the 80s dance? =)

  7. Melissa Hunt says:

    Haha, sounds like the strange questions that pop up in my head =)

  8. glareflair17 says:

    VERY INTERESTING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Godfrey says:

    this is totally crazzzzzzzzie

  10. Azuka says:

    Great. The next time I go online to research something crazy I won’t think I’m one of the weird ones.