Have you every read about some new science experiment or research study that just seems... well, stupid? If you've ever gotten to the point where you've wondered what other bogus things they'll pay people to learn about, you're in luck. Here's 7 of the most ridiculous studies ever:
Sex, Drugs and Science
If this first group of studies show us anything, it's that scientists are as drugged up and crazy as the junkies up the street from me.
Elephants on Acid:
If you were going to see the effects of LSD on an elephant, wouldn't you start with smaller doses and progressively increase the dosage until there was a noticeable change in their behavior? I sure would. But the researchers on this one aren't like you and me. Instead the researchers working on this one started off by injecting the poor beast with 3000 times the dosage needed for an average human, despite the fact that elephants weigh around 50 times what the average human weighs. Within two hours, the animal died. The scientists defended their actions by saying they had used LSD plenty of times and were sure it was safe. They then concluded, "elephants are highly sensitive to LSD." Apparently another scientist found their results to be suspicious, so he gave elephants LSD in their water. In his study, the elephants acted a little funny, but were totally fine.
We've all heard stories detailing how stupid turkeys are -like the one that says they'll drown if you leave them in the rain. Well, some of those turkey stories may be bogus, but two Penn State researchers discovered that turkeys are so stupid they can be trained to be aroused by little more than sticks. Their experiment consisted of creating a model female turkey that could be progressively deconstructed. The scientists would then gauge the turkey's interest in the "female" and then remove some parts of her body and try again. They were expecting the birds would lose interest after is was stripped down enough. Surprisingly, the turkeys were aroused even when the model became little more than a stick with a head. I guess this not only shows how stupid turkeys are, but how perverse they are too.
Semen As an Anti-depressant?
I always thought scientists were supposed to be unbiased. I mean, if you're hoping for certain results, might that affect your research? Obviously these researchers bypassed that concept, by attempting to prove that semen works as an antidepressant. They decided to study this theory by interviewing college women who were sexually active. Their conclusions proved that women who had sex without condoms were less depressed than women who used them. Of course, their research was extremely preliminary and they didn't even bother to take into account additional factors, like the fact that women not using condoms are more likely to be in serious relationships. It doesn't take a scientist to figure out that this might play into someone's relative level of happiness. But like I said, this study was about as unbiased as all those tobacco company ones that couldn't connect smoking with cancer.
Source | Photo Via Zen [Flickr]
Paging Dr. Obvious
The rest of these studies are amazing -in that someone actually bothered to research things so obvious:
Head Banging is Bad For You:
Who would have ever thought that aggressively and repeatedly throwing your head up and down would be bad for you? Gee, I never would have imagined that spinal damage and brain trauma could have resulted from head banging. Obviously, I'm being sarcastic. After years of dating a metal head, I can assure you that head banging can certainly make you retarded...or at least, it doesn't help your intelligence at all. The only good thing researchers found was that head banging is unlikely to leave you unconscious. What is really funny is the researcher's suggestions for the metal genre. They suggest metal bands play more mellow tunes and less "beat oriented" music. They also urged label to place anti-head banging warnings on their cds. Oh, and listeners were advised to start listening to "adult-oriented rock" instead of heavy metal. Yeah, that's gonna happen real soon.
Male science nerds likely to be virgins:
Hmmm, who is most likely to be a virgin, a party-girl, a jock, or a nerd? Think about it. No surprise here; male science nerds between 16 and 25 are the most likely to not have had sex. At least the study provided some legitimate reasons for this statistic, rather than the typical "nerds are pimply and boring" theories of popular media. The study reasoned that these nerds were the population segment least likely to be in situations where they would meet potential lovers. Apparently, doing homework and going to the library doesn't help you meet chicks. Hey, at least they're being productive. Interestingly, female art students were the most sexually active.
Source | Photo Via Miss604 [Flickr]
Bullies Like Seeing Pain:
If bullies were compassionate they would sit around crying whenever they picked on people. The fact that they don't do so might just indicate that they are mean. Why did anyone need to set up a study to confirm that bullies enjoy seeing other people in pain? An interesting thing about this study is that it was the first time anyone used fMRI to evaluate how respondents reacted to different emotions. Instead of being empathetic like the brain of a normal person, bullies mind's activate their reward centers when they see videos of other people being picked on.
Television Viewers Are Unhappy:
It's common knowledge that television and other forms of entertainment are a way for people to escape their problems. If you run home to watch tv instead rather than hanging out with friends, you might be unhappy. Did we really need a scientist to tell us that people who socialize are generally more happy than people who sit at home watching tv all day? What's more crazy is that they needed over 30 years of data to back up their claims. The only unique thing the study discovered was that many viewers are actually addicted. (Marx was right about television, is this evidence that the scientists are commies?):
"Addictive activities produce momentary pleasure and long-term misery and regret," said Steven Martin, co-author of the study. "People most vulnerable to addiction tend to be socially or personally disadvantaged. For this kind of person, TV can become a kind of opiate in a way. It's habitual, and tuning in can be an easy way of tuning out."
Funny, I've was using the audio/visual equivalent of heroin the whole time I was researching this. I swear I could quit any time. Source Now that I've written this, I think I've got a couple of ideas I could get funded. For example, are people happier when they're warm at home or cold in the middle of nowhere? Or maybe I could find out if donkeys really die when they take a bunch of cocaine and other drugs at a bachelor party. Do you guys have any ideas for awesome studies?