I need to realize a top of meaningless experiments. Anything would count!

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James Kelley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I'm not sure that experiments are ever meaningless, although admittedly the knowledge that they help to create or confirm is sometimes a bit bizarre (such as curing hiccoughs in the manner suggested by the first poster). Having said that, though, I can recommend a good source for you on strange and bizarre experiments: Improbable Research.

See the links below on "Improbable Research" and their "Ig Nobel Prize." Here are some summaries of the first prize awards for 2009:

VETERINARY MEDICINE PRIZE: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, for showing that cows who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless.

PEACE PRIZE: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.

ECONOMICS PRIZE: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banks — Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, Glitnir Bank, and Central Bank of Iceland — for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa — and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy.

(The Ig Nobel awards are completely genuine, even if such doesn't seem possible at times. One of my coworkers, who teaches Psychology and has an office two doors down from me in our university office was an award candidate a few years back.)

And so on! It's a very fun site to explore!

giorgiana1976's profile pic

giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

If until recently it was said that a glass of water would solve the hiccupping problem, researchers found in 2006 that rectal massage can solve also this problem.

The conclusion of another experiment, at least bizarre, pulled by researchers in 2005, after an expedition to the Arctic, was that penguins can propel feces  up to 40 inches. The conclusion sounds like this: "We do not know if birds choose one direction in which they let their feces or if it depends on the direction from which wind blows at that time. These responses could be found only after another expedition to Antarctica”.

Other such experiments, the conclusions more or less strange, are:

The rate of suicide is directly related to the amount of contry music on the radio. If you did not know why this music genre not particularly likes you, here's one possible answer.

Dog fleas jump higher than the cat fleas . This conclusion can help us decide if we want a dog or a cat . Vanilla can be extracted from cow dung . That in case someone needs it.

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