Although science is a discipline based on observations and empirical knowledge, it is far from infallible, especially when you consider how scientists once believed in stuff like humans bring rain to the places they inhabit and that cotton trees were actually a result of tiny lambs growing at the end of branches… Sure, that stuff is fun, but isn’t it even more fun to see what kind of insanity preoccupies contemporary thinkers? These are some of the weirdest scientific studies ever.
1. Feathered Art Critics
Also known as the rats of the sky by big city inhabitants, pigeons happen to be much more discerning than they seem. At least when it comes to judging children’s art, something I find unnecessarily cruel: “Tommy, the snobby pigeon said your painting sucks”.
According to the Daily Mail, researchers at Keio University in Japan presented children’s artwork to pigeons and then rewarded them if they pecked the better examples; the pigeons could eventually discern, without the promise of reward, which artwork was good or which was bad. This only further proves that the Japanese are strange and that strange people and their universities have way too much funding.
2. Necrophiliac Mallards
If Darren Aronofsky ever decided to make a movie about ducks, it would play out something like this: Kees Moeliker, curator at the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, suddenly heard a thud on a lower level window and went down to investigate what had made the startling noise. He saw that an unfortunate mallard duck had met its fate after having hit the window, and lying on its belly. Next to it was a second duck, this one alive. As Moeliker watched in horror, the live mallard mounted the dead fowl and proceeded to get jiggy with it, all the while violently pecking the neck and back of the deceased avian.
Moeliker observed the phenomenon for a whopping 75 minutes (with an expression of disgust on his face the entire time, I assume) and, not being able to take any more homosexual necrophilia duck rape, broke up the effed up engagement. The sexually deviant duck didn’t leave, though; it had walked away when Moeliker took the desecrated (in the worst way imaginable) dead bird and stayed there for almost an entire day.
Moeliker developed a theory that the dead bird was a victim of in-flight rape, and that the unwilling partner had crashed and died – which, obviously, didn’t bother the assailant. It even won Moeliker a Nobel Prize in 2003… Okay, an Ig Nobel Prize, which is basically an anti-parody Nobel but, hey, it’s something.
I will never look at Donald Duck the same way ever again.
Oh, and just because I’m not above further disturbing you with the sexual deviances of birds, a study at Pennsylvania State University took a female turkey body and gradually removed parts of it to see how unrecognizably mangled they could make it before the male would stop mating with it. The answer: turkey head on a stick. Yes, the male turkey tried to mate with what is the human equivalent of a horror prop.
This seems like the elaborate plot of an 80s teenage movie, but I assure you this was an honest to goodness attempt at science… A group of researchers at the University of Portsmouth in England conducted a study on the relative movement of breasts during exercise. See? It’s like it came out of Revenge of the Nerds or like a feeble attempt by Peter Venkman to creep on some poor, naïve co-ed exercising.
Honestly, though, of all the items on this list, this one makes the most sense as 50% of women report exercise as being painful, and bouncing can result in connective tissue damage.
Do you know of any other very strange scientific studies? Let me know in the comments section below!