A thoroughly researched scientific paper can lend credence to seemingly illogical assertions. Sometimes these studies are informative, sometimes not, and other times border on the plain bizarre. These 18 unusual & bizarre research papers are informative alright, but the information therein makes you wonder at the usefulness of it. We originally got this list from the good folks at Imgur, but decided we’d bring it to our audience as well because it was just too weird to miss.
1. Do Woodpeckers get headaches?
A research paper, “Cure for a headache” written by Ivan R Schwab and published in British Journal of Ophthalmology unequivocally states that woodpeckers do not get headaches. This, he claims, is primarily due to their thick skulls, sturdy jaws, and small brains, despite the constant beak-banging against wood.(source)
2. Can people swim faster in syrup or water?
B. Gettelfinger and E. L. Cussler in their “Will humans swim faster or slower in syrup?” tried to find the answer to this question. The paper was published in the AIChE Journal, and apparently, comparable velocities can be attained in both media.(source)
3. Do patients prefer waxed or unwaxed dental floss? This was the million dollar question posed in this study.
R. H. Beaumont conducted a study on whether patients preferred waxed or non-waxed floss. His research labeled “Patient preference for waxed or unwaxed dental floss” was published in the Journal of Periodontology in 1990. Beaumont discovered that 79% of the patients preferred waxed floss and 21% showed a preference to unwaxed floss.(source)
4. How does water affect cereal?
The Ig Nobel-winning, “A study of the effects of water content on the compaction behaviour of breakfast cereal flakes” written by D.M.R. Georget, R. Parker and A.C. Smith of the Institute of Food Research dealt rigorously with this serious topic. Their extensive analysis concluded that water did make the cereal soggy.(source)
5. Does wearing wet underwear outside during the winter make you feel colder?
M. K. Bakkevig and R. Nielsen published their “Impact of wet underwear on thermoregulatory responses and thermal comfort in the cold” in 1994. This life-saving research affirmed the long-held belief that wearing wet clothes or underwear did make one feel cold during winter.(source)
6. Does immersing leeches in ale, garlic and sour cream improve their appetite?
The report by Anders Baerheim and Hogne Sandvik of the University of Bergen in Norway, titled “Effect of Ale, Garlic, and Soured Cream on the Appetite of Leeches” states that nineteenth-century German doctors recommended dunking leeches in ale to improve their blood sucking abilities. Because why would one not want to know the answer to that question, right? The alternate substitute was ginger and garlic.(source)