What were they thinking when they published that!?

Some research I would love to be part of, some – not so much. You might find some of these funny, but they were all dead serious about their research when they were conducting and publishing it:

1. “Fat destabilization and melt-down of ice creams with increased protein content” by R.W. Hartel in the International Dairy Journal – we might not put much thought on how much science went into creating that perfect scoop of ice cream we indulge on, sitting in the couch, but it is a lot! And I’m sure the researchers had a blast, obtaining the data presented in this paper!

2. “Friendly, flexible and fun. Men’s experiences of a weight management programme” by D. Carless et al. in the Appetite. Just to give you an extract of the paper – “The flexibility of the programme (e.g. free of charge, different venues) and the fun aspect of it (e.g. “we have a good laugh”) helped the men to stick to it. (…) This study has shown the key design characteristics of a men-only weight management programme that facilitate men’s engagement and adherence to health improvement interventions.” Well… I can’t really add much to this.

3. “Tight-fitting underwear and sperm quality” by Robert S. G. M. Bots in The Lancet – the quality of the semen was assessed for period of 12 month in men wearing either tight or loose undies, switching to the respective alternative in the middle of the study. The final line of the little paper states “We conclude that wearing tight-fitting underwear instead of boxer shorts impairs sperm quality.”… Well, dear male readers – take note… May be…

4. “Knitting as a feminist project?” by Maura Kelly in the Women’s Studies International Forum – “In this article, I examine the possibilities of knitting as a feminist project, drawing on ethnographic research in stitch ‘n bitch knitting groups and online knitting communities as well as interviews with knitters.” – Well, I’ve never been a feminist myself, but I sincerely hope knitting is not becoming the most powerful weapon in the hands of feminists, mostly because I’d like to enjoy it without being wrongly labelled…

5. “Spiderman gloves” by Nicola M. Pugno in Nano Today – now this is actually very interesting research as such. The title is also entertaining and the goal – obvious: a childhood dream – come true. Because Spiderman might not be the coolest super hero, but he’s still pretty awesome!

6. “Pressures produced when penguins pooh—calculations on avian defaecation” by Jozsef Gal in Polar Biology – “(…) we calculated that fully grown penguins generate pressures of around 10 kPa (77 mm Hg) to expel watery material and 60 kPa (450 mm Hg) to expel material of higher viscosity similar to that of olive oil.” This I saved for last, because it left me speechless…


I want to point pout that I have the greatest respect to all sorts of research – wholeheartedly support all scientists who conduct research on topics not necessarily fashionable or even a little weird! Science would not advance without passion, so whatever excites your curiosity – by all means, research it!

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