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3 Weird Experiments You Wouldn’t Expect to Read About in a Scientific Journal

Who said research had to always be so serious?



Photo by Braydon Anderson from Unsplash

Every breakthrough in science was led by a highly motivated scientist many considered to be crazy (the least). What you’ll read next doesn’t incite a scientific revolution, but it does conserve the crazy part of the equation.

I’m not talking about those conducted during wartime that would make you sick to the stomach.

Don’t worry, it’s not that kind of research!

You can’t find them in mainstream journals. Sometimes they’re too strange to be taken seriously. But can’t research be fun and informative at the same time?

Now let our imagination fly!

Can fat outfits change the amount of food we consume?

“It’s complicated”

That’s the relationship status I would probably say when it comes to women and food. Sometimes they enjoy eating in abundance and sometimes they hate every gram that enters into their body.

This is mainly because of society’s pressure to always look thin and it’s tough to keep our bodies fit.

More so for overweight women.

What happens when we change our body experience and simulate the feeling of being overweight? Will it change the amount of food we take?

Researchers from Liverpool designed a fat bodysuit that women and men wore for a few hours. They had to walk through public and private spaces wearing it and eat some food snacks in both settings.

The main result showed that wearing the overweight outfit increased women’s food consumption compared to women not wearing it. However, when researchers tested men, their food intake didn’t change.

In our society, men don’t have a stigma related to body size, so their weight is not a big deal. And this also shows in the study. They just don’t care because no one is judging them.

Now, there are other reasons as well.

Feeling more stressed out might lead to eating more to reduce this negative mental state. Using food as a coping mechanism is a well-known behavior. Whenever people feel anxious or stressed, they can either increase or reduce their food consumption.

And the more you increase your weight, the more you might use food as your way to deal with your emotions. Because you’ve repeatedly used it to reduce this negative feeling, you’re more likely to keep doing it.

Age is also a factor.

Studies suggest (e.g. Grossbard et al, 2009; Loweery et al., 2005) that younger women are more concerned with their weight and body shape than older women. As one grows older, there’s less concern about your appearance and it’s less likely to influence your food intake.

Is it possible to get drunk by absorbing alcohol through our feet?

Photo by Rune Enstad from Unsplash

For those of you who are fond of liquor, this might seem like a waste of alcohol.

These researchers wanted to test an old Danish urban myth that stated that people could get drunk by submerging their feet in alcohol.

If it’s fun, why not try it yourself in the name of science? And that’s what they did.

The three authors of this study filled a foot basin with three bottles of vodka and put their feet in it for three hours. I wonder if these researchers have a special relationship with the number 3.

They would take blood tests every 30 minutes to see if there was any change in their alcohol level and they’d also fill a survey to acknowledge any intoxicated symptoms.

As expected, results show that people can’t get drunk through their feet.

Sorry to disappoint you.

This also applies to people thinking they’ll get alcohol intoxication symptoms by frequently using ethanol-based hand sanitizers (so commonly used nowadays).

And yes, there’s a study proving it.

Don’t worry, you can still drive safely after washing your hands (even multiple times in a row!).

Do people prefer pain over boredom?

Being left alone with your thoughts can be scary for some people.

It can be so challenging that they would rather prefer feeling pain than trying to deal with their minds.

We’re weird creatures, aren’t we?

Researchers from the University of Virginia asked participants to stay in an empty room for just 15 minutes, without any external distractions. Well, except for a button that, when pressed, administered a small electric shock. Too weak to cause any real damage but strong enough to feel unpleasant by it.

The study found that 25% of women and 67% of men preferred pressing the button at least once rather than daydreaming. In other words, they chose to be negatively stimulated over no stimulation at all.

One guy even administered 190 electric shocks to himself and no, the device wasn’t malfunctioning!

Is it so aversive to be alone just with yourself for 15 minutes?

I know that thinking is sometimes tricky, especially with those math problems you feel your head is going to explode, but how come it’s that unpleasant?

Maybe, we tend to think about bad things which can lead to a negative thought pattern and dig ourselves into a hole. Or we’re not trained to control our minds so we fear where will it lead us if we’re deprived of other things to do.

The disparity between genders can be explained by men’s higher interest in risk-taking activities and seeking new sensations.

No wonder we men tend to live less on this Earth.


Human beings are curious by nature, and this drive can lead to an unexpected path…this article is proof of it.

We can discover interesting things when we go in a different direction. Sometimes the results are useful and sometimes there’re not, but we can still enjoy the experiment per se.

In these 3 experiments we found that:

  • Fat bodysuits can change our relationship with food, more so on women than men.
  • If you thought of other means of getting drunk, you can discard using skin absorption as your latest trick.
  • We’re afraid of ourselves, especially of our untrained minds.

There’s even a special type of reward for bizarre experiments. They’re called IG Nobel Prizes, and the 10 best unusual achievements of the year in science get this medal.

You can have fun and win a trophy, isn’t that wonderful?

So next time you encounter a researcher, don’t always assume he’s as serious as his glasses or white coat might make you think.

Appearances are deceiving in the most unexpected ways.

By Pavle Marinkovic on .

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If you were interested in this article, I recommend you follow this link: Psychology


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