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Interactive video lesson plan for: 6 Oddball Questions Scientists Have Genuinely Tried to Answer | What the Stuff?!

Activity overview:

Science has brought us amazing advancements in fields like medicine and technology - but sometimes scientists like to get weird, too. Here are 6 of our favorites.

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Read more in the HowStuffWorks article, "10 Oddball Questions Scientists Have Genuinely Tried to Answer":
http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/science-questions/10-oddball-questions-scientists-tried-to-answer.htm

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Transcript:
6 Oddball Questions Scientists Genuinely Tried To Answer

In our efforts to explain the world around us, humans have asked some amazing questions… and some, well, let’s call them unusual ones. Here are some of the strangest:

Does naming a cow make it produce more milk? According to one study, yes. Naming the cows in a herd increases their milk output by about 68 gallons (258 liters) per year. Researcher thought this was partially due to the extra attention each cow received. This is just one study, so we’ll need more research to figure it out. But if your milk comes from a happy cow, then you’ve apparently got a lot more of it coming your way.

How much wood can a woodchuck actually chuck? We’ve all heard the tongue-teaser, but two researchers made it into the Annals of Improbable Research with their peer-reviewed study. The answer? A little over 22 cubic inches (~361.924 cubic centimeters) per day. There you go. The next time this comes up, you’ll be _that_ guy.

Are cabbie’s brains better than ours? In the days before GPS, London cab drivers had to pass an exam called The Knowledge, which required them to memorize numerous streets, routes, alternate routes and obscure landmarks. In a five-year study, the University College London found that the hippocampi of successful sedan savants grew larger and more developed than those of the average driver.

Do chickens prefer hot humans? Apparently. Yep. Chickens, like college students, tend to prefer attractive people. According to researchers in Stockholm, chickens overwhelmingly preferred the most traditionally attractive composite facial images. So, uh… dress up the next time you head to the chicken coop?

Can you make a bra that works as a gas mask? So… yeah. In a world filled with incurable disease and natural disasters, some guys spent time working on this. Sure, it sounds ridiculous, but consider this: In the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, people could have avoided exposure to radiation sickness-inducing iodine 131 if they had a gas mask handy. So the logic is there…if not good taste.

Here’s one for everyone planning a bar fight later: Is it better to be hit with a full beer bottle or an empty one? According to the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine… neither. Thanks, guys. Who would’ve guessed!? Full beer bottles break with 25% less force than empties, but they’re still strong enough to crack your dome. Empty bottles break more easily, but still pack 70% more striking force. So it comes down to this: do you feel luckier chancing sharp or blunt trauma? The best part? The paper reports some of these findings “according to the authors’ own experience.”

Thanks for watching! Want to know more improbable research and ignoble worthy investigations? Check out our article “10 Oddball Questions Scientists Have Genuinely Tried to Answer” for more, and subscribe so you don’t miss a minute of What The Stuff?!

Tagged under: Scientist (Profession),Science (TV Genre),Science (Journal),oddball questions,weird questions,experiments,bizarre,strange,HowStuffWorks (Website), stuff,jonathan strickland,top 6,list,wacky,cows,chickens,gas mask,gas mask bra,Gas Mask (Invention),woodchucks,london, knowledge,taxis,bar fights,beer bottles

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