Social media often gets a bad rap, but it does have its uses – mainly sharing cute, weird or hilarious animal videos – but also offering people a glimpse into the lives of others, people whose careers, vocations, and interests are perhaps different from our own.
Asking an open question on social media can be dangerous territory, but one Twitter user offered up one this week that not only cracked open the weird world of science experiments but also provided an insight into the daily life of being a scientist.
“What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done for science?” Jason Rasgon asked on Twitter.
It turns out, "weird" is a sliding scale, and one person’s weird is another person’s whatever.
As is so often the case, when it comes to weird, slightly squeamish, and downright gross acts of exploration in the name of science, biologists took the lead and ran.
Unsurprisingly animal sex, whether that’s watching from afar, interrupting, or even assisting, featured prominently, as did getting up close and personal with some interesting parts of their anatomy.
Not all experiments take place in the lab. Apparently using homegrown equipment – or whatever you have in the kitchen – is suffice. Think of that the next time you have dinner at a scientist's house.
Some had some exciting mishaps with human bones.
Some are just... what? And why... WHY? (In some of these cases we suspect it is best not to know why).
Although some really do warrant some clarification.
So there you have it. A little glimpse into the everyday work life of a scientist. If you are one, you're probably thinking, "Pffft, those are nothing, wait until you hear about the time I..." (Seriously, please do share in the comments, we WANT to know what you've done).
If you're not one (yet) and are considering it as a career path, let me just share with you what my colleague, a zoology graduate, said on learning about this thread: "Did I ever tell you about the bee disco we made at university?"
Why wouldn't you want to be a scientist?