From human-pig chimeras to electric urinals, science has been hard at work weirding everybody out this year. I took a look at a few dozen of the most sanity-defying experiments done in the name of science in 2016.
The 27 weirdest science experiments of 2016
Half Pig, Half Human Embryo
Hoping to further the field of organ transplants, scientists made a chimera. The goal is to grow human organs that can replace malfunctioning ones in real people. This is really useful for me, because I'm starting to suspect the prize from this lottery I won isn't actually a trip to an island.
Robot Stingray Uses Rat Cells
Scientists have made a robotic stingray that doesn't use electronics to move. Instead, their wings beat using cells harvested from the heart muscles of rats. The rat singularity is nigh, and it's in stingray form.
Transparent Skull Implant
So, using lasers to treat brain issues has a problem: Our skulls are specifically designed to not open up. That's why researchers are perfecting a see-through replacement for part of the skull, which will allow lasers to be fired through it for much less invasive treatment. Which is great, since my attempts at sticking lasers up my nose to give myself a lobotomy has seen mixed results.
Scientists spend an unholy amount of time thinking about weird stuff, like pee. Which is how they came up with an idea for a public urinal that generates electricity using the power of the urine stream. I look forward to chugging water and thinking about rushing rivers every time I need to charge my phone.
App to Detect Beer Freshness
I spend a lot of time checking the dates on bottles in the beer aisle. It's all part of being an insufferable beer nerd. My effort might be significantly reduced in the near future if scientists succeed in using a polymer sensor to show how recently beer was made. My current method of sticking my tongue into a batch of beer has been frowned upon by brewers and health inspectors, alike.
Robotic Surgery Pill
Researchers are putting the finishing touches on an ingestible robot. Once inside, it can detect and patch up a stomach wound. If they equip a camera to the robot, the movie it records would probably be pretty interesting (but it would have a really crappy ending).
Air Test for Movie Content
Scientists are hard at work making a test to determine a movie scene's content, based solely on the composition of the air. It's all based on evidence that audience members exhale slightly different particles if they are laughing or tense. This is probably accurate in predicting the movie, except when the test reads that audience members are "sad," in which case it could either be a tear-jerker or just the latest Adam Sandler film
Do Bearded Dragons Dream?
If the question is "do bearded dragons dream," science says the answer is "yes." If the question is "how did scientists ever decide to figure this out," the answer is probably "laced brownies."
Why Do Bearcats Smell Like Buttered Popcorn
If you've ever been viciously mauled by a bearcat, you know that they bear the appetizing scent of buttered popcorn. Scientists studied this Southeast Asian creature to figure out why. It turns out that bearcat pee closely resembles the compound that gives buttered popcorn its scent. Fiscal-minded movie theater owners will undoubtedly start keeping live bearcats inside their popcorn machines.
Robotic Can of Spray Paint
Scientists have made a can of spray paint which can recreate photographs in mural form. Sadly, we all know that if this hits the market, the best selling model will be the one that spray paints genitals onto billboard models.
How Do Pitcher Emotions Affect Batters
Researchers have concluded that a pitcher's facial expression can help predict the result of an upcoming pitch. This will be beneficial to the sport, because the most exciting part of watching baseball is overanalyzing everything during the agonizing wait between pitches.
Scientists have made a battery that gets its power from bacteria. One day, everything will be powered by bacteria, and we will all be sick all the time.
People Aroused by Touching Robot's Naughty Parts
In a bizarre experiment, it turns out people are more aroused when touching a robot's butt then touching other, less taboo areas. It should come as no surprise that the robot sex test results will be presented in Japan.
A laboratory has succeeded in making transparent wood. This will be really useful in windows, but really annoying in ceiling fans.
Touching Sandpaper Boosts Donations
Scientists figured out that a person is likely to donate more money to a cause if they touch sandpaper beforehand. Yeah, well if they really wanted donations, they'd rub sandpaper on a test subject until the subject paid them to stop.
Geneticists have engineered a type of maggot that secretes a salve which heals human wounds. So, if I leave a pice of steak out long enough, will it eventually be covered in maggots which turn it back into a whole cow?
Necklace Monitors Diet
A necklace has been invented which records what a person eats based on the sound they make while crewing. I dread the inevitable wave of people uploading sound bytes to instagram.
Tattoos Help Immune System
A university researcher has determined that getting multiple tattoos can help boost one's resistance to disease.So the next time you get a flu shot, tell them to move that needle around and maybe draw an anchor or something.
Chicken with Dinosaur Leg
By tweaking a gene, scientists were able to make a developing chicken grow a leg more resembling that of a dinosaur. Okay, now I want to see them make a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex head on a tiny chicken body.
Wheelchair Powered by Monkey Brains
Neuroscientists made an interface which allows monkeys to steer a wheelchair using only their thoughts. Obviouslky, this could be quite useful for wheelchair bound humans who can't move their limbs, and are tired of their breath-powered wheelchair rocketing off every time they sneeze.
A ruby's color and brightness canbe improved by sticking it in a microwave, scientists discovererd. I tried microwaving my wife's zirconium wedding ring, but I still have to sleep on the couch.
Male Gorillas Sing More When Eating
Finally, science has answered the burning question, "which gender of gorilla sings and hums more during mealtime?" Now, they need to answer the question "what makes male gorillas want to be so annoying?"
Conservatives Use Nouns More
A study of Americans found that those with conservative-leaning political views are more likely to describe things using nouns, rather than adjectives. For instance, a liberal might describe this survey as "time wasting," where as a conserative would call it "a waste of time."
Mapping a Worm's Sex Drive
Researchers have mapped the neural network that makes a male worm decide when it wants to mate. They claim this will help us understand when human males want to mate, even though the answer to that question is "pretty much all the time."
Researchers are working on using part of a grass native to Australia to make super-thin condoms. Which is appealing to anyone whose ever found wearing a condom to be the sexually metaphorical equivalent of dipping a hot dog into a warm glass of water.
By measuring body heat with a thermograph, researchers claim they can tell if someone is in love. I eagerly await the day when science allows my relationships to use zero communication.
Cotton Candy Capillaries
Engineers modified a cotton candy maker to create a machine that creates synthetic capillaries. These capillaries can be used to keep cells alive in living tissue. So it's just like the capillary-soaked cotton candy one finds at a vampire circus.