Fake Science 101: 11 Brilliantly Inaccurate Scientific Explanations

A few years back we wrote about a hilarious blog called Fake Science, which deals in intentional pseudo-science. Now, the creator of that blog is unleashing Fake Science 101, a 272-page textbook for the fake-fact-loving science nerd in all of us. We've teamed up with the man behind Fake Science, Phil Edwards, to share some snippets of the book.

1. The Wheel


Scientists' first objective was to invent an easy way to transport goods: the wheel. It would be much easier than rolling things over children who were lying down. However, the round shape of the wheel always gave the cave men difficulty. Their engineering was undercut by the absence of circular objects and the inability to remember exactly what a circle was. This stalled development of both transportation and the coaster.

2. Sir Isaac Newton


Born in the 1600s, Sir Isaac Newton was a renowned physicist. One day, he was sitting under a tree when a round object fell on his head. Like any great scientist, Newton did not run away. Instead, he sampled the round object. It had a red hue and brown stem. He bit into it and was pleasantly surprised. He had just discovered the apple.

3. The Enlightenment


The Scientific Revolution culminated in the Age of Enlightenment in the 1600s and 1700s, during which thinkers and scientists realized they could be far more productive if they turned on the lights. This early American poster demonstrates an Enlightenment era scientific discovery: a chopped-up snake usually dies.

4. The Umlaut Galaxy


There are countless galaxies in the universe, largely because the person in charge of counting them gets distracted around the billion mark. These galaxies each have different traits but are all bound by their gravitational fields and a common cultural background. After German scientists discovered the Umlaut Galaxy, they decided to incorporate it into their own language.

5. The Sun


For millions of years, the sun has been nature’s tanning bed. Perfectly calibrated to give humans a soft brown coating and great highlights, the sun’s function is not purely cosmetic. As this diagram shows, the sun’s triangular rays are always at exactly 46 degrees.

6. Makin’ Babies


Sperm invade the egg, unless this is a leftover picture of Mars. These sperm contain a male’s genetic information and are strongly sexually attracted to the egg. The egg contains a female’s genetic information and is less attracted to the sperm but chooses one anyway because it’s too lazy to keep waiting. If the sperm and egg are in love, based on a relationship of mutual support and respect, they create a new baby.

7. The Statue of Liberty


Did you know that the Statue of Liberty wasn’t always green? Her color changed because of age, but not the same way an old person’s skin does. In the Statue of Liberty’s case, it was something called “rust” that turned her skin green. Before the copper in the Statue of Liberty rusted, she was a brownish hue and wore a lovely gingham.

8. Oil

Known for its use in the manufacture of gasoline, oil is also popular in the hair of executives who sell it. Found underground and undersea, oil is easily detected through a little digging, explosion, more digging, refining, and a second series of explosions. Brave cowboys tamed the oil fields of Texas so we could drive ATVs.

9. The Ocean


Oceans have been important in the past and will become more important in the future, as we continue to melt the polar ice caps so the water doesn’t get too hot. When one ocean covers the entire Earth, geography will require much less class time.

10. Rivers


There are far too many rivers in the world to include in this article, especially since they would get your computer wet. However, notable rivers are so large they can be seen from space, which gives you something to look at once the moon gets boring. This map from the 1800s shows the importance of mapping rivers for navigating trade.

11. Friction


Friction occurs when things get in the way of moving objects or otherwise slow their passage. Low-friction objects can make things slide longer, which is why you’re encouraged to drive on icy roads in order to save gas. High friction can also have positive effects, since sandpaper slides help playtime last longer.

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August 13, 2012 - 9:11am
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