Flashback Friday: Feet rolled over by cars: radiological and histological considerations from experiments.

By Seriously Science | June 28, 2013 1:00 pm

Photo: flickr/Jared and Corin

Welcome to the first edition of Flashback Friday! We have now written thousands of blog posts, and we think some of our favorite papers deserve another look, along with a bit of added commentary to help our readers appreciate these gems. Today, we’re revisiting a paper that has got to have one of the creepiest materials and methods sections we have read in all our years of digging up weird scientific studies. It asks a completely reasonable question: when a person’s foot is run over by a car, how often do the bones break? After that it gets real weird for a bit (read below), and then we find out, amazingly, that bones are typically not broken when feet are driven over by cars. Which is comforting, really.

Feet rolled over by cars: radiological and histological considerations from experiments.

“This study investigates the question of whether bone structures are injured when a vehicle rolls over a foot. A total of 15 detached feet from deceased persons who had donated their bodies to research were rolled over using a VW Passat station wagon. The feet were enclosed in various types of shoes. The front left tire of the vehicle, inflated to 1.8 bar and driven at walking speed, ran over the feet at a right angle to the long axis. The feet were dissected, and histological and radiological examinations were carried out. The only macroscopically well-defined abrasions of the epidermis were on the back of the foot in the area of contact with the tire and only where the foot had not been covered by a shoe. These abrasions were also well presented histologically. No injuries to the bone structures of the feet, in the form of incomplete fractures, corticalis interruptions or spongiosa compressions were ascertained, either radiologically or microradiologically.”

Related content:
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Territorial defense in parking lots: retaliation against waiting drivers.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Guns, bumper stickers and road rage.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: What’s worse than a new driver? A new driver in a fancy car.

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Seriously, Science?

Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
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