The top 10 best-clicked posts of 2014: from fart germs to conception by oral sex, and some odd places in between.

By Seriously Science | December 23, 2014 6:00 am

It’s been the best year ever here at Seriously, Science?! Okay, fine. That was last year. But this year was pretty good too! And to prove it, we humbly present the Seriously, Science? Top 10 of 2014, as voted on by you, our readers (and by “voted,” we mean “clicked”). From your picks, it’s clear that sex does sell (as do farts), and there must be something timeless about the old “Miraculous Conception” post. Happy holidays, and see you in 2015!

11. Study proves “old person smell” is real. 
“We sought to determine whether humans are able to discriminate between body odor of humans of different ages. Body odors were sampled from three distinct age groups: Young (20-30 years old), Middle-age (45-55), and Old-age (75-95) individuals.”

10. When it comes to penis length and economic growth, size does matter.
“Economic development between 1960 and 1985 is negatively associated with the size of male organ. With considerable reservations it is also found to be a more important determinant of GDP growth than country’s political regime type.”

9. Which sexual fantasies are the most (and least) popular? Science finally weighs in!
“The main goal of this study was to determine which SF [sexual fantasies] are rare, unusual, common, or typical from a statistical point of view among a relatively large sample of adults recruited from the general population.”

8. What the shape of your nose says about your quality as a mate.
“The human nose is, compared to the nose of most other primates, extraordinary large, fragile and easily broken—especially in male–male interactions. May it have evolved as an amplifier among high quality individuals, allowing easy assessment of individual quality and influencing the perception of attractiveness?”

7. Are there really two kinds of female orgasm? Science weighs in.
“Women describe at least two types of orgasms: clitoral and vaginal. However, the differences, if any, are a matter of controversy. In order to clarify the functional anatomy of this sexual pleasure, most frequently achieved through clitoral stimulation, we used sonography with the aim of visualizing the movements of the clitorourethrovaginal (CUV) complex both during external, direct stimulation of the clitoris and during vaginal stimulation.”

6. Nipple, penis, or nostril — what’s the most painful place to be stung by a bee? (The answer might surprise you.)
“The Schmidt Sting Pain Index rates the painfulness of 78 Hymenoptera species, using the honey bee as a reference point. However, the question of how sting painfulness varies depending on body location remains unanswered. This study rated the painfulness of honey bee stings over 25 body locations in one subject (the author).”

5. What’s the real difference between what men and women post on Facebook?
“We analyzed 700 million words, phrases, and topic instances collected from the Facebook messages of 75,000 volunteers, who also took standard personality tests, and found striking variations in language with personality, gender, and age.”

4. Farts: an underappreciated threat to astronauts.
“Intestinal bacteria form two gases, hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4), that could constitute a fire hazard in a closed chamber.”

3. Do farts carry germs? Well, it depends on whether you are wearing pants.
“I contacted Luke Tennent, a microbiologist in Canberra, and together we devised an experiment. He asked a colleague to break wind directly onto two Petri dishes from a distance of 5 centimetres, first fully clothed, then with his trousers down. Then he observed what happened.”

2. Physicists finally explain why your earphones are always tangled.
“It is well known that a jostled string tends to become knotted; yet the factors governing the “spontaneous” formation of various knots are unclear. We performed experiments in which a string was tumbled inside a box and found that complex knots often form within seconds. We used mathematical knot theory to analyze the knots.”

1. That’s one miraculous conception.
“The patient was well aware of the fact that she had no vagina and she had started oral experiments after disappointing attempts at conventional intercourse. Just before she was stabbed in the abdomen she had practised fellatio with her new boyfriend and was caught in the act by her former lover.”

Related content:
The year in silly science: the top 10 posts of 2013… and beyond!
NCBI ROFL: Top 10 most popular posts of 2011!
NCBI ROFL: Top 10 most popular posts of the year! (2010)
NCBI ROFL: Top 10 absurd papers of 2009.

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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!
Follow us on Twitter: @srslyscience.
Send us paper suggestions: srslyscience[at]gmail.com.
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