The special RED issue of the magazine is out

The special RED issue (vol. 22, no. 5) of the magazine (the Annals of Improbable Research) is now out! It’s bursting (as are all our issues) with carefully culled, improbable research snippets about everything, from anywhere, more or less. Click on the cover image, below, to see the table of contents and some of the articles. The special RED section includes these […]

Structure of Pigments of the Red Sweat of the Hippopotamus

Your notion of the structure of hipposudoric and norhipposudoric acids, pigments of the red sweat of the hippopotamus, may need some updating. This newly published study calls for your attention: “Refined Structure of Hipposudoric and Norhipposudoric Acids, Pigments of the Red Sweat of the Hippopotamus,” Takatoshi Matsumoto, Yoko Saikawa, Masaya Nakata, and Kimiko Hashimoto, Chemistry […]

Seeing Red, So to Speak and Maybe More or Less

Some psychologists say that people see more in the color red than just the color. This study follows in the tradition of seeing things this way: “Extending Color Psychology to the Personality Realm: Interpersonal Hostility Varies by Red Preferences and Perceptual Biases,” Adam K. Fetterman [pictured here], Tianwei Liu, Michael D. Robinson, Journal of Personality, […]

Effect of the Color Red on Something and Something Else

Red is a color pertaining to the subject of this study: “The Effect of the Color Red on Consuming Food Does Not Depend on Achromatic (Michelson) Contrast and extends to Rubbing Cream on the Skin,” Nicola Bruno [pictured here], Margherita Martani, Claudia Corsini, Claudio Oleari, Appetite, August 31, 2013. (Thanks to investigator Neil Martin for […]

Physiology: Why Rudolph’s Nose is Red

A new Dutch study explains the likely physiology of Rudolph the reindeer’s red nose: “Microcirculatory investigations of nasal mucosa in reindeer Rangifer tarandus (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Cervidae): Rudolph’s nose was overheated,” Ben van der Hoven, Eva Klijn, Michel van Genderen, Willem Schaftenaar, Lisette L. de Vogel, Ditty van Duijn and Erwin J.O. Kompanje (a member of the […]

An effect of colorful, carefully placed potato chips

Ig Nobel Prize winner Brian Wansink (honored in 2007 for exploring the seemingly boundless appetites of human beings, by feeding them with a self-refilling, bottomless bowl of soup) has conducted an experiment with potato chips. The Cornell Chronicle (with this photo taken by Robin Wishna) reports: red chips were interspersed at intervals designating one suggested serving […]