This Is Improbable

Cheese String Theory, Magnetic Chickens, and Other WTF Research


Marc Abrahams, the founder of the famous Ig Nobel Prize, offers an addictive, wryly funny expose of the oddest, most imaginative, and just plain improbable research from around the world. He looks into why books on ethics are more likely to get stolen and how promoting people randomly improves their work, to what time of month generates higher tips for Vegas lap dancers and how mice were outfitted with parachutes to find a better way to murder tree snakes in Guam.

Abrahams' tour through these unlikeliest investigations of animals, plants, and minerals (including humans) will first make you laugh, then make you think about the globe in a new way.

'After reading this hilarious book, you'll never look at scientists in the same way again.'
Terry Jones

'Marc Abrahams is a perfectly calibrated filtration system into which all of science is poured and out of which comes pure, giddy goofball delight. This book is a delicious, addictive treat.'
Mary Roach

'The founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes exposes the most bonkers research projects from around the globe: from what time of the month generates the highest tips for Vegas lap dancers, to the best way to slice a ham. Utterly hilarious.'

'Wonderful! The definitive compendium of quirky, jaw-dropping research'
Richard Wiseman

'Delightful... a pleasure to read in the bathroom and in the bedroom, and the kind of book that makes you seem smarter when you share it with friends (just make sure you wash your hands first).'
Dan Ariely

'Delightful... The economics of piracy, the lavatory habits of Antarctic researchers and the anti-skid benefits of wearing socks over shoes - all are described in glorious detail'
Physics World

Bibliographic details:

320 pages

Author Details:

Marc Abrahams

Marc Abrahams writes the 'Improbable Research' column for the Guardian and is the author of This Is Improbable (978-1-85168-975-0). He is editor of the science humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research and founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, which are presented annually at Harvard. Abrahams and the Igs have been covered by the BBC, New Scientist, Daily Mail, The Times, and numerous other outlets internationally. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.