If you're a scientist, being able to announce a major new scientific discovery must be better than winning the lottery while having sex with an anthropomorphic, gorgeous Nobel Prize. So it makes sense that some of them might rush an amazing discovery to the papers before they check it properly -- which can lead to some embarrassing and hilarious results.
5 A Mysterious Newly Discovered Fungus Is ... A Sex Toy
There isn't much that happens in the small Chinese village of Liucunbu, on the outskirts of provincial capital Xi'an -- at least, we assume that's the case, since it doesn't have its own Wikipedia page. So it must have been pretty exciting when they stumbled upon an unusual and unknown kind of fungus when drilling a new well. Their discovery managed to get them on Xi'an TV, spreading their fame across China and, eventually, the internet -- where thousands of people pointed out that the rare new mushroom they found was, in fact, a male sex toy.
NSFW ... maybe?
To be fair, the thing does look like some sort of bizarre double-ended mushroom at first glance. But if you watch the video and see them turning it, you can tell that, yep, that's very clearly a vulva modeled on one end of the thing.
X'ian Up Close
Which we can only say after hundreds of photographic comparisons with the real thing.
We're fairly certain that at least one person in the village of Liucunbu has to have seen a vulva before, so we're not sure how this mystery made it all the way to the news. Though they did say the 80-year-old elder had "never seen anything like this before," so ... we'll let you draw your own conclusions.
It didn't help that the eager young reporter was chiming in with her own research about the mystery mushroom; she claimed it was a historically sought-after fungus that granted eternal youth, which is the same opinion your estranged uncle voiced during his divorce hearings. In its online apology, the television show threw the reporter under the bus and dubbed her "still very young and unwise to the ways of the world," as if to convince the audience that everybody else on staff is excavating rubber mystery vaginas on the daily.
4 The Study About Ecstasy And Brain Damage Is ... Actually About Tons Of Meth
In 2002, a surprising study from Dr. George Ricaurte was published in Science magazine about the effects of a normal dose of ecstasy (MDMA) on primates; namely, it fucked those monkeys up backwards, causing permanent brain damage and even death. The government used studies like this as part of their campaign against ecstasy, saying that it would put holes in your brain and other scary things. A year later, however, the study was retracted, when it was discovered that instead of a normal dose of ecstasy, the primates had been injected with a metric fuckton of meth.
This wasn't an isolated problem in the lab, either; four other papers from Ricaurte related to drugs had to be retracted as well. The problem was that two vials purchased in 2000 had the wrong labels slapped on them, so the bottle that should have been labeled "MDMA" was instead labeled as "Jesse Pinkman's blood" and vice-versa.
"I am the one who
knocks fucks up."
If you pay much attention to studies about drugs, or anything that the media can turn into a terrifying headline, you've probably noticed that a lot of studies have problems, and this isn't Ricaurte's first questionable study, either. One scientist said that the good doctor was "playing games with his data," while another claimed that he was "running a cottage industry showing that everything under the sun is neurotoxic." Unfortunately, with the media happy to jump on any paper that looks sciency enough and sounds scary enough, we're probably going to have to put up with this for the rest of time, until we all wind up living in giant biodomes woven out of celery stalks and nobody is allowed to masturbate.
And, for the record, ecstasy doesn't actually put holes in your brain, either; that study was retracted too. So the lesson here is that recreational drug use is perfectly safe*.
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*Cracked.com has not been evaluated by the FDA, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure,
or prevent any disease, and might actually cause some. (Are you happy now, Legal?)